COIN TOSS: The captains are at midfield, and the Broncos call heads. It is heads, and the Broncos elect to receive. Kickoff is on the way.
Q1 15:00: Deep to receive for the Broncos is Eddie Royal — Kenny McKinley is back as well. The kick is off and Royal receives it at the 3-yard line. He fakes a pitch to McKinley then sprints toward the right sideline, finding some space and breaking a couple tackles to the 33-yard line.
Q1 14:53: The starting offense is on the field, led by Kyle Orton at quarterback. Knowshon Moreno is in the backfield at running back and Spencer Larsen is in at fullback. Brandon Marshall is out wide at receiver. Daniel Graham and Tony Scheffler are at tight end, and the starting offensive line is Ryan Clady, Russ Hochstein, Casey Wiegmann, Chris Kuper and Tyler Polumbus.
Q1 14:03: The first play of the game is a handoff to Moreno, who bursts up the right side of the line for a 28-yard gain.
Q1 12:47: After a Moreno run for no gain and a reception for a loss of a yard, the Broncos were left with a 3rd-and-11. But Orton lined up in the shotgun and fired down the left sideline to a wide open Marshall for a 40-yard touchdown strike. That’s the kind of four-play scoring drive Orton talked about in his weekly press conference this week. The Matt Prater extra point is good, and the Broncos are out to an early lead.
BRONCOS 7, REDSKINS 0
Q1 12:42: The Redskins will take over at their own 22-yard line. The starting defense is on the field, with Kenny Peterson, Ronald Fields and Le Kevin Smith on the line, Elvis Dumervil, D.J. Williams, Andra Davis and Mario Haggan at linebacker and Champ Bailey, Andre’ Goodman, Brian Dawkins and Renaldo Hill in the secondary.
Q1 12:37: The first play of the day for the Redskins offense is a carry by Ladell Betts for a gain of two.
Q1 11:20: A six-yard pickup on a pass from Jason Campbell to Fred Davis set up the Redskins with a 3rd-and-2, which was narrowly picked up by Rock Cartwright. On the ensuing first down, Robert Ayers nearly picked off an attempted screen pass with nothing but green in front of him — but it feel incomplete, setting up 2nd-and-10.
Q1 9:53: Campbell found Betts for a six-yard gain on 3rd-and-5, giving the Redskins a first down at their own 44-yard line. A 17-yard gain by Cartwright sets up another first down at the Denver 39-yard line. He was brought down by a big hit by Dawkins.
Q1 8:10: The Redskins have another first down on a completion from Campbell to Antwaan Randle El — a 10-yard gain to the 20-yard line. They follow that up with a play-action pass to Davis down to the 5-yard line — another first down.
Q1 7:17: Campbell threw behind his receiver on 1st-and-goal, and a gang tackle by the Broncos defense on second down sets up 3rd-and-goal for the Redskins from the 2-yard line. It’s a fake handoff followed by a strike from Campbell to tight end Todd Yoder in the end zone. The Shaun Suisham extra point is good and ties the game.
BRONCOS 7, REDSKINS 7
Q1 6:32: On the kickoff, Suisham booted the ball out of bounds in the air, and the penalty will give the Broncos the football at their 40-yard line on the other side of a TV timeout.
Q1 6:24: Orton fakes a handoff and finds Scheffler for a nine-yard completion to set up 2nd-and-1. On the next play, Correll Buckhalter took a handoff three yards for the first down. The ensuing play brought an end-around to Marshall, who picked up nine yards to the Washington 39-yard line.
Q1 4:36: Buckhalter took another carry on second down, finding space down the right sideline. He broke a couple tackles before being hit and fumbling the ball, which was recovered by the Redskins at their own 31-yard line. The defense is now back on the field.
Q1 4:24: The Redskins pick up a yard on first down, and Campbell is in the shotgun on second down. He tries to find Betts out of the backfield, but the pass falls incomplete, setting up 3rd-and-9. Campbell’s pass goes through the hands of Santana Moss on the play, and Royal is back deep to field the punt. He calls for a fair catch at the 25-yard line.
REDSKINS INJURY UPDATE: Cornerback DeAngelo Hall is sidelined with a wrist injury, and his return is questionable.
Q1 3:46 Hall is back in the game already — looks like the wrist wasn’t a big issue. The Broncos’ next drive is exactly one play — a 75-yard touchdown pass to a wide-open Marshall. He was the only receiver in on the play. Prater’s extra point is up and in and the Broncos are back up by a touchdown after an 11-second drive.
BRONCOS 14, REDSKINS 7
Q1 2:45: Two runs net the Redskins six yards, and it’s 3rd-and-4. Campbell acts like he might take off but he fires a pass as he reaches the line of scrimmage for a 26-yard gain and a first down by Randle El. The ensuing first down brings a deep pass toward Moss — but it’s overthrown and falls incomplete.
Q1 0:50 Campbell is in the shotgun on 3rd-and-4, and his pass bounces off the hands of his tight end, Davis, forcing a punt. Royal is back deep to field it, and again calls for a fair catch — this time the offense will take over at its own 15-yard line.
Q1 0:38 A run by Moreno for a gain of five will bring the first quarter to a close. The Broncos will have a 2nd-and-5 when the second quarter begins, up 14-7.
Q2 14:40 Orton’s pass to Scheffler is complete for a first down, and the ensuing play is the Wild Horse formation — but it’s a loss of a yard for Moreno on the carry. That makes it 2nd-and-11, and Orton is under center. He fakes a handoff before firing to Royal, who breaks some tackles and picks up yardage — but there is a flag for an ineligible man downfield, and the play is coming back. Now it turns out there were two flags on the play, and another was offensive pass interference on Scheffler — so it’s 2nd-and-21 for the Broncos at their own 16-yard line.
