COIN TOSS: The Broncos call heads, and the coin lands on heads. Denver has elected to receive to start the game, and Week 8 is about to kick off.
14:55: The starting offense is on the field. Four receivers are in the lineup — Jabar Gaffney, Brandon Stokley, Brandon Marshall and Eddie Royal. Knowshon Moreno is at running back and Kyle Orton is under center at quarterback. The offensive line is Ryan Clady, Ben Hamilton, Casey Wiegmann, Chris Kuper and Ryan Harris.
14:07: The first play of the game is a sack for a loss of eight yards, followed by a screen to Daniel Graham and a screen to Marshall. The drive nets a total of -1 yards, and Berger is on to make his first punt as a Bronco. It’s a 40-yard punt.
12:53: The starting defense is now on the field — Kenny Peterson, Ronald Fields and Ryan McBean on the line, Mario Haggan, Andra Davis, D.J. Williams and Elvis Dumervil at linebacker, and Champ Bailey, Andre’ Goodman, Brian Dawkins and Renaldo Hill in the secondary.
11:48: Hill takes down Ray Rice in the backfield for a loss of three on first down. Rice takes the handoff again on second down, finding the sideline for a quick eight yards. That sets up 3rd-and-5, and Joe Flacco holds on to the ball, drops back and fires toward Todd Heap. The tight end gets very close to the first down marker, and the refs give the Ravens the first.
10:59: Flacco can’t connect with Heap on first down, and Hill almost comes away with an interception as the ball bounces to the turf. On second down, Flacco again can’t find his receiver, as he tried to get the ball to Derrick Mason, but Goodman broke up the pass. Third down brings a long pass attempt by Flacco, but Dawkins is right there to get his hand up and break up the pass intended for Kelley Washington. Royal is back deep to receive the punt, and he makes it back out to the 20-yard line, where the Broncos offense will take over for its second drive of the game.
10:38: A little different look this time around — two tight ends are in the game. Graham and Tony Scheffler are on the line, but it’s a handoff to Correll Buckhalter. He picks up five yards to the 25-yard line. It’s the same formation on second down, and Orton steps back into the shotgun. Marshall quickly goes in motion as the crowd gets loud. Orton tries to find Marshall but it’s broken up by Fabian Washington.
9:51: It’s 3rd-and-5 for the Broncos, and it’s a toss to Buckhalter, who is brought down near the line of scrimmage by safety Dawan Landry. Berger is in to punt again — and it’s a fair catch by Chris Carr at the Baltimore 40-yard line. That’s a 37-yard punt.
8:54: Baltimore’s first-down play is a completion to Heap for seven yards. Second down brings a handoff to Rice, who is drilled by Dawkins after a quick gain of two. A quarterback keeper by Flacco on 3rd-and-1 picks up the first down for the Ravens.
7:15: The Ravens are going with a no-huddle offense, and Flacco quickly finds Rice in the middle of the field, but he’s brought down by the two Broncos inside linebackers — Davis and Williams — after a gain of just two. Flacco finds Mason on the ensuring play to set up 3rd-and-1 again — and again a Flacco keeper picks up the first down.
5:56: A Rice carry to the sideline picks up three yards on first down, setting up a 2nd-and-7 for Baltimore at the Denver 36-yard line. Flacco drops back and dumps off the pass to Rice, who bobbles it for a moment before regaining control and being brought down for no gain. Now it’s 3rd-and-7 for the Ravens, who are still going with a no-huddle offense. Flacco is in the shotgun, and he drops back and fires an incompletion toward Mason, who complains to the referees that he didn’t get a flag before taking off his helmet and throwing it, drawing a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty from the official. That takes the Ravens out of potential field goal range, and the crowd doesn’t like it. It’s fourth down.
4:51: Sam Koch will punt with the ball at the Baltimore 49-yard line. Royal is back deep to receive, and lets it bounce through the back of the end zone. It’s a touchback for Denver, and the offense will again take over at the 20-yard line.
