Greetings from INVESCO Field at Mile High where the 6-3 Broncos and 6-3 Chargers will square off in Denver’s first home AFC West contest of the season.
This afternoon’s battle with San Diego marks the 100th meeting in series history between the two division rivals. The Broncos lead the series, 54-44-1, and have a chance to sweep San Diego for the 14th time.
Currently, conditions are partly cloudy, with temperatures in the low 40s. Today’s high is expected to hover right around 50 degrees.
Speaking of weather, here’s a full report for the 2:15 p.m. MST contest:
If you’re on your way to the game, here’s a traffic report for the areas surrounding the stadium:
One of the newest sights here at the stadium is another retro end-zone design. Today’s look is a pattern of alternating blue and orange diamonds. The previous two home games sported white diamonds, which were from the early 1960s.
12:06 p.m. MST: Two of the first players out of the field for the Broncos happen to be quarterbacks. Chris Simms and Tom Brandstater have come out of the tunnel and are working on 10 to 15-yard throws with the coaching staff.
12:14 p.m. MST: Brandstater has shifted to the deep ball, working on 45-yard throws. Kenny Peterson is also out by the north end zone, getting in some pregame stretches.
12:22 p.m. MST: Matt Prater has joined the pregame fray, working on field goals. He’s kicking off the tee, gradually moving back from the 15-yard line onward.
12:30 p.m. MST: Brandstater has continued to work on different throws over the last 20 minutes. Coaching assistant Ben McDaniels is currently giving him some pointers on his five-step drop. In the meantime, Mitch Berger is working on some lower body stretches.
12:37 p.m. MST: The sun has made its way to the field here in Denver, and rookie Alphonso Smith is fielding some punts. Shielding his eyes, he’s working on both returnable and fair-catch situations.
12:43 p.m. MST: A trio of tackles have made their way out on the field for some stretches: Ryan Clady, Brandon Gorin, and Tyler Polumbus. Brandon Marshall also has taken his opening lap around the sidelines, sporting an orange hoodie.
12:49 p.m. MST: Eddie Royal is running through some receiving drills — 10-yard crossing routes — with wide receivers coach Adam Gase. Marcus Thomas and Chris Baker have joined Peterson, with the three working on some drills to help fend off offensive linemen.
12:58 p.m. MST: Just got word of the Broncos’ inactives for this afternoon’s game — Kenny McKinley, LaMont Jordan, Robert Ayers, Seth Olsen, Ryan Harris, Chris Baker, Brandon Lloyd, and Tom Brandstater, who will serve as the team’s third quarterback.
1:06 p.m. MST: The Broncos kicking team is the first group out on the field in uniform. Prater is working on field goals as far back as 60 yards. Speaking of the field, here are some pregame photos, courtesy of Zach Eisendrath.
1:10 p.m. MST: The core of the Broncos’ defense, Andra Davis and D.J. Williams, just left the field after working on some interception drills.
1:13 p.m. MST: Here are the Chargers’ inactives for today’s game: QB Charlie Whitehurst, CB Dante Hughes, RB Michael Bennett, FS C.J. Spillman, C Nick Hardwick, G Tyronne Green, WR Buster Davis, DE/DT Vaughn Martin.
1:20 p.m. MST: Prater and Berger have shifted to kickoffs and punts respectively. Peyton Hillis is fielding Prater’s kickoffs, while Royal and smith are taking Berger’s kicks.
1:27 p.m. MST: Head Coach Josh McDaniels and a host of other Broncos are now out on the field. McDaniels is chatting with referee Ron Winter, who will be calling today’s game. As for jerseys today, Denver will be wearing its traditional home blue with white pants, while the Chargers are wearing their traditional road white with dark blue pants.
1:30 p.m. MST: Both Chris Simms and Kyle Orton just finished up a set of reps with the receivers. The whole team just huddled at the 10-yard line on the south side of the stadium, with rookie Knowshon Moreno leading the pack across the field.
1:38 p.m. MST: Orton is throwing deep balls to the receivers from the south to north side of the field, while Simms is getting his arm loose by throwing balls to the defensive backs from north to south.
1:40 p.m. MST: Orton and Brandstater are now splitting reps in short throws to the tight ends, while Simms is working with the primary receivers on slant patterns.
1:46 p.m. MST: Simms is leading the offense through its first set of 11-on-11 drills. The backfield has included everything from Correll Buckhalter in a lone-back set, to Hillis and Moreno in a two-back set.
1:50 p.m. MST: The Broncos have left the field, heading into the locker room for their final preparations before the scheduled 2:15 p.m. kickoff.
1:55 p.m. MST: The Broncos cheerleaders have taken the field, along with 500 junior cheerleaders for some pregame routines. The final tune was Fergie’s Glamorous.
2:02 p.m. MST: The Thunderstorm paratroopers have begun their descent onto INVESCO Field at Mile High. Closing in on kickoff, weather conditions have turned optimum, with 50 degrees and clear skies.
2:09 p.m. MST: The Broncos have made their way out of the tunnel and on to the field. Leading the pack is Moreno again, who stops at the 50-yard line and revs up his teammates.
2:09 p.m. MST: Simms and Orton are warming up their arms together. Simms has on a helmet, while Orton has on a baseball cap.
We’re just a few minutes from kickoff. Thanks for following along with our pregame blog, and shift over to our first half blog for up-to-the minute coverage of all the biggest plays.