COIN TOSS: Mario Haggan, Jabar Gaffney, Kyle Orton, D.J. Williams and Wesley Woodyard represent the Broncos at midfield. The Steelers called the toss and lost. The Broncos have elected to receive.
Q1 15:00: Perrish Cox is back deep to receive Daniel Sepulveda’s opening kick-off. The kick sails out of bounds, giving the Broncos possession at the 40-yard line. The offensive starters are Kyle Orton at quarterback, LenDale White and Spencer Larsen in the backfield, Jabar Gaffney and Brandon Lloyd at receiver and Riar Geer at tight end. The offensive line consisted of Zane Beadles at left tackle, Stanley Daniels at left guard, J.D. Walton at center, Russ Hochstein at right guard and Ryan Harris at right tackle. White’s first carry as a Bronco nets a yard on first down. Orton hits Royal for an 18-yard gain. The Broncos get 15 more yards on a late hit penalty on Kenan Lewis.
Q1 12:45: After a pair of short White runs, Orton hit Lloyd for a first down on 3rd-and-4. A late hit on Orton gained the Broncos six more yards to the Pittsburgh 5-yard line. On the ensuing first down, Lance Ball picked up three yards. White took the ball on second down, smacking into the line for no gain on a violent collision with James Farrior that left the Steelers linebacker down after the play.
Q1 11:39: On third-and-goal from the 2-yard line, Orton lined up in the shot gun and handed off to White, who burst through the line and into the end zone. He capped the play with a Mile High Salute and held onto the ball on his way to the sideline. It was the Broncos first rushing touchdown of the preseason. Matt Prater adds the point after.
BRONCOS 7, STEELERS 0
Q1 11:19: Prater kicked off to Pittsburgh’s Antonio Brown. A group of Broncos led by Larsen dragged him down at the 19-yard line. The Broncos starting defensive unit featured Perrish Cox and Andre’ Goodman at cornerback, Nate Jones and Renaldo Hill at safety, Ryan McBean, Jamal Williams and Justin Bannan lined up along the line, and Robert Ayers, Mario Haggan, D.J. Williams and Jarvis Moss were the linebackers. On first down, Ben Roethlisberger hit Mike Wallace for a 47-yard gain, taking the Steelers down to the Denver 34-yard line. Rashard Mendenhall took a pair of runs to move the ball 15 yards into the red zone.
Q1 9:00: After an incompletion, the Steelers have 2nd-and-10 from the Denver 19-yard line. Mendenhall picks up four yards before being dropped by Goodman. Before the third down play, Denver has called a timeout.
Q1 8:21: Coming out of the timeout, several Broncos defenders urged the crowd to get louder. On third-and-6 from the Denver 15, Roethlisberger’s pass for Mewelde Moore falls incomplete. Jeff Reed steps in to try a 33-yard field goal. He hits it to cut into the Bronco advantage.
BRONCOS 7, STEELERS 3
Q1 8:11: Perrish Cox steps back deep to take Sepulveda’s kick-off. The ball blows off the tee and Sepulveda calls in a teammate to hold it. Cox takes the kick at the 12-yard line and is wrestled down at the 22 yard-line. The Broncos are flagged for an illegal wedge, costing them half the distance to the goal. They’ll start the drive from the 11-yard line.
Q1 8:00: Orton’s first pass of the second drive hits Jabar Gaffney for a 5-yard gain. On second down, White picked up a short gain before being tackled by Troy Polamalu. Facing a third-and-3, Orton dropped into a shot gun and hit Brandon Lloyd for a first down. That’s Lloyd’s second third-down conversion already. The Broncos use their second timeout of the half before the next play.
Q1 6:21: It’s starting to rain lightly here at INVESCO Field at Mile High. On the ensuing play, White breaks through the line for a 10-yard gain and a first down. On second-and-11, Orton missed his first pass of the game, tossing high to Lloyd while facing pressure. On the third down play, Ball picked up 10 yards on a screen pass but still came up a yard short of the first down. Before the punt, the Broncos picked up a delay of game penalty. Britton Colquitt is standing at his own 27-yard line waiting to punt. Antonio Brown catches the punt at his own 1-yard line and is dropped at his own 4-yard line by Moss and Bruton. The 58-yard punt pins the Steelers deep in their own territory.
Q1 4:00: Isaac Redman takes a hand-off for the Steelers on their first play of the next drive, gaining three yards. Mendenhall picks up a first down with a run on the next play. On first-and-10 from their own 15-yard line, Roethlisberger tosses a screen pass to Hines Ward. Ward picks up 5 yards before D.J. Williams tackles him. On a similar play, Ward picks up 5 more yards and a first down. Continuing the drive, Roethlisberger hits Emmanuel Sanders for another first down. That turned out to be the last play of the first quarter. The Steelers will start the second quarter with a first-and-10 from their own 35-yard line.
Q2 15:00: Pittsburgh’s Dennis Dixon has entered the game at quarterback and runs for 5 yards on his first play. Isaac Redman picks up three yards on the play before being stopped by Jamal Williams. That sets up a third-and-two, and the Steelers can’t convert. Jarvis Moss tipped Dixon’s pass for Mike Wallace. Sepulveda hits a punt, which is fair caught by Eddie Royal at his own 13-yard line, where the Broncos will begin their third drive.
