15:00: Jerious Norwood is back deep to return Prater’s kick and returns it to about the 20.
The Broncos starting defense takes the field. Starting is; Elvis Dumervil, Marcus Thomas, Dewayne Robertson, Ebenezer Ekuban, Dre’ Bly, Josh Bell, Marquand Manuel, Calvin Lowry, Wesley Woodyard, Jamie Winborn and starting at middle linebacker Spencer Larsen.
So a couple of surprises for the Broncos.
14:51: Matt Ryan’s first pass of the day falls incomplete to Roddy White… On second down Ryan looks for White again, but the ball is knocked down by Dre’ Bly.
14:47: On third down, Ryan from the shotgun fires it short to Michael Jenkins but he is tackled short of the first down by Jamie Winborn.
14:14: Eddie Royal calls for a fair catch at the 41-yard line, but there is a flag on the play. Penalty is on the Falcons. Broncos ball at the 45.
14:00: Starting on offense for the Broncos; Jay Cutler, Peyton Hillis, Spencer Larsen, Brandon Marshall, Eddie Royal, Daniel Graham, Ryan Clady, Ben Hamilton, Casey Wiegmann, Chris Kuper and Ryan Harris. Yes, Larsen is starting on both offense and defense.
After Royal loses a couple on the end around, Peyton Hillis gains four yards. Third down, Cutler connects with Brandon Stokley but a flag is down. It is on the Falcons, and the first down stands.
12:34: Cutler finds Royal on back-to-back plays for another first down.
Couple of notes on Larsen starting at both linebacker and fullback. He becomes the first Bronco to start at an offensive and defensive position in his Broncos career, let alone in the same season or same game. He is the fourth NFL player to start both directions in the same game since 1990 and the first since Dec. 14, 2003, when Baltimore’s Orlando Brown started at both right tackle and defensive tackle. Champ Bailey also accomplished this feat in 2000 with the Washington Redskins. Deion Sanders also started both ways in 1996. — Thanks to PR gurus Patrick Smyth and Erich Schubert for that note.
11:11: Great catch by Marshall on the sideline over Foxworth. On second down, Cutler just misses Royal who was wide open in the middle of the field. Brings up third down… Cutler in the gun finds Stokley for a first down.
10:21: Marshall gains nine on first down and the Broncos are inside the 10-yard line. On second down Hillis goes right up the middle for the touchdown. Prater’s extra point is good, and the Broncos take the 7-0 lead.
As Adam Zinser just pointed out, not only did Larsen start on offense and defense, but he also started on special teams.
9:26: Norwood takes the Prater kick to about the 30-yard line. First down Falcons as they look to answer.
9:20: Michael Turner’s first carry on the day gains the Falcons two yards, he is brought down by the man of the hour, Spencer Larsen.
8:20: Turner is stopped for short carry bringing up third down. Ryan in the gun hits Brian Finneran for the first down.
7:34: Ryan connects with Jenkins on first down and now the Falcons run their version of the “Wildcat” with Norwood getting the snap but their is no room and the Falcons face third down… Despite the pressure, Ryan hits White for a first down.
5:34: Ryan rolls out on second down and connects with Jenkins for another Falcons first down. They are now inside the Broncos 35-yard line.
3:45: Another “Wildcat” formation goes nowhere, as Winborn wraps up Jason Snelling for a 3-yard loss… On third down, Norwood couldn’t get enough yards and out comes Jason Elam. From 46-yards out, Elam — as usual — is perfect.
Broncos 7 – Falcons 3.
2:26: Royal and Tatum Bell are back deep to receive the Michael Koenen kickoff… By the way, Larsen was on the kickoff return team. Royal takes to the 19-yard line.
2:21: Great catch by Royal on first down, but it only gains the Broncos four yards… On second down, Marshall working on Foxworth gets the ball from Cutler but is just short of the first down… Tatum Bell can’t get the first down bringing up fourth down. Brett Kern punts one high to Harry Douglas who takes the return to about the 30-yard line.
0:15: On the last play before the end of the first quarter, Ryan hits White down the sidline for a 35-yard reception. Bly had good coverage, but White went up to snatch it.
See you in the second quarter.