15:00: Andre Hall and Michael Pittman are back to receive the kickoff, and we’re underway. Hall takes a knee in the back of the endzone and the Broncos will start first-and-10 at their own 20. The starters are the same as introduced before the game, and Tony Scheffler joins the fray as the 11th starter.
15:00: Brandon Marshall starts the game fast as he takes a wide receiver screen pass and takes it nine yards, running into the ref in the middle of the field and giving the Chargers enough time to catch up for the tackle.
14:00: Cutler drops back and lets it fly to a wide open Scheffler for 24 yards. First down.
13:39: Cutler gets it to Marshall again and this time the receiver takes it for 11 yards and another first down. The Broncos offense is on a roll.
12:51: Scheffler catches the ball at his shoestrings and turns what looked like an incomplete pass into a five-yard gain. Second-and-5 on the San Diego 31-yard line.
12:18: After a false start penalty, it’s third-and-10 on the San Diego 36. Another false start penalty makes it third-and-15. Cutler drops back and tries to find Brandon Stokley in traffic — the pass falls incomplete and Brett Kern trots out to punt the ball away from the San Diego 41.
12:06: Kern booms the punt to the back of the endzone and the Chargers will get the ball at their own 20 to start their first drive. Dre’ Bly is hyping up the crowd as the Broncos defensive starters step onto the field. D.J. Williams, Nate Webster and Boss Bailey are the linebackers. Champ Bailey, Marquand Manuel and Marlon McCree join Bly in the secondary. Elvis Dumervil, Dewayne Robertson, Marcus Thomas and John Engelberger round out the starters on the defensive line.
12:06: First-and-10 Chargers and Bly has the crowd on its feet. LaDainian Tomlinson tries to run up the right side and is stopped after a one-yard gain by Boss Bailey.
11:31: Philip Rivers finds Chris Chambers, and it looks like a first down — but Champ Bailey rips the ball out of his hands for an interception. He got up and ran into the endzone for what appeared to be a touchdown, but the refs intervened, saying he was down by contact after the pick. First-and-10 for the Broncos at the San Diego 29-yard line.
11:20: San Diego is challenging the ruling on the field. It was just reported that the replay equipment is not functioning, and the refs will wait the allotted two minutes to see if it can be fixed.
Update: The equpiment couldn’t be fixed, so the play stands as called on the field. The Chargers aren’t charged a time out, however, since it couldn’t be challenged.
11:20: First and 10 for the Broncos and Andre Hall takes it up the right side for a quick eight yards. Second-and-2 on the 21-yard line.
10:37: Cutler drops back and finds Daniel Graham, who turns and avoids one tackle for a nine-yard pickup to the 12-yard line.
10:03: Denver calls its first timeout. Afterwards, Andre Hall takes the first-down carry to the two-yard line. First-and-goal for the Broncos, and Kory Lichtensteiger is announced an eligible receiver on the play. He goes in motion and Pittman takes a one-yard gain to the one-yard line. Second-and-goal.
8:41: Pittman dives over the defensive line and into the endzone for the touchdown. Matt Prater comes out for the extra point and knocks it through the uprights. Denver leads it over San Diego, 7-0.
8:41: Prater is out for the kickoff, and Darren Sproles is back to receive. He takes it about four yards deep in the endzone and runs it out before he’s up-ended by Andre Hall at the 18-yard line.
8:36: Tomlinson takes the pass up the middle of the field and stiff-arms his way out of bounds at the 34-yard line. First down Chargers.
7:36: Rivers steps up to the line after two consecutive first downs and finds Antonio Gates after a fake handoff to Tomlinson. It’s another first down, this one at the Denver 38-yard line.
6:45: Rivers floats a pass deep to Gates but it falls incomplete. There’s a flag in the backfield, and it’s a 15-yard facemask penalty on San Diego tackle L.J. Shelton. That makes it first-and-25 at the Chargers 47.
6:35: Marlon McCree pushes Tomlinson out of bounds after a five-yard gain. The ball is now in Denver territory, second-and-20. Rivers finds Chambers close to the marker, and there’s a flag on the play. The flag is a five-yard illegal contact penalty marked off from the previous spot, but it’s an automatic first down. The Chargers have it at the Denver 43.
5:50: Nate Webster takes down Tomlinson after a five-yard run up the middle. Second-and-5 for the Chargers. Rivers takes the ball, turns around as if to hand it off before spinning around and finding Vincent Jackson for a 21-yard gain. The ball is at the 17-yard line, first-and-10 for the Chargers.
4:35: Tomlinson takes the pitch on first down and is taken down by Boss Bailey after only one yard.
4:00: Rivers’ pass to fullback Mike Tolbert falls incomplete, and it’s third-and-nine at the 16-yard line.
3:51: Rivers avoids pressure, moves around in the pocket and lets loose a rocket — just out of the reach of Chambers. Fourth down and Nate Kaeding is out to attempt a 34-yard field goal. It’s good, and the Broncos lead it, 7-3.
3:47: It’s another touchback as Hall takes a knee at the back of the endzone. Cutler and co. jog out to start their drive at the 20.
3:41: After an incomplete pass on first down, Royal finds Scheffler for a first down on the left sideline.
3:16: Cutler finds Eddie Royal for his first reception of the game and he takes it for nine yards. Michael Pittman picks up 13 yards on second-and-1 and picks up the first down on the San Diego 47.
1:59: Royal takes another quick pass and is in the process of fighting off a tackle when the refs signal his foot was on the sideline. It’s a four-yard gain.
1:32: Selvin Young takes the ball up the left side for five yards, setting up a third-and-1. Pittman comes in and runs for three yards to set up the first down on the San Diego 35.
0:04: The Broncos call their second timeout of the half.
0:04: The last play of the quarter is a handoff to Young, and he’s brought down in the backfield by linebacker Tim Dobbins.
The score after one is Broncos 7, Chargers 3.
-Gray Caldwell, DenverBroncos.com