Greetings from INVESCO Field at Mile High. The 8-5 Broncos and 4-9 Raiders are set to square off in Denver’s first home contest since a 26-6 Thanksgiving night victory over the New York Giants.
The Broncos and Raiders are meeting for the 99th time in series history, with Denver winning 22 of the last 29 meetings. The Broncos are also looking for their 15th season sweep of the Raiders, since the teams’ start as original AFL franchises during the 1960 season.
Currently, conditions in Denver are picturesque, with sunny skies and temperatures near 50 degrees. Today’s high is expected to linger right around the 50-degree mark.
Speaking of weather, here’s a full report for the 2:05 p.m. MST contest:
If you’re heading out to the game, here’s how the roads are looking around the stadium:
12:08 p.m. MST: Several Broncos have taken he field to begin their warm-ups, including Tyler Polumbus and Brandon Gorin.
12:13 p.m. MST: Several members of the defense have joined Polumbus and Gorin. Signed to the active roster on Saturday, Tony Carter is running a pregame lap with David Bruton around the stadium. Mario Haggan is also out on the field, getting in some stretches.
12:23 p.m. MST: The quarterbacks have taken the field. Kyle Orton and Chris Simms each just shook hands with former Bronco signal caller Brian Griese. Eddie Royal has also hit the turf, working on punt returns out of the jug machine.
12:33 p.m. MST: Royal has shifted his focus to receiving, working on short routes with coach Adam Gase. Out there along with Royal for stretches are two big pieces of the Broncos’ defensive line: Kenny Peterson and Ronald Fields.
12:43 p.m. MST: Just got word of the Broncos Inactives for this afternoon’s game — Tom Brandstater, Ty Law, Renaldo Hill, Correll Buckhalter, Seth Olsen, Chris Baker, Brandon Lloyd and Jarvis Moss.
12:50 p.m. MST: Here are the Raiders inactives: Bruce Gradkowski, J.P. Losman, Darrius Heyward-Bey, David Nixon, Khalif Barnes, Zach Miller, Nick Miller and former Bronco Javon Walker. Losman is the third quarterback for today’s game, behind starter Charlie Frye and backup JaMarcus Russell. Zach Miller had started all 13 games prior to missing the entire week of practice with a concussion. In those starts, he had 50 catches for 657 yards and two touchdowns.
1:00 p.m. MST: The specialists are the first out on the field in uniform. The Broncos are sporting their all-blue look — both pants and jerseys — which led them to a victory over the Giants on Thanksgiving night. The Raiders are in their traditional road white threads.
1:05 p.m. MST: Here are some photos from the field, courtesy of Gray Caldwell.
1:13 p.m. MST: Joining the specialist are Peyton Hillis and Spencer Larsen, who are working on kickoff formation, and Royal and Kenny McKinley, who are working on punt returns. The quarterbacks are also out on the field, as well as Brandon Marshall, who is chatting with Orton near midfield.
1:16 p.m. MST: Marshall has joined McKinley and Royal in taking some punt returns, potentially adding a new dimension to his game.
1:20 p.m. MST: The Broncos have gathered for their team huddle in the southwest corner of the stadium. They then ran to the north side of the field, led out of the huddle by a sprinting Knowshon Moreno.
1:30 p.m. MST: The Broncos offensive and defensive lines are slapping high fives in the north end zone, before moving on to 5-on-5 blocking drills. Toward the 10-yard line, the defensive backs are wokring on interception drills with the coaches. Over at the 40, Orton is throwing inside slants to his receivers.
1:40 p.m. MST: The two teams have headed into their locker rooms to make final preparations for the Week 15 contest. The only player left on the field is Mitch Berger, who is getting in some more punting practice.
1:42 p.m. MST: To honor his late friend, Bengals wide receiver Chris Henry, Brandon Marshall wore a No. 15 jersey with the name “Henry” on the back. He will not wear it during the game, as it was just a pregame tribute.
1:50 p.m. MST: The cheerleaders and junior cheerleaders just finished up a holiday dance routine, with every member holding a giant candy cane. We’re about 15 minutes from kickoff, and the Thunderstorm paratroopers have now begun their descent onto the INVESCO Field at Mile High turf.
2:00 p.m. MST: The Broncos are making their way out of the tunnel to a chorus of cheers from the crowd. Starting on defense for Denver — up front are Ryan McBean, Ronald Fields Kenny Peterson. At linebacker are Mario Haggan, Andra Davis, D.J. Williams and Elvis Dumervil. In the secondary are Champ Bailey, Andre’ Goodman, Brian Dawkins and rookie David Bruton. Bruton is making his first career start in place of an inactive Renaldo Hill (ankle).
Thanks for following along with our pregame blog. The Broncos have won the opening coin toss and elected to defer to the second half. Shift over to our first-half live blog to follow along with all the action.