KICKOFF: Matt Prater is out to kick off to the Jaguars after the Broncos received to start the game.
Q3 15:00 Tiquan Underwood takes Prater’s kickoff out to the Jacksonville 47-yard line, where the Jaguars will start the second half. David Garrard hands off to Maurice Jones-Drew, who picks up a handful of yards before being taken down. On second-and-6 in Denver territory, Jones-Drew takes another handoff for a first down. The following play is another Jones-Drew carry, and the back picks up 2 yards. Second-and-8 brings a pitch to Jones-Drew, and he’s taken down after a 2-yard gain. There’s a flag on the play — offsides on Justin Bannan — negating the play and making it second-and-3 on the Denver 32-yard line. On the next play, Rashad Jennings picks up the remaining yards for a first down.
Q3 11:35 A 15-yard run by Jennings gives Jacksonville a first-and-10 at the Denver 11-yard line. On the next play, Jones-Drew tries to find the sideline, but he’s brought down after a gain of a yard. On second down, Garrard finds Marcedes Lewis for a 10-yard touchdown, the second scoring connection between the two on the day. Josh Scobee’s extra point is up and in, giving the Jaguars a seven-point lead. Just a quick update on the temperature at the start of the second half — it’s 93 degrees with a heat index of 105.
JAGUARS 14, BRONCOS 7
Q3 10:43 Perrish Cox fields the kickoff in the end zone, taking a knee for a touchback. On first down at the 20-yard line, Kyle Orton hands off to Knowshon Moreno, who cuts back against the grain to pick up a quick yard. Second down brings a pass from Orton to Dan Gronkowski for a gain of another 2 yards. That makes it third-and-7, and Orton lines up in the shotgun. He takes the snap, drops back and finds Eddie Royal, who sprints for the first down — a gain of 9.
Q3 8:43 Moreno takes a carry for 3 yards on first down. Second down brings a fake handoff and a pass from Orton that’s tipped at the line by Jeremy Mincey. That makes it third-and-7 at the 35-yard line. Orton is sacked again. On fourth down, Colquitt is in to punt, and he kicks it to the opposite 25-yard line. Returner Mike Thomas is downed after a 5-yard gain.
Q3 7:38 Champ Bailey is right there to stop a play from developing behind the line of scrimmage on first down — a loss of one. On second down, Bailey nearly picks off a pass intended for Mike Sims-Walker, getting a hand in to break up the pass. On third-and-11, Garrard has time in the backfield and fires to Thomas near the first-down marker. The refs are coming out for a measurement — and the ball is short. Jacksonville’s offense stays in the game on fourth-and-1 at its own 39-yard line. Before the play is run, Head Coach Josh McDaniels throws out his red challenge flag, challenging the spot of the ball. But apparently since Jacksonville didn’t get a first down, McDaniels can’t challenge how far away it was from a first down. Jones-Drew lines up and takes the carry on fourth down — and he’s stuffed by the Broncos defense, led by D.J. Williams. After the turnover on downs, the offense takes over at the spot — the Jacksonville 39-yard line.
Q3 6:06 The Broncos offense is back on the field, and first down is a fake handoff to Moreno and a quick pass from Orton, which he fired between a handful of Jaguars defenders into the arms of Gaffney for a first down. On the ensuing play, Moreno takes a handoff through a big hole on the right side of the line thanks to blocks from Stanley Daniels and Spencer Larsen, juking defenders for 17 yards. On first-and-goal at the 8-yard line, Orton fires quickly toward Brandon Lloyd, who fell on the play. Pass interference is called on Derek Cox, and the Broncos have the ball at the 1-yard line.
Q3 4:44: Jacksonville is challenging that the pass was tipped before the pass interference penalty, which would mean the contact was legal. After the challenge, the ruling on the field stands, and Denver has a first-and-goal at the 1. Moreno is stopped for no gain on first down. On second down, the second-year back takes it in for the touchdown. Prater’s extra point is up and in, tying the game at 14.