Q2 12:40 On second down, Orton completes a pass to Marshall, but he is immediately tackled by Rocky McIntosh — a hit that draws “ooohs” from the crowd. Marshall gets right back up, however, and Washington calls a timeout before the Broncos can run their third-down play.
Q2 12:39 On 3rd-and-16, Orton fired downfield toward Royal, who had beaten his receiver by at least five yards. The pass flew over his head, however, forcing a punt by Mitch Berger. David Bruton makes the tackle for a 0-yard return by Moss, setting up the Redskins at their own 34-yard line.
Q2 12:19 Elvis Dumervil is in Campbell’s face on first down, forcing an incompletion. On second down, Campbell hands off to Betts, who is brought down by Peterson and Davis for no gain. That makes it 3rd-and-10, and Dumervil nearly has a sack, but Campbell gets the ball out and Cartwright picks up eight yards, but it is fourth down nonetheless.
Q2 10:56 On first down, Orton fires deep yet again to Marshall, who nearly hauls it in, but Hall is there in coverage and the pass falls incomplete. Hall believes he had an interception, however, violently motioning toward his sideline for a red challenge flag to be thrown. No flag is thrown, however, and Moreno picks up three yards on the ensuing play. Another handoff to Moreno on third down brings a loss of three, and Berger is in to punt.
Q2 9:30: A facemask penalty on the punt return sets up the Redskins with a first down at their own 41-yard line. First down brings a run by Quinton Ganther for a two-yard gain. Campbell is almost sacked by a group of Broncos on second down, but manages to scramble out of the pocket, running for a 13-yard gain and a first down at the Denver 43-yard line.
Q2 7:30: The Redskins have another first down at the 25-yard line after a pass to Ganther. Ganther takes the handoff on the next play for no gain, and it’s 2nd-and-10. Dumervil hits Campbell on second down, nearly notching a sack, but Campbell gets the ball out of his hands. There’s a flag on the field, however — intentional grounding. A 10-yard penalty and loss of a down. That makes it 3rd-and-20 from the 35-yard line.
Q2 6:43: With Campbell in the shotgun, Cartwright goes in motion before the quarterback throws an incomplete pass toward his tight end, Davis. Suisham comes into the game to attempt a 53-yard field goal, but the field goal unit goes in motion and it looks like a fake — but Washington calls its second timeout of the half.
Q2 6:39: Suisham is in again to attempt the 53-yarder. The team goes in motion again and it’s a fake field goal pass — a 35-yard touchdown pass from punter Hunter Smith to fullback Mike Sellers. The extra point is up and in, and the score is again tied.
BRONCOS 14, REDSKINS 14
Q2 6:30: LaMont Jordan fields the short kickoff and is hit hard by Washington defensive lineman Lorenzo Alexander. There’s a flag on the play — block in the back on the Broncos, so Denver will take over at its own 11-yard line.
Q2 6:26: Moreno fights his way to the sideline and picks up seven yards on a first-down run.
Q2 5:26: Moreno tries to find the sideline again on second down but is brought down for no gain. On third down, Orton finds Stokley in the middle of the field for a first down. It’s a 15-yard gain to the 33-yard line. On the ensuing play, Orton hands off to Moreno, who picks up another first down — a 10-yard gain.
Q2 4:12: Moreno fights his way for a two-yard gain on first down, and the Broncos have a 2nd-and-8 at their own 45-yard line. Orton is under center, and Scheffler goes in motion. He gets it to Royal quickly just past the line of scrimmage, and Royal breaks some tackles before being tackled very close to the first-down marker. The refs are asking for a measurement — and Royal has the first down.
Q2 2:49: Orton fakes a handoff but can’t find anyone downfield, so he scrambles out of the pocket and fires the ball out of bounds, setting up 2nd-and-10 at the Washington 47-yard line. Orton finds Royal on the ensuing play, and the receiver cuts back infield, making his receiver fall down, before picking up the first down.
TWO MINUTE WARNING: A one-yard gain by Moreno sets up a 2nd-and-9 at the Washington 33-yard line on the other end of the two-minute warning.
Q2 1:55 It’s 3rd-and-9 after an incomplete pass to Moreno on second down. Orton lines up in the shotgun as the crowd gets animated. He has lots of time in the pocket and finds Scheffler in the middle of the field for a 12-yard gain and the first down.
Q2 1:07 Orton tries to find Marshall in the back corner of the end zone on first down, but it’s broken up by the Washington secondary. He goes back to Marshall on second down, and he picks up nine yards to the 12-yard line. Denver calls a timeout with 52 second remaining.
Q2 0:52: Brandon Gorin and Russ Hochstein have reported as eligible linemen. It’s a handoff to Moreno, and with Larsen leading the way at fullback, he picks up the first down. As the clock ticks down, the offense gets back to the line of scrimmage. Orton operates out of the shotgun and his pass is tipped on first down by Albert Haynesworth, stopping the clock.
Q2 0:20: Orton throws the ball out of the back of the end zone on second down, as he couldn’t find anyone in the end zone. That sets up 3rd-and-goal at the 10-yard line. Orton is in the shotgun and he is forced to take off with it, picking up three yards. That makes it fourth down, and Denver calls a timeout.
Q2 0:05: Matt Prater drives home a 24-yard field goal to give the Broncos the lead just before halftime.
BRONCOS 17, REDSKINS 14
Q2 0:00: Cartwright finds a little space on the kickoff return after Prater squibbed it down the middle of the field, but Darcel McBath makes the tackle to bring the first half to a close. The Broncos lead it 17-14 on the strength of two Orton-to-Marshall touchdowns and a Prater field goal.
See you in the second half live blog.
-Gray Caldwell, DenverBroncos.com