COIN TOSS: Daniel Graham calls heads for the Broncos. It is heads. The Broncos elect to receive to start the game.
OPENING KICKOFF: After a squib kick by the Eagles, Richard Quinn takes the kickoff out to the 37-yard line.
14:55: On the first play of the game, Buckhalter takes a carry for no gain. The starting offense is Kyle Orton at quarterback and Buckhalter at running back. Ryan Clady, Russ Hochstein, Casey Wiegmann, Chris Kuper and Tyler Polumbus make up the offensive line. Brandon Marshall at wide receiver, Peyton Hillis at fullback and two tight ends — Daniel Graham and offensive lineman Brandon Gorin, who declared eligible.
14:18: After an incomplete pass by Orton, the referees rule that the quarterback threw a backwards pass on third down, which was incomplete and picked up by Dimitri Patterson and returned for a touchdown. Head Coach Josh McDaniels has thrown the red challenge flag, however.
14:15: After a review, the ruling on the field is overturned — it was a forward pass, and thus an incompletion. Now it is fourth down, and Mitch Berger is on to punt. DeSean Jackson is excitedly motioning deep to return, but Berger punts short of him, setting up a first down for Philadelphia at its own 36-yard line.
13:25: The defense is on the field, led by Brian Dawkins, Renaldo Hill, Champ Bailey, Andre’ Goodman and Tony Carter in the secondary. Robert Ayers, Vonnie Holliday, Ronald Fields, Ryan McBean, Mario Haggan and D.J. Williams make up the rest of the nickel unit defense.
13:11: Donovan McNabb tries to go deep on the first play of the drive to DeSean Jackson, but the pass is overthrown. A three-yard run on second down sets up 3rd-and-7, and McNabb is sacked by D.J. Williams. However, there is a flag on the play for illegal contact by Dawkins, giving the Eagles a first down.
12:15: Consecutive runs by LeSean McCoy and Brian Westbrook pick up a first down for Philadelphia at the Denver 44-yard line. On the ensuing play, McNabb takes the snap in the shotgun, drops back and fires complete to Jackson for another first down.
11:10: Fullback Leonard Weaver takes the first-down carry and picks up two yards to the 31-yard line. On second down, Westbrook gets the carry, and he is pushed out of bounds by Dawkins near the first-down marker — and the refs spot the ball far enough for another first down.
10:12: McNabb tries to find Westbrook near the goal line, but Dawkins is there in tight coverage and the pass is incomplete. On 2nd-and-10, McNabb hands off to Weaver, who is dropped by D.J. Williams after a gain of three. On third down at the 19-yard line, McNabb is in the shotgun. The quarterback takes a quick drop before he is sacked from behind by Elvis Dumervil, forcing a fumble. The Broncos recover the fumble and will take over. Dumervil’s sack ties him for the single-season franchise record with 16 sacks — tied with Simon Fletcher.
9:13: Dumervil also just tied the NFL single-season record for third-down sacks in a season with 11. Now the offense is back on the field for its second drive of the afternoon. The Broncos are in the Wild Horses formation, but Orton jogs back under center at the last minute. It’s a play-action pass and Orton avoids pressure before finding Graham for a four-yard gain.
7:18: It was Darrell Reid who recovered the fumble, by the way. After a two-yard run by Knowshon Moreno, the Broncos have a 3rd-and-4. Orton drops back and is sacked by Juqua Parker. Mitch Berger is back in to punt, and Jackson is back deep to return. It is a 28-yard punt, giving the Eagles a first down at their own 39-yard line.
7:17: The Eagles set up a screen pass to LeSean McCoy, who gets loose down to the Denver 22-yard line. Robert Ayers chased him all the way down for the tackle. On the ensuing first down, McNabb gets it quickly to Jackson at the first-down marker.
5:51: The Eagles have a first down at the 11-yard line, and McNabb fires out of the shotgun toward Brent Celek. D.J. Williams is there in coverage, however, and tips the ball in the air. Actually upon looking at the replay, the ball bounced into the air off of Celek. An Eagle is down after the play — center Jamaal Jackson.
5:36: On second down, McNabb is in the shotgun again. He gets it to Jason Avant, but there is a flag on the play — pass interference on the Broncos. Automatic first down for Philadelphia.
5:31: On 1st-and-goal for the Eagles at the 7-yard line, Weaver gets the carry. He takes it forward for two yards. On second down, it’s a Wildcat formation with Westbrook in shotgun as quarterback. He takes the snap forward for three yards, setting up 3rd-and-goal from the 2-yard line. McNabb is in the shotgun and gets it to Jackson for a touchdown — but there’s a flag on the play — holding on the defense, which is declined. The extra point is up and in, and the Eagles jump out to a first-quarter lead.
EAGLES 7, BRONCOS 0
4:08: Kenny McKinley is back deep to receive the kickoff. He takes it at the goal line and is tackled at the 22-yard line. He is down after the play.
3:33: After a short pass to Marshall — who is hit hard — Buckhalter takes a carry to set up 3rd-and-2. Orton tries to find Brandon Stokley, but the pass falls incomplete after it looks like an Eagles defender hits Stokley before the ball arrives. No flag is thrown, and Stokley sprints up to an official and argues the call, but it doesn’t come. Instead, a flag is thrown for unsportsmanlike conduct, and Stokley grazes the official as he walks off in disgust. Stokley is then ejected from the game for contacting an official.
2:34: After a Berger punt, the Eagles are flagged for a false start, setting up 1st-and-15 at the Philadelphia 35-yard line. On the ensuing play, McNabb finds an open Jeremy Maclin for a quick seven-yard gain. Now 2nd-and-8, McNabb fires long down the field for Celek, who hauls it in at the Denver 37-yard line.
