Here we are in the press box at M&T Bank Stadium for just the second 1 p.m. Eastern kickoff of the season — the first was the season opener in Cincinnati. Hope you all remembered to set your clocks back an hour last night. It took a minute to figure out what time to set the alarm for last night, what with it already being two hours earlier than Denver time, then losing another hour.
It’s a little rainy here in Baltimore, though the precipitation seems to have stopped falling for the moment. Here’s the weather report for today’s game:
A few players are already on the field warming up — including Mario Haggan, Robert Ayers, Chris Simms, Kyle Orton, Tom Brandstater, Lonie Paxton and Brandon Stokley.
Stokley is talking with a few Ravens — it looks like he’s reminiscing with Todd Heap at the moment. The 11th-year receiver started his career with Baltimore, and caught a touchdown for the first points of Super Bowl XXXV, a Ravens win.
11:49 a.m. EST: About to get some pictures back from the field, courtesy of Zach Eisendrath. It’s the time of pregame when the long snappers, kickers and punters are on the field in uniform for both teams. Paxton is snapping to Mitch Berger, who is holding for Matt Prater field goal attempts as the rain is falling again.
11:52 a.m. EST: The Ravens are wearing their purple home jerseys with white pants, and the Broncos are clad in all white.
11:53 a.m. EST: Was just handed the sheet with the inactives — Chris Baker, Brandon Gorin, LaMont Jordan, Brandon Lloyd, Kenny McKinley, Jarvis Moss and Seth Olsen will be sitting out today’s game for the Broncos. Tom Brandstater is listed on the inactives as well, and will serve as the team’s third quarterback.
For the Ravens, LB Antwan Barnes, T Oniel Cousins, LB/DE Paul Kruger, G/T Tony Moll, RB Jalen Parmele, NT Kelly Talavou and CB Frank Walker are inactive. QB John Beck will serve as the team’s third quarterback.
12:11 p.m. EST: Here are a few pregame photos from Zach:
We’ll post more in the pregame gallery, which will be up on the site just before kickoff.
12:13 p.m. EST: A couple interesting notes from the field. As Kyle Sonneman was heading down to pick up the photos from Zach, he said the 1990s song “Only Happy When It Rains” by Garbage. Pretty funny ode to the rainy weather, which looks like it will stick around for the remainder of the game.
In addition, a giant mascot for Empire Today — the carpet company with the catchy jingle about its phone number (800 588, 2300, Empire! Today!) is on the field. Pretty funny. Here’s a clip to refresh your memory –
12:20 p.m. MDT: The entire Broncos squad is on the field stretching and getting warmed up. David Bruton just ran up to former Notre Dame teammate and current Ravens safety Tom Zbikowski for a quick greeting. Knowshon Moreno looks like he’s ready for the game — he sprinted from the tunnel to the middle of the field, looked around while standing in the Ravens’ seal, then sprinted to the other end zone before heading back to stretch with his teammates.
12:36 p.m. EST: Both teams have left the field, and the stadium staff look to be setting up the pyrotechnics for the Ravens’ entrances in about 20 minutes. We’re about 23 minutes from kickoff at the moment.
12:44 p.m. EST: The Ravens marching band is performing on the field at the moment, and not many fans are in the stands at the moment. It could be the rain that’s keeping them away, we’ll see — there’s still a little bit of time for them to make it to the stadium and their seats before kickoff.
12:45 p.m. EST: Brig. Gen. Guy Walsh and some military Ravens fans are live from Kandahar Air Field in Afghanistan, addressing the crowd from the big screen and setting up the national anthem. The color guard has made its way toward the middle of the field as “Proud to Be an American” is playing through the speakers.
12:51 p.m. EST: The Broncos defense is being introduced as a unit — to some boos from the Baltimore crowd. Even though the defense got the introduction — Knowshon Moreno was still the first man out of the tunnel, sprinting to midfield and looking at both sidelines before running back to join the high-five line for the defensive players.
12:54 p.m. EST: The stands are filling up a little more as the Baltimore cheerleaders line the field. The Ravens are sprinting onto the field to U2′s “Where the Streets Have No Name.” The intro that played just beforehand was to the tune of Rage Against the Machine’s “Bulls on Parade.”
The offense is getting the introduction this time around — we don’t get a glimpse of the infamous Ray Lewis intro dance. The last man out of the tunnel is Derrick Mason as the Broncos are on the sideline getting pumped up — lots of jumping around.
12:57 p.m. EST: Now it’s time for the National Anthem as four jets make a flyover past M&T Bank Stadium. The singer started out very quickly during the anthem, then had to hold out close to every word as the anthem came to a close — he had to slow down to allow the jets to make it to the stadium in time for the flyover.
Now the captains are at midfield for the coin toss. See you in the first half live blog.
-Gray Caldwell, DenverBroncos.com