4:43: The Broncos have a 1st-and-10 and the Baltimore crowd is getting noisy and into the contest. Orton is under center, and hands off to Moreno, who finds some space for a quick nine-yard gain. Moreno takes it again on second down, bouncing off a tackler for the first down.
3:40: The ensuring first down brings another carry from Moreno, who picks up two yards. Orton drops back and fires the ball to Moreno on a quick screen, but the rookie is drilled by Ed Reed, and Moreno fumbles the ball. Baltimore recovers the fumble, but McDaniels has thrown the red challenge flag.
2:44: After the review, the ruling on the field stands as a fumble, and Denver is charged its first timeout. Baltimore has a first down at the Denver 23-yard line. Flacco is almost sacked by Haggan before scrambling up the middle and being taken down by Fields afte ra two-yard gain. Willis McGahee is tackled near the line of scrimmage on second down — it’s ruled as a loss of two, in fact. That makes it 3rd-and-10 at the 23-yard line, and Flacco is in the shotgun. Flacco’s pass is complete to Mark Clayton, but he is immediately brought down for a loss of two on the play. The defense stands strong, and the Ravens will attempt a 43-yard field goal.
0:56: Steve Hauschka’s 43-yard attempt is good, and the Ravens take an early lead.
RAVENS 3, BRONCOS 0
0:50: Royal takes the kickoff out of the end zone and is brought down after a 16-yard return and the offense takes over at its own 12-yard line. On first down, Orton is chased out of the pocket, but he rolls right and picks up the first down — an 11-yard carry.
0:25: Orton hands off to Buckhalter on the ensuing first down — a quick gain of three as the first quarter comes to a close.
Q2 15:00: Second down brings another carry by Buckhalter — a gain of three to the 29-yard line. That brings of 3rd-and-4 for the Broncos. Orton is in the shotgun with Buckhalter to his left. Gaffney, Marshall, Stokley and Royal are on the field. Royal breaks free a little from his defender, and Orton fires to him — but he dives and can’t bring it in. That brings up fourth down, and Ryan Harris is slow to get up. The trainers are out to take a look at him.
Q2 14:19: Harris walks off the field with the help of trainers, and Berger is on the field to punt. The punt sails high but only 29 yards — and Carr is wrapped up immediately by David Bruton and company for a loss of a yard on the return. The Ravens take over at their own 41-yard line.
Q2 13:54: A two-yard gain by Ray Rice sets up 2nd-and-8, and Baltimore is still in the no huddle. Flacco drops back and fires high intended for Clayton — incomplete, bringing up 3rd-and-8.
Q2 13:21: Flacco drops back and has a good amount of time to drop a pass off to Heap — who is immediately drilled by Dawkins short of the first down. It’s a four-yard gain, and Koch is in to punt for the Ravens. The ball sails out at the 24-yard line, where the Denver offense will take over.
INJURY UPDATE: Ryan Harris has a toe injury, and is doubtful to return. He is being taken to the locker room on a cart.
Q2 12:49: Tyler Polumbus is in at right tackle, replacing Harris. Orton is in the shotgun as the Broncos have a 1st-and-10. He hands off to Moreno, who bounces off a few tackles to pick up a first down before being taken down by Lewis.
Q2 12:19: Orton is hit as he lets go of the pass on first down, and it is very nearly picked off by Terrell Suggs — but he can’t bring it in, and a pass interference call on Marshall moves the line of scrimmage back and sets up the Broncos with a 1st-and-20. A quick three-yard gain by Marshall on the ensuing play sets up a 2nd-and-17 for the Broncos, and an Orton pass is tipped at the line before falling incomplete.
Q2 11:27: The Broncos have a 3rd-and-17 at their own 29-yard line, and Orton is in the shotgun. He drops back and finds Buckhalter for a quick screen, but he’s brought down after a short gain. Berger is in to punt.
Q2 10:54: Carr calls for a fair catch on another high Berger punt that sails just 33 yards. The Ravens take over at their own 37-yard line.