BRONCOS 14, JAGUARS 14
Q3 4:07: Prater’s kickoff sails about 6 yards into the end zone, but Underwood takes it out anyway. It turns out to be a good decision, as he gets out to the Jacksonville 47-yard line. A false start penalty before first down moves the ball back five yards, setting up first-and-15 at the 42. Garrard rolls to his right on the ensuing play, firing a pass that Brian Dawkins saw coming the whole way, and the veteran safety leaps to swat it out of the air. On second-and-15, Garrard lines up in the shotgun. He hands off to Jones-Drew, who is tackled after a gain of 4. Third-and-11 brings a pass from Garrard to Thomas for a first down, but there’s a flag on the play — illegal use of hands on Andre’ Goodman. The penalty is declined, and Jacksonville has a first down at the Denver 34-yard line after the 20-yard gain.
Q3 2:41: Kevin Vickerson gets involved on the next play, bringing down Jones-Drew at the line of scrimmage. On second-and-10, Garrard is nearly sacked by Ayers, but he gets off the pass to Zach Miller as he’s brought to the ground. The 2-yard gain makes it third-and-8 at the 32-yard line, and Garrard is in the shotgun. The quarterback finds Jones-Drew, but D.J. Williams is in hot pursuit, tackling the running back short of the first down. Josh Scobee is in to attempt a 45-yard field goal on fourth down. The kick is nearly blocked by Nate Jones, but it’s up and in to give the Jaguars the lead.
JAGUARS 17, BRONCOS 14
Q3 0:45: The rain has started pouring down, and the stands are rapidly emptying. Scobee’s kickoff sails out of the back of the end zone for a touchback, and Denver will take over at its own 20-yard line. Orton hands off to Moreno for a 2-yard gain on first down, which brings the third quarter to a close. Daniel Graham leads a sprint to the opposite side of the field, ready to start the fourth frame.
Q4 15:00: The game has been suspended due to lightning. We’ll check the radar. We’ve been told the delay is expected to last 15 minutes.
WEATHER UPDATE: We’ve been told that the players will be back on the field in approximately 10 minutes, at which point there will be a 10-minute warmup session before the game resumes.
The two teams are back on the field, running around and getting loose. The rain is still pouring down, but we haven’t seen lightning in a little while.
The rain is letting up, and the reprieve from the sun has lowered the temperature to 78 degrees — down from 93 at the start of the second half. The heat index has dropped from 105 to 80. It looks like play is about to resume.
Q4 14:59: The fans that have made their way back to their seats are getting loud as the Broncos line up for a second-and-8 at their own 22-yard line. Orton lines up in the shotgun and quickly lofts a pass downfield to Lloyd, who dives to make the reception. Jacksonville is challenging the play, however.
Q4 14:33: The pass is ruled complete, meaning Jack Del Rio has used two challenges and lost both — he’s out of challenges for the remainder of the game. On the ensuing first down, Moreno takes a carry forward for 5 yards. On second-and-10 at the Jacksonville 46-yard line, Correll Buckhalter picks up a yard on a carry. On third-and-4, Orton lines up in the shotgun. The quarterback looks downfield, feels the pressure and scrambles forward out of the pocket, diving for the first down.
Q4 12:58: Denver calls its first timeout of the second half. Afterwards, on first-and-10 at the Jacksonville 40-yard line, Orton hands off to Buckhalter, who tries to find the sideline — but he’s brought down for no gain. On second down, Orton lines up in the shotgun. He fires a pass intended for Buckhalter that’s tipped into the air by Derrick Harvey before falling incomplete. On third-and-10, the crowd that’s left at EverBank is on its feet. Orton drops back into the shotgun but there’s a delay of game penalty on the offense. Third-and-15 brings a quick screen pass to Eddie Royal, who is brought down at the 36-yard line. Matt Prater jogs out to attempt a 54-yard field goal. It’s up and in, tying the game. The kicker is now 8-of-10 on 50-plus yard field goals in his career.
