COIN TOSS: The team captains are at midfield, and the Broncos have lost the toss. The Chargers have elected to receive.
Q1 15:00: Darren Sproles is deep to return the kick from Steven Hauschka and the ball bounces out of his hands. Teammates Curtis Brinkley returned it 29 yards to the San Diego 37-yard line. Denver’s defense has taken the field. Justin Bannan, Jamal Williams and Kevin Vickerson are starting on the defensive line. Jason Hunter, Wesley Woodyard, D.J. Williams and Mario Haggan are starting at linebacker, and Perrish Cox, Renaldo Hill, Brian Dawkins and Andre’ Goodman make up the starting secondary.
Q1 14:52: Ryan Matthews got the call on San Diego’s first three plays, running for 9 yards, 2 yards and then no gain. On second-and-10 from the San Diego 48-yard line, Andre’ Goodman stops Matthews for no gain again. Facing third-and-long, Philip Rivers takes the shotgun snap and Brian Dawkins rushes into the backfield for a 7-yard sack. Mike Scifres punts deep to Eddie Royal, who makes a block as the ball rolls into the end zone for a touchback.
Q1 11:37: The Broncos’ offense has jogged out onto the field. Ryan Clady, Zane Beadles, J.D. Walton, Chris Kuper and Ryan Harris are starting on the offensive line. Russ Hochstein is listed as an eligible receiver, and Daniel Graham and Richard Quinn are starting at tight end. Brandon Lloyd is starting at wide receiver, and Tim Tebow and Knowshon Moreno make up the starting backfield. Knowshon Moreno runs for 3 yards on first down, and Tim Tebow can’t complete a pass on second down. Tebow looks deep for Brandon Lloyd on third-and-7, but the receiver can’t make the catch in tight coverage. Antoine Cason is back to return the punt from Britton Colquitt, and he returns the 57-yard punt 14 yards to the San Diego 34-yard line.
Q1 10:39: Matthews takes the handoff on first down and gains 3 yards before running into a swarm of Broncos defenders led by Mario Haggan. On second down, D.J. Williams bursts through a hole in the offensive line and sacks Rivers for a 7-yard loss. Facing third-and-14, Rivers hits Darren Sproles on an 11-yard pass, and the Chargers have to punt. Scifres punts the ball 59 yards into the end zone, and the Broncos will start from the 20-yard line.
Q1 8:45: Lance Ball takes the pitch on first down, but the play is flagged dead for a false start before he can get going. On first-and-15 from the 15-yard line, Tebow hands off to Ball for no gain. Tebow dumps off a screen pass to Correll Buckhalter on the next lay, and Buckhalter sprints forward for a 17-yard gain and a first down.
Q1 7:45: Tim Tebow drops back and throws a bomb to Brandon Lloyd, but the receiver is double covered and Eric Weddle intercepts the ball. Richard Quinn tackles the safety after a 22-yard return, and the Chargers will start from their own 42-yard line.
Q1 7:28: Philip Rivers tries to complete his own deep pass, but Perrish Cox breaks up the attempt intended for Legedu Naanee. On the next play, Rivers finds Ryan Matthews, who turns a short pass into a 17-yard gain and a San Diego first down at Denver’s 42-yard line.
Q1 6:37: Ryan Matthews runs for 2 yards on first down, and Rivers is almost intercepted by Perrish Cox on the next play. Facing third-and-8, Rivers throws another risky pass, and Renaldo Hill intercepts the football. After a 31 yard return, the Broncos will start at San Diego’s 29-yard line.
Q1 5:39: Knowhson Moreno slips through the line of scrimmage for a 2-yard gain on first down. On the next play, Jabar Gaffney one-hands a pass from Tebow and turns the screen play into a 12-yard gain and a first down.
Q1 4:25: Tebow can’t complete the first-down pass to Demaryius Thomas, and Lance Ball runs for 2 yards on second down. Tebow drops back, can’t find a receiver and decides to tuck the ball and run. He picks up 10-yards up the middle for a first down and finds Brandon Lloyd wide open on the next play for a 14-yard touchdown pass. Steven Hauschka converts the extra point, and the Broncos have an early lead.
BRONCOS 7 CHARGERS 0
Q1 2:57: Darren Sproles is back deep to receive the kickoff from Hauschka, and he returns it 26 yards to the 24-yard line. Rivers finds Ryan Matthews on short pass for no gain on first down. Rivers lines up under center, appears to call and audible and hands off to Matthews 3 yards. On third-and-7, Rivers takes the shotgun snap and finds a wide-open Kelley Washington for 16 yards and a first down at the 43-yard line.
Q1 0:48: Ryan Matthews runs up the middle for 2 yards before Mario Haggan makes the tackle. On the next play, Rivers bobbles the ball in the air and rolls out to his left for 2 more yards. Wesley Woodyard makes the tackle, and the first quarter comes to a close.
HONORING ELAM The Broncos are honoring two-time Super Bowl Champion placekicker Jason Elam in the gap between the first and second quarters. Elam played 15 of his 17 years in Denver and is the franchise’s all-time leader in points.
Q2 15:00: Rivers opens up the second quarter with a 19-yard pass to Vincent Jackson, setting up a new series of downs for the Chargers at Denver’s 35-yard line.
Q2 14:49: Rivers connects with Jackson again, this time for an 8-yard gain. On second-and-2, Rivers hands off to Ryan Matthews, who starts off right, then cuts inside and breaks a tackle for a 27-yard touchdown run. The Broncos are called for a facemask penalty that will be enforced on the kickoff. Nate Kaeding hits the extra point to tie the contest.
BRONCOS 7 CHARGERS 7
*INJURY UPDATE* Marcus Thomas suffered a groin injury and his return is questionable.
