HALFTIME: The Rams will receive the opening kickoff of the second half.
Q3 15:00: After Danny Amendola returns Matt Prater’s kickoff to the 27-yard line, the Rams take over on offense. On first down, Sam Bradford fakes a handoff to Steven Jackson on a misdirection play that ends up a pass to Daniel Fells for a 13-yard gain. On the ensuing first down, Jackson takes a handoff for a loss of a yard — he’s brought down by Kevin Vickerson. A false start penalty makes it second-and-16 for the Rams. Joe Mays sniffs out the following play — a screen pass to Jackson — and tackles the back for a loss of 6 yards. On third-and-22, Bradford fires short to Kenneth Darby, who drops the pass to bring up fourth down. Donnie Jones is set to punt to Eddie Royal, who is waiting at about his own 20-yard line. It’s a 50-yard punt, and the Broncos are called for a block in the back, so Denver will start its drive at the 12-yard line.
Q3 12:25: After Moreno is stopped for a loss of 2 on first down, Kyle Orton connects with Jabar Gaffney for a first down. On the ensuing play, Moreno runs down the sideline for a 9-yard gain before fumbling the ball into the arms of a Rams defender. On St. Louis’ first offensive play, Steven Jackson sprints 20 yards down the sideline to the 11-yard line for a first down.
Q3 9:50: After a 4-yard run on first down, Jackson takes another carry to the 1-yard line. On first-and-goal, David Bruton makes sure a pass to Jackson falls incomplete. Second-and-goal is a run by Darby up the middle of the line. He runs into the end zone untouched to increase the St. Louis lead. The extra point is good.
RAMS 33, BRONCOS 13
Q3 8:55: Royal returns the kickoff to the 21-yard line, where the offense will take over.
*INJURY UPDATE* Brian Dawkins has a knee injury and his return is questionable.
Q3 7:55: On first down, Orton found Moreno on a screen pass, and the running back followed his blockers for a 31-yard gain to the Denver 47-yard line. On the ensuing first down, Lance Ball picks up 9 yards on a run to the left. Ball takes another carry on the following play, picking up 8 more yards. He takes yet another carry on the next first down, but he’s stopped behind the line of scrimmage. On second-and-13, Orton throws quickly to Royal behind the line of scrimmage, but he’s tackled immediately. Third-and-15 brings a quick pass to Moreno, but he’s stopped behind the line of scrimmage as well. On fourth down, Britton Colquitt’s punt goes into the end zone for a touchback.
Q3 4:48: After a short run by Jackson, Bradford finds Amendola for a 17-yard reception to the 39-yard line. After an incomplete pass — as Bradford was hit by Bannan — and a 2-yard run, the Rams are faced with a third-and-8. With Bradford in the shotgun, Laurent Robinson finds space between defenders and Bradford finds him for a 23-yard gain and a first down at the Denver 36.
Q3 2:00: After a short run and a tipped pass by D.J. Williams for an incompletion, the Rams have a third-and-8 yet again. This time the defense stops the Rams short of the first down — Bradford found Brandon Gibson for a 7-yard gain. Josh Brown is in to attempt a 45-yard field goal attempt, and it’s no good.
Q3 0:55: The Broncos take over on their own 35-yard line. A 19-yard pass from Orton to Gaffney and a 5-yard run by Moreno sets up the Broncos with a second-and-5 at the St. Louis 41-yard line as the third quarter comes to a close.
Q4 15:00: On the first play of the fourth quarter, Orton fires deep down the sideline for Brandon Lloyd, who hauls it in over his shoulder for a 41-yard touchdown. Prater’s extra point is up and in, and the Broncos are within two scores.
RAMS 33, BRONCOS 20
Q4 14:54: That was Lloyd’s fourth touchdown of 40-or-more yards this season. Amendola takes the ensuing kickoff to the 25-yard line, where the Rams take over. On first down, Amendola gets the ball on an end-around, but Renaldo Hill is there to make a nice tackle in open space that draws “oohs” from the crowd. On second-and-5, Bradford finds Gibson for a 14-yard gain, and a roughing-the-passer penalty on Ronald Fields tacks 15 yards onto the play. The Rams have a first down at the Denver 41-yard line.
Q4 13:13: Jackson picks up 7 yards on a run, and Bradford follows it up with a 24-yard pass to Alexander, who is tackled at the 10-yard line. On first-and-goal, Jackson is tackled by Jamal Williams at the line of scrimmage — the running back fell forward for 2 yards. On second-and-goal, Bradford is forced to scramble up the middle before sliding at the line of scrimmage — Kevin Vickerson is credited with the sack as the snow begins to fall. On third-and-goal, Bradford is chased out of bounds, but throws the ball for an incompletion at the last moment. On fourth down, Brown is back in for a field goal attempt — a 26-yarder — and it’s good.
RAMS 36, BRONCOS 20
Q4 10:43: Perrish Cox returns the kickoff to the 24-yard line, where the offense takes over. On first down, the Broncos are called for holding. On first-and-20 at the 14, Orton drops back in the shotgun. He fires to Lloyd, but he leaps and can’t quite haul in the pass. On second down, Orton finds Decker, who spins out of a tackle for a 10-yard gain. Now third-and-10, Orton is in the shotgun again. He fires downfield for Royal, but the pass flies over his head for an incompletion. Colquitt is in to punt, and his kick is fielded at the 20 by Amendola. Syd’Quan Thompson is there to bring him down immediately.