Q2 10:53: On first down, Flacco fakes a handoff to Rice before firing very high to Clayton — who leaps in the air and comes down with it in space. He’s brought down immediately, however, and the Ravens have a first down at the Denver 45-yard line.
Q2 9:53: The Ravens are back in a huddle after a 5-yard gain on the ensuing play by Rice. He takes the carry on second down, picking up two more yards and setting up 3rd-and-3. Washington catches a Flacco pass for a first down, then proceeds to dance and demonstrate violently that he picked up the first down.
Q2 8:29: Rice takes yet another carry on the ensuing first down, picking up four yards. The second-down play is stopped after a false start by the Ravens. That makes it 2nd-and-11 at the Denver 31-yard line.
Q2 7:30: Flacco is very nearly brought down for a sack on a blitz by Dawkins, but he dumps the ball off to Rice before being brought down, and Rice picks up 10 yards. On 3rd-and-1, Rice picks up the first down, but after the play is over, rookie Baltimore tackle Michael Oher is called for a 15-yard penalty, bringing the ball back to the Denver 23-yard line, but the Ravens still have a 1st-and-10.
Q2 6:45: Rice is brought down for a loss of two yards on the ensuing play, and 2nd-and-12 brings a sack by Le Kevin Smith for another loss of two. On the next play, Flacco fires downfield for Mason, who brings in the pass, but is taken down by Bailey short of the first down.
Q2 4:58: Hauschka’s 35-yard field goal attempt on fourth down is good, and the Ravens extend their early lead by three points.
RAVENS 6, BRONCOS 0
Q2 4:52: Royal takes the kickoff to the 19-yard line, where the offense takes over. The rain appears to have stopped, and Orton takes the snap in the shotgun before rolling to his right and finding Buckhalter up the right sideline. The running back picks up 11 yards and a first down.
Q2 4:25: Orton is under center, and hands off to Buckhalter on first down. The running back takes it up the middle for a gain of a yard. On second down, Orton is under center again. Peyton Hillis is in motion to the right sideline, and Orton finds the fullback for a gain of four yards. That brings up 3rd-and-5 for the Broncos at their own 35-yard line. Orton is in the shotgun and finds Royal, who spins to pick up the first down as two defenders make the tackle.
Q2 2:32: Buckhalter takes a carry up the right sideline for five yards, setting up 2nd-and-5 as the clock ticks down to the two-minute warning.
Q2 2:00: Today’s attendance was just announced as 71,132 as the Broncos walk back to the line for second down. The crowd is chanting “Defense!” with Orton in the shotgun. Buckhalter is to his right, and three receivers are on the field. He rolls to his right and finds Buckhalter for a quick four-yard gain, setting up 3rd-and-1.
1:24: Orton hands off to Buckhalter, who works his way to the left of the line and stretches out the ball for the first down.
1:00: The clock is still ticking with Orton in the shotgun. Before he can take the snap, Baltimore calls its first team timeout.
Q2 0:55: The Broncos have a 1st-and-10 at the Baltimore 47-yard line. Orton is in the shotgun with Buckhalter to his right. Stokley goes in motion, so three receivers are to the left and Gaffney is to the right. Orton is chased out of the pocket, rolls to the right and throws incomplete as he is brought down by a Baltimore defender.
Q2 0:50: A quick screen to Marshall picks up seven yards to the Baltimore 40-yard line, and Denver calls a timeout to stop the clock.
Q2 0:42: Orton is in the shotgun on 3rd-and-3, and he tries to find a streaking Marshall, but the pass falls incomplete. At the 40-yard line, the team elects to punt, and Berger is back on the field.
Q2 0:36: A delay of game penalty backs the ball up five yards, and Berger is still back to punt. With a little more room to work with, he punts the ball inside the 10-yard line, and Ed Reed elects to pick it up off a bounce. He is brought down right away by Spencer Larsen at the 8-yard line. It’s a 40-yard punt by Berger.
Q2 0:27: Flacco takes a knee to bring us to halftime with the Ravens leading the Broncos, 6-0.
-Gray Caldwell, DenverBroncos.com