BRONCOS 17, JAGUARS 17
Q4 11:13: Underwood fields Prater’s kickoff and doesn’t get back to the 20-yard line before being taken down by Spencer Larsen and a gang of Broncos. On first-and-10 at the 17-yard line, Jones-Drew grabs a quick screen pass and picks up 2 yards, but there’s a flag on the play. It’s a personal foul on Ryan McBean for a facemask, pushing the ball up to the 34-yard line. On the ensuing first down, Jones-Drew finds the sideline and picks up 8 yards on a carry.
Q4 10:13: Jones-Drew stays on his feet and picks up a first down — but there’s a flag on the play. It’s a facemask on Ryan McBean again. Now the ball is at the Denver 35-yard line, where Rashad Jennings is brought down for no gain on a first-down carry. On second-and-10, Robert Ayers is there to make the tackle on a quick pass to Mike Thomas — a gain of 7 yards. On third-and-3 at the 28-yard line, Garrard scrambles forward for a first down. Dawkins is there with a big hit at the end — and the safety’s helmet flies off.
Q4 7:59: Garrard connects with Kassim Osgood for a touchdown, and the receiver is flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct after the score. The 15-yard penalty will be assessed on the kickoff. Scobee’s extra point is up and in, and the Jaguars retake the lead.
JAGUARS 24, BRONCOS 17
Q4 7:49: Due to the penalty, Perrish Cox ends up fielding the ball just inside the 20-yard line. He finds the sideline and gets out to the Denver 43-yard line. On the ensuing first down, Orton launches a pass deep toward Lloyd, who makes the catch but lands out of bounds. On second down, Orton lines up in the shotgun and fires another deep pass to Lloyd as he’s drilled in the backfield. The receiver dives under the ball for a 25-yard gain. On the Jacksonville 32-yard line, Orton hands off to Moreno, who sprints forward for an 11-yard gain. On first-and-10 at the 21-yard line, Moreno is stopped for a loss of a yard.
Q4 5:49: On second-and-11, Orton lines up in the shotgun. He avoids pressure and takes off before sliding at about the 14-yard line. That brings up third-and-3. The crowd is loud as Orton drops back into the shotgun. He throws a pass that’s tipped at the line, and the offense stays on the field. Before the play can be run, Jacksonville calls a timeout — its third and final of the second half.
Q4 4:47: The offense is on the field on fourth-and-3 at the Jacksonville 14-yard line. Orton lines up in the shotgun and takes the snap. He finds Lloyd in the corner of the end zone, and the receiver makes the catch. He’s ruled out of bounds, however, and Lloyd is down after the play. He runs back to the sideline under his own power. It’s a turnover on downs.
Q4 4:41: Jones-Drew takes a first-down carry 6 yards, and Jacksonville lets the clock run down as far as it can. The running back picks up a first down on the next carry. The clock continues to run as Jones-Drew takes another handoff. This one goes for a gain of 3. On second-and-7, Jones-Drew is taken down after a gain of a yard. Denver calls its second timeout of the half.
Q4 2:23: On third-and-6, Garrard tries to scramble for the first down, but he’s brought down short of the marker to bring up fourth down as the clock winds down to the two-minute warning.
Q4 2:00: The crowd is dancing to “Sweet Home Alabama” right now. I thought that was a rival to this typically pro-Florida Gators crowd? Afterward, Perrish Cox takes Podlesh’s punt to the 23-yard line. On first down, Orton quickly passes to Royal for a 2-yard gain. The next play is a pass from Orton deep to Lloyd, who has a first down but he’s in the middle of the field and the clock continues to run. The offense hurries back to the line with about a minute left in the game. Orton drops back into the shotgun on first-and-10 at the 36-yard line and launches deep toward Jabar Gaffney, but the pass is nearly intercepted.
Q4 0:53: On second-and-10, Orton fires for an interception, and No. 52 Daryl Smith slides to give the Jacksonville offense the ball and effectively end the game. Garrard takes a knee twice and the game is over — the Jaguars win, 24-17, and the Broncos start the season 0-1. The team is back at INVESCO Field at Mile High next week to take on the Seattle Seahawks in the regular-season home opener.
-Gray Caldwell, DenverBroncos.com