Q4 8:43: After two plays net 4 yards, the Rams have a third-and-6 at the 25-yard line. Bradford throws a deep pass that falls incomplete out of bounds. Syd’Quan Thompson is deep to field Donnie Jones’ punt. It takes a Broncos bounce and is downed at midfield.
Q4 7:59: On first down, Orton is sacked for a 7-yard loss. Second-and-17 brings a fake handoff to Moreno before the ball is dumped off to him on a screen pass, but cornerback Bradley Fletcher makes a nice open-field tackle to stop the play after just 5 yards. On third-and-12, Orton is in the shotgun, but a false start penalty moves the ball back 5 yards. On the following play, Orton avoids pressure in the pocket, rolls to his left and fires a pass downfield to Royal, who out-jumps the defender to haul in the pass beyond the first-down marker. He wasn’t touched, so he got back up and kept running for what in total ended up being a 24-yard gain. On the following play, Orton avoided pressure and found Royal yet again, this time for a 17-yard gain. Orton finds Royal for the third consecutive time, this time it’s a 16-yard touchdown strike. The offense is still on the field to go for two and make it an eight-point game. Orton drops back into the shotgun and nearly finds Gaffney for the conversion, but it falls incomplete. The Broncos trail by 10.
RAMS 36, BRONCOS 26
Q4 4:50: Prater kicks off deep, and it goes for a touchback. Meanwhile there’s a squirrel running around in the opposite end zone. Nevertheless the Rams have a first-and-10 at their own 20-yard line. Steven Jackson is brought down at the line of scrimmage on first down, and Denver calls its first timeout of the second half.
Q4 4:44: Jackson picks up 3 yards on second down, and Denver calls another timeout. Now third-and-7, the crowd that remains is getting loud. Bradford is in the shotgun, and he throws a pass intended for Gibson that falls incomplete. Chants of “IN-COM-PLETE” echo from the crowd as Jones is in to punt. Royal is deep to field the kick. He calls for a fair catch at the 31-yard line, but St. Louis was called for a hold — David Bruton nearly blocked the punt but was held — so 10 yards are tacked on to the end of the run, so the Broncos have the ball at their own 41-yard line.
Q4 4:26: On first down, Orton throws quickly to Royal, who picks up 2 yards. On second down, Orton throws incomplete intended for Gaffney. On third-and-8, Orton is in the shotgun. He fires deep down the sideline for Lloyd, who lays out for the catch — but the ball slips out when he hits the ground for an incompletion. Now fourth down, the offense remains on the field. Orton is in the shotgun again. He drops back and fires deep for Royal for the first down, much to the delight of the crowd. The ball is now at the St. Louis 40-yard line.
Q4 3:47: After an incompletion, Orton is in the shotgun again and fires deep for Eric Decker, who hauls in his second career catch at the 2-yard line. On first-and-goal, Orton hands off to Moreno, who is brought down for a loss of 3. On second-and-goal at the 5, Orton hits Lloyd for his second touchdown of the day. Prater’s extra point is up and in, and the Broncos trail by a field goal.
RAMS 36, BRONCOS 33
Q4 2:35: The Broncos are prepared for an onside kick. Prater’s kick goes out of bounds, however. It turns out it was an illegal batting by the Rams — linebacker Chris Chamberlain batted it out of bounds — so it’s a 10-yard penalty and the Broncos get another shot at it with a re-kick.
Q4 2:34: The Rams recover Prater’s second onside kick attempt. On first down, Steven Jackson picks up 4 yards and the Broncos call their final timeout of the game. On second down, the back picks up 2 more yards and the clock ticks down to the two-minute warning.
Q4 2:00: On third-and-4, it’s starting to snow heavily and the crowd and sideline are as energized as they’ve been all game.
Q4 1:59: Bradford takes the snap and hands off to Jackson, who is brought down behind the line of scrimmage by Jason Hunter, and the Broncos are hyped up. The clock continues to run as Royal is deep as the crowd chants “Eddie! Eddie! Eddie!” David Bruton sprints into the backfield and tips the punt — it went forward so it is not a block — but it comes to a halt at the Denver 34-yard line, where the Broncos take over.
Q4 1:00: There are two flags on the first-down play, which was an incompletion. Pass interference on the Rams and illegal motion on the Broncos, so both penalties offset. It remains first-and-10. Orton is in the shotgun. He takes the snap and pump fakes before being sacked by Chris Long. The clock continues to run as the Broncos hurry back to the line. Orton takes the snap and fires deep for Daniel Graham, but the tight end can’t haul it in at midfield. The clock stops due to the incompletion, and it’s third-and-16 at the 28-yard line.
Q4 0:34: Orton fires over the head of Royal for an incompletion, and an illegal hands to the face penalty on the Broncos is declined, making it fourth-and-16 with 27 seconds remaining. Orton is in the shotgun. He drops back and fires incomplete as he’s hit by a Rams defender. The Rams will take over on downs.
Q4 0:22: Bradford takes a knee and the Broncos fall at home to the Rams, 36-33. Denver is now 3-8, with a trip to Kansas City up next.
-Gray Caldwell, DenverBroncos.com