Q2 13:52: Eric Decker and Cassius Vaughn wait on the short kickoff, but the ball sails into the end zone for a touchback. Lance Ball kickstarts the drive with a 4-yard run, and Tebow can’t find an open Brandon Lloyd for the deep pass on second down. The Broncos are called for holding and pushed back 10 yards from the spot of the foul to the 14-yard line. Buckhalter runs for 3 yards, setting up third-and-13. Tebow drops back to pass, but Brandon Lloyd is out of bounds by the time the quarterback finds him. Antoine Cason is back to receive Colquitt’s punt, and he returns the 52-yard punt 19 yards to the 50-yard line.
Q2 12:10: Rivers sets up in the shotgun, and Justin Bannan knocks down the short pass intended for Kris Wilson. Bannan has already set a career high for passes defensed, so he just added one more to that total. On second down, Ryan Matthews fumbles the football, but the Chargers recover for a 2-yard gain. On third-and-8, Rivers lofts up a high pass for Malcom Floyd in single coverage. Perrish Cox pulls him down while the ball is in the air, but Floyd makes a spectacular one-handed catch as he’s falling to the ground, and gets up before Brian Dawkins tackles him. The Chargers deny the pass interference penalty after the 41-yard completion.
Q2 11:02: On first-and-10 from the Broncos’ 7-yard line, Rivers hands off to Darren Sproles. On second down, Rivers drops back and tries to evade pressure from Ronald Fields before throwing the ball away. The pass did not cross the line of scrimmage, so Rivers is called for intentional grounding, and the Chargers lose a down at the spot of the foul. Now they face third-and-goal from the 20-yard line. Rivers drops back to pass, and Kevin Vickerson swoops in for the 4-yard sack. Nate Kaeding’s 42-yard field goal attempt splits the uprights.
CHARGERS 10 BRONCOS 7
Q2 9:59: Decker and Vaughn are back to receiver Kaeding’s kickoff, and Decker returns it to the 30-yard line. Tebow sets up in the shotgun and hands off to Moreno, who runs up the middle for 2 yards. Tebow fakes the handoff to Moreno on second down, and he rolls out to his left to avoid pressure before throwing the ball deep out of bounds. Facing third-and-8, Tebow takes the shotgun snap, steps up in the pocket and attempts a pass in the direction of Daniel Graham. Colquitt comes out and punts deep to Cason, who backs off and allows the ball to roll until it’s fielded by Cassius Vaughn at the San Diego 17-yard line.
Q2 8:50: Ryan Matthews handles the handoff and runs for 2 yards on first down. Matthews catches a short pass from Rivers for 3 yards on the next play, setting up third-and-5. Rivers takes the shotgun snap and tosses the ball up for Vincent Jackson. Perrish Cox pops the ball out of his hands, but Jackson snags it on his second try for a 26-yard gain at the San Diego 48-yard line.
Q2 6:46: Rivers’ first-down pass falls incomplete, and he hands off to Ryan Matthews on second down. Matthews runs for 3 yards before Wesley Woodyard tracks him down for the tackle. Facing third-and-7, Rivers takes the shotgun snap and finds a wide-open Randy McMichael for 17 yards and a first down.
Q2 5:101: Rivers finds Kris Wilson for a 3-yard gain on first down, and he hands off to Matthews on the next play. Matthews fumbles after he’s hit by Brian Dawkins, but San Diego recovers for no gain. Rivers’ third-down pass falls incomplete, and Kaeding is out to attempt a 45-yard field goal. The kick is good, and the Chargers increase their lead to six points.
CHARGERS 13 BRONCOS 7
Q2 3:45: Eric Decker receives the kickoff from Kaeding and takes a knee in the end zone for a touchback. Tebow takes the snap under center and completes a screen pass to Lance Ball, who runs forward for a 6-yard gain. On second down, Tebow hands off to Lance Ball, who breaks through the line for a 17-yard gain on the draw play.
Q2 2:29: Facing first-and-10 from Denver’s 43-yard line, Brandon Lloyd takes the pitch on an end-around, but the Chargers aren’t fooled. Shaun Phillips tackles the receiver for an 18-yard loss, and the Broncos let the clock tick down to the two-minute warning.
Q2 2:00: Tim Tebow tucks the ball and runs for a 7-yard gain, setting up a third-and-21 from the 32-yard line. San Diego called their first timeout of the half.
Q2 1:55: Correll Buckhalter runs for 4 yards on the draw, and San Diego calls their second timeout of the half. Colquitt punts 47 yards out of bounds, and San Diego will take over on the 17-yard line.
Q2 1:42: Darren Sproles runs for 10 yards on first down, and Rivers completes an 11-yard pass to Naanee on the next play. Rivers finds Malcom Floyd on the next play, hitting the receiver for a 16-yard gain before he runs out of bounds to stop the clock. Rivers next pass falls incomplete, and he follows that up for another incompletion when Andre’ Goodman drills Floyd. On third-and-10 from Denver’s 46-yard line, Rivers completes a pass to a leaping Seyi Ajirotutu for 17 yards and another first down.
Q2 0:26: Rivers can’t complete the next pass to Floyd, and Naanee can’t catch the pass after that. ON third-and-10 from the 29-yard line, Rivers takes the shotgun snap, rolls right and fires a pass just out of reach for Ajirotutu. Kaeding comes on the field to attempt a 47-yard field goal, and he drills it for his third field goal of the quarter.
CHARGERS 16 BRONCOS 7
Q2 0:09: Eric Decker receivs the kickoff and returns it to the 25-yard line. Tim Tebow takes a knee with four seconds left on the clock. That ends the first half of play. Check back with DenverBroncos.com in the second half blog for more updates from INVESCO Field at Mile High.