*INJURY UPDATE: McKinley has a knee injury and is doubtful to return.
1:28: After Philadelphia’s second timeout of the half, McNabb finds Jackson for a nine-yard gain. On 2nd-and-1, Westbrook is tackled behind the line by Haggan. The refs spot the ball back at the line of scrimmage, and on 3rd-and-1, Jackson takes a direct snap, but the defense is all over it. The receiver tries to find room up the sideline, but he is brought down for a loss of three by D.J. Williams. On fourth down, David Akers is in to attempt a 39-yard field goal. He knocks it through as the first quarter comes to a close.
EAGLES 10, BRONCOS 0
Q2 15:00: Buckhalter takes the kickoff and finds space up the middle of the field to the 30-yard line. On 1st-and-10, Orton fakes a handoff to Moreno before firing for Marshall. The receiver drops the pass, however, and on second down, Orton sets up a screen to Buckhalter out of the shotgun. The running back picks up seven yards on the play, setting up 3rd-and-3. Orton is in the shotgun with Buckhalter to his left. He drops back and fires for Brandon Lloyd, who hauls it in for the first down at the Philadelphia 48-yard line.
Q2 13:32: The team lines up in the “Wild Horse” formation, and Moreno picks up six yards on the direct snap. On the ensuing play, Orton finds Gaffney for a 17-yard gain and a first down.
Q2 11:55: Moreno is stopped for no gain on first down, then Orton finds Marshall for a quick pass that picks up nine yards. On 3rd-and-1 at the Philadelphia 16-yard line, Peyton Hillis gets the carry — and the refs ask for a measurement.
Q2 10:57: Hillis is short on the run, making it 4th-and-1. The offense remains on the field. Orton gets it to Moreno, who is hit hard but it looks like he picks up the first down.
Q2 10:05: Orton tries to find Scheffler in the middle of the end zone, but he is hit hard as he nearly hauls it in for a touchdown. On second down, Orton drops back and fires high for Marshall — it’s a quick three yards. Now 3rd-and-7, Orton is in the shotgun and fires to Jabar Gaffney. Three Eagles try to lay a big hit on him, but he stays on his feet and runs into the end zone for a touchdown. Matt Prater’s extra point is up and in, and the Broncos pull to within three.
EAGLES 10, BRONCOS 7
Q2 9:16: On the previous throw, Orton tied a career high with 19 touchdown passes this season. Prater’s kickoff is fielded by Macho Harris, and the rookie is taken down by a fellow rookie, Alphonso Smith, at the 12-yard line.
Q2 9:05: McNabb is nearly sacked by Andra Davis, but fires downfield for a long gain to Celek — 34 yards — before the tight end is pushed out of bounds by Bailey. On the next play, Dawkins makes the stop on Westbrook after a gain of seven. On 2nd-and-3 at the Denver 47-yard line, McNabb is in the shotgun. Darrell Reid jumps to tip the pass at the line, and the Eagles are faced with a third down.
Q2 8:00: On third down, McNabb drops back and finds a wide open Celek for a 47-yard touchdown. The extra point is good.
EAGLES 17, BRONCOS 7
Q2 7:51: Buckhalter is back deep to receive, and he snags it at the 5-yard line before getting out to the 30-yard line once again. On first down, Orton fakes a handoff before trying to find Marshall across the field. Marshall once again can’t quite haul it in. On second down, Orton goes right back to Marshall for a quick bubble screen. He picks up seven yards, setting up 3rd-and-3 at the 37-yard line. The crowd is on its feet as Orton drops back into the shotgun. He drops back, avoids pressure and tries to get it to Marshall, but the pass goes through his hands.
Q2 7:06: Berger’s 46-yard punt is returned seven yards by Jackson, so Philadelphia will start its next drive at its own 24-yard line.
Q2 6:59: Andra Davis makes the big hit on first down, stopping McCoy for no gain. On second down, Celek is leveled by a big hit by Dawkins near the first-down marker. That set up 3rd-and-1, and a quarterback sneak by McNabb picks up the first.
Q2 5:40: McCoy is brought down by McBean after a gain of two yards on the ensuing first down. A false start penalty pushes the ball back five yards, and it is 2nd-and-13 for Philadelphia. McNabb finds Jeremy Maclin for a first down at the Denver 47-yard line.
Q2 3:50: McNabb finds Maclin again for a six-yard gain, and on second down the quarterback hands off to Weaver. The fullback picks up the rest of the yards for another first down.
Q2 2:40: On 1st-and-10 at the 36-yard line, McNabb finds Avant near the first-down marker. The refs give the Eagles the first down, and the clock ticks down to the two-minute warning.
Q2 2:00 McNabb pump fakes and quickly gets it to Westbrook for a screen pass, but the defense sniffs it out and stops him for a loss of a yard. On 2nd-and-11, McNabb gets a shovel pass to Westbrook, and Dawkins stops him after six yards. That makes it 3rd-and-5 for the Eagles at the 21-yard line. McNabb is in the shotgun and he fumbles the snap before falling on it. That makes it 4th-and-11 after the six-yard loss, and Denver calls its first timeout of the half.
Q2 0:29: Akers is in to attempt a 45-yard field goal. It is up and in.
EAGLES 20, BRONCOS 7
Q2 0:21: On first down, Orton’s arm is hit as he throws, but the pass falls incomplete near linebacker Tracy White. On second down, Orton is in the shotgun. He drops back and tries to set up a screen to Moreno, but White is there to lay a big hit. The clock runs out to halftime. Philadelphia leads it 20-7.
-Gray Caldwell, DenverBroncos.com