15:00: Chad Pennington called heads, and it was heads. The Dolphins elected to defer to the second half, so the Broncos will start with the ball.
Eddie Royal is deep for the Broncos, and Peyton Hillis is just ahead of him at about the nine-yard line. It’s a touchback to start the game.
15:00: Jay Cutler pitches the ball to Michael Pittman to start the game. Peyton Hillis is the starter at fullback. The rest of the starting lineup includes Brandon Marshall and Eddie Royal at receiver, Daniel Graham at tight end, then the offensive line — Ryan Clady, Ben Hamilton, Casey Wiegmann, Chris Kuper and Ryan Harris.
13:40: Jay Cutler’s third-down pass is intercepted by a Dolphins defensive back, and Miami starts its first drive at the Denver 34-yard line.
The defensive starters are Dre’ Bly and Karl Paymah at corner, Marlon McCree and Marquand Manuel at the safety slots, D.J. Williams, Nate Webster and Jamie Winborn at linebacker and Elvis Dumervil, Dewayne Robertson, Marcus Thomas and Ebenezer Ekuban on the line.
11:38: The defense stops the Miami offense after three plays, but Dolphins kicker Dan Carpenter knocks down a 45-yard field goal to put Miami ahead of Denver early, 3-0.
11:34: Royal is back deep again, ready to return the kickoff. This one is returnable, and he does out to about the 23-yard line. Cutler and the offense are back on the field for another drive.
11:29: Peyton Hillis goes in motion to the right side of the field, and Cutler finds him in the flats. He stops and turns up field for a gain of five yards.
On second and five, Cutler is in the shotgun. Royal goes in motion from left to right and Cutler throws a pass in the direction of Brandon Stokley — it looks like Stokley slipped on the play.
10:50: Third-and-5, Cutler is in the shotgun with Royal lined up in the backfield beside him. He lets loose a rocket at Darrell Jackson, but it slips through his hands at the first-down marker.
10:38: Brett Kern booms a 61-yard punt toward the sideline, and the Dolphins returner — Ted Ginn, Jr. — fields it with a foot out of bounds — no return. The Dolphins have the ball on their own 12-yard line, and the defense is on the field getting ready for another drive. Dre’ Bly is near the sidelines catching a few passes.
10:38: The defense stops Ronnie Brown after a gain of one. Second-and-9, Brown finds a hole and picks up 30 yards before being brought down by Marlon McCree.
9:13: Ricky Williams takes the handoff this time on first-and-10 from the Miami 43-yard line. He picks up a couple yards before being brought down by Nate Webster and a few other Broncos — flag on the play, however, and it’s holding on the defense. Automatic first down for the Dolphins.
9:13: The defense does a good job of not falling for the play-action after a couple of successful runs by the Dolphins. Chad Pennington fakes the handoff to Ronnie Brown and tries to find a receiver but he’s leveled by Winborn as the pass fell incomplete.
9:13: Pennington’s second-down pass falls incomplete again, over his receiver’s head, but the defense is called for a neutral-zone infraction, bringing up second-and-5 for Miami at the Denver 43-yard line.
8:17: Brown takes the direct snap and sprints right but is brought down after only one yard. Third-and-4 for Miami, and the Dolphins call their first timeout of the half.
After the break, Pennington takes the snap and takes a five step drop before finding Greg Camarillo, the Dolphins’ leading receiver, for the first-down. It’s a 12-yard gain to the Denver 30.
7:25: The Broncos stack the line, expecting a run, and sure enough it’s a handoff to Brown. He’s stopped after two yards, and it’s second-and-8 for the Dolphins. Pennington takes the snap with a tight formation, just as Brown goes in motion. Pennington fakes a pitch to Brown, and once again the Broncos are in good position even with the play-action. Pennington slides down in the backfield with nowhere to throw, and it’s counted as a sack for Jarvis Moss.
6:01: After an incomplete pass on third down, Carpenter is back on the field for Miami to attempt another field goal. This one is from 47 yards out, and he drives it home. The Dolphins lead the Broncos by the score of 6-0.
5:56: Royal is deep for the Broncos and he takes it out from two yards deep in the endzone. He makes it out to the 25-yard line, where the offense takes over.
The first play of the drive is a handoff to Pittman on the left side, and he picks up two yards. Cutler walks toward the sideline to get the play call, and he trots back out to the line. It’s a fake handoff to Pittman and he launches the ball downfield toward Brandon Marshall — it’s out of his reach, bringing up third-and-8.
5:07: On third down, Cutler is in the shotgun with Pittman lined up to his right. He takes the snap and throws the ball to the right side of the field, and Miami cornerback Will Allen intercepts it and takes the ball into the endzone. It’s a 32-yard return.
After the extra point, the Broncos trail the Dolphins 13-0.
4:58: Royal is deep again, and he takes the ball at the goal line in the right side of the endzone. He sprints forward to about the 20-yard line, stops and reverses field. He has blockers in front of him and he turns the corner on the Dolphins, taking the ball up the sidelines. He’s finally tackled at the Miami five-yard line after a 95-yard kickoff return.
Ryan Torain is in the game, and he takes his first carry for three yards to the two-yard line. It’s second-and-goal for the Broncos and Torain is still in the backfield. Hillis shifts to the right and Cutler takes the snap. He tries to connect with Darrell Jackson in the right side of the endzone but it falls incomplete.
Third-and-goal at the two-yard line. Pittman’s back in the game and Cutler is in the shotgun. He takes the snap and rockets the ball into the middle of the endzone and the waiting arms of Royal. Royal falls down with the ball for the Broncos’ first touchdown of the game. Matt Prater is in for the extra point, and he splits the uprights.
3:50: The score pulls the Broncos within six points of the Dolphins. Miami still leads it, 13-7.
UPDATE: Royal’s 95-yard kickoff return is the longest non-scoring return in Broncos team history.
3:50: Prater’s kickoff goes nine yards into the endzone for a touchback, and the Dolphins begin at their own 20-yard line. Pennington’s first-down pass falls incomplete, intended for Camarillo.
3:46: Karl Paymah makes the tackle on Camarillo on second down to bring up third-and-1 for the Dolphins. On third down, Brown takes the handoff and the Broncos defense stands strong, stopping him for no gain. Brandon Fields is out to punt for Miami and Royal is back deep. Royal lets the ball fly over his head and it bounces a few times — perilously close to stopping at the one-yard line — before going into the endzone for a touchback.
2:07: Torain takes his second carry of his career, but he’s stopped for a loss of two. Pittman is back in the game on second down, Cutler takes the snap and tries to find Marshall on the left sideline but throws it over his head. Third-and-12 for the Broncos.
Cutler is in the shotgun and throws a quick screen to Pittman, who is taken down after a five-yard gain.
Kern lets loose another punt, and this one is fielded by Davone Bess. He’s brought down almost immediately by Winborn. It’s a 46-yard punt with a five-yard gain.
0:36: Pennington tries to find Ricky Williams up the middle of the field, but Nate Webster is there and delivers a hit that causes Williams to drop the ball. On second-and-10, Pennington takes the snap in the shotgun and gets the ball to Camarillo on the left side of the field. Camarillo’s got a blocker, but Ekuban and Manuel take him down after seven yards.
0:00: It’s third-and-3 for the Dolphins on their own 43-yard line when the second quarter begins.
Miami leads the Broncos, 13-7.
-Gray Caldwell, DenverBroncos.com