Here we are in Philadelphia, and you’d have no idea the city had more than a foot of snow just a week ago. Last night it was pouring down rain as we checked into the hotel, but this afternoon it’s sunny and warm.
As a matter of fact, here’s the gameday weather report:
A few players are already on the field, including Kyle Orton, Chris Simms, Tyler Polumbus and Vernon Fox for the Broncos. Can’t quite tell which Eagle is on the field — there’s only one.
The word is the Eagles will introduce the Broncos defense before the game, so we’ll get a taste of the reaction Brian Dawkins will get in his return to Philly. When the Broncos offense takes the field, we’ll certainly hear a similar reaction for former Eagle Correll Buckhalter.
More and more Broncos are making their way out to the field in orange hoodies — David Bruton, Tony Carter and Alphonso Smith are taking a lap around the field.
2:43 p.m. EST: A lot of blowouts in the early NFL games this week. The most surprising? Gotta be the Panthers handling the Giants, 31-0, in their final game at the Meadowlands. Though maybe after the way Carolina beat the Vikings last week, we should’ve seen it coming.
2:46 p.m. EST: The field has filled up and emptied again. Right now it’s just the Eagles special teamers — long snapper Jon Dorenbos, punter Sav Rocca and kicker David Akers. Actually, Donovan McNabb and Kevin Kolb are on the field for Philadelphia, throwing passes in their warm-ups. In addition, Ty Law is talking to Eagles cornerback Asante Samuel, and Brandon Lloyd is huddling with receivers coach Adam Gase.
2:54 p.m. EST: Just got the inactives for today’s game at Philadephia:
Tom Brandstater, Eddie Royal, Ty Law, LaMont Jordan, Vernon Fox, Spencer Larsen, Seth Olsen and Chris Baker will not dress out. Brandstater is the team’s emergency third quarterback.
For the Eagles, QB Michael Vick, CB Geoffrey Pope, FS Quintin Demps, G/T Stacy Andrews, G Mike McGlynn, WR Kevin Curtis, TE Martin Rucker and DT Trevor Laws are inactive.
2:56 p.m. EST: Just got pictures from the field courtesy of Chris Gentilviso. Cropping them now, will have them up momentarily.
3:30 p.m. EST: Speaking of Dawkins, the veteran safety still hasn’t run onto the field for warm-ups yet. Our guess is he won’t come out until the last minute, when the defense is introduced. Needless to say we expect it to be quite an entrance.
3:46 p.m. EST: Both teams have left the field. The Eagles met in a big huddle at midfield before jogging through the tunnel. You can see how conflicted some Eagles fans are — a fan in a bright orange Dawkins Broncos jersey is cheering violently as the Eagles leave the field. Not sure which team he will be rooting for when the game kicks off in about a half-hour.
3:55 p.m. EST: The game will kick off in about 20 minutes, and Lincoln Financial Field is filling up quickly. You can sense the excitement for this matchup here in Philadelphia. Virtually every camera in the stadium is focused on the Broncos’ tunnel, waiting for Dawkins’ grand entrance.
4:04 p.m. EST: The Broncos are running onto the field and forming a line as the defense is being introduced. The moment all these fans have been waiting for is about to happen. Dawkins is introduced last and gets a full-blown standing ovation before sprinting through his teammates. The Broncos — and Dawkins — are fired up.
4:10 p.m. EST: It’s now time for the National Anthem. See you in the first half live blog.
-Gray Caldwell, DenverBroncos.com