Q2 13:31: On first down, Orton hits Jabar Gaffney for 3-yard gain. On second down, Orton looks down the middle of the field for Gaffney. The ball popped loose and James Harrison scooped up the ball and ran the ball back toward the Broncos goal line. Orton tried to make the tackle and Harrison nailed him at the sideline as he skidded out of bounds. Orton stayed down and the play was later ruled incomplete. Orton walked to the sidelines accompanied by trainers as Brady Quinn entered the game. The drive ended when Quinn was sacked forcing a punt. The Steelers will take over at the Broncos 46-yard line.
Q2 11:54: Antwaan Randle El takes a hand-off for a 3-yard gain on the first play of the Steelers’ third drive. Jamal Williams got down the line to make the play. After an incompletion, Robert Ayers picked up a sack. However, Perrish Cox was flagged for illegal hands to the face, a 5-yard penalty that continued the drive. The Steelers have a first-and-10 from the Broncos 38-yard line.
Q2 10:28: After a short run and a short completion, the Steelers face a third-and-2. On third down, Dixon hits David Johnson for a 16-yard gain. On first down from Denver’s 14-yard line, Redman picked up 5 yards running up the middle. On the ensuing play, Dixon was looking for Matt Spaeth in the back of the end zone, but Perrish Cox leaped up and made the interception. The cornerback tapped his feet while falling out of bounds for his first pick as a Bronco.
Q2 7:48: As the Broncos begin their fourth drive of the day from their own 20-yard line, Orton has returned at quarterback.
Q2 7:47: White begins the drive with a run up the middle. The refs flagged Pittsburgh for unneccessary roughness when James Harrison shoved a player off the pile. The Broncos earned a first down from their own 38-yard line. On the ensuing play, Orton dodged trouble and tossed a pass for Brandon Lloyd, who could not stay in bounds. After a White run for no gain, Orton hit Eddie Royal for a 17-yard completion and a first down.
Q2 5:30: The completion moved the Broncos into Pittsburgh territory and two more White runs earned the home team another first down. On first-and-10 from the Steelers 35-yard line, Orton hit Brandon Lloyd for a nine yard gain. Pittsburgh’s Keenan Lewis was flagged for — in the words of the referee — “something extra at the end of the play.” That unnecessary roughness call moved the ball to the Steelers 13-yard line. After a short Ball run, Lloyd was flagged for offensive pass interference on an incompletion to Lance Ball. The Steelers called their first timeout after the play.
Q2 3:35: After the penalty, the Broncos face a second-and-19 from the Pittsburgh 22-yard line. Coming out of the timeout, Orton couldn’t find an open receiver and threw the ball away. On third down, the quarterback dropped into a shot gun and flicked a pass for Royal, who was immediately cornered for a minimal gain. That set up a 39-yard field goal attempt for Prater. The kicker split the uprights to increase the home team’s lead with 2:35 left in the first half.
BRONCOS 10, STEELERS 3
Q2 2:35: After the Broncos second scoring drive, Prater will kick deep to Antonio Brown. The kick sailed nine yards deep in the end zone, and Brown stays there for the touchback. The Steelers will take over at their own 20-yard line.
Q2 2:33: The drive started with a false start on Steelers left tackle Max Starks. Flozell Adams followed with a false start of their own. Suddenly, the Steelers face a first-and-20 from their own 10-yard line and the Broncos faithful have begun to get loud. Dixon hits Mike Wallace for a 6-yard gain to start the drive. Andre’ Goodman knocked a pass away from Emmanuel Sanders on the next play. On third down, Dixon rolled right and tossed a pass before being crushed by Wesley Woodyard. Mike Wallace hauled in the pass but out of bounds, bringing up the two-minute warning and bringing on the Steelers punt unit.
Q2 2:00: Sepulveda punted to Perrish Cox. The cornerback caught it at his own 40 before being dropped a yard later. The Broncos will start a two-minute drive 59 yards from the end zone.
Q2 1:37: On the first play of the drive, Orton looked for Brandon Lloyd, but William Gay stepped in and intercepted the pass, bringing the drive to an abrupt end.
Q2 1:25: The Steelers began their own hurry-up drive. They picked up a quick first down before Dixon hit Mewelde Moore for an 11-yard gain. The Steelers declined an illegal contact penalty on Woodyard. On first down from the Denver 28-yard line, Dixon had to throw the ball away.
Q2 0:31: Dixon hit Antonio Brown for a 10-yard gain and a first down. Robert Ayers got to Dixon for a sack on the ensuing play, throwing down the quarterback 9 yards behind the line of scrimmage. The Steelers quickly used a timeout, facing a second-and-19 from the Broncos 27 with 26 seconds left in the half.
Q2 0:11: Andre’ Goodman broke quickly on a quick route by Emmanuel Johnson and intercepted Dixon’s next pass. With Head Coach Josh McDaniels rushing behind him on the sidelines, the veteran cornerback sprinted 77 yards back the other way for the Broncos touchdown. Matt Prater added the point after.
BRONCOS 17, STEELERS 3
Q2 0:10: Prater’s kick off went for a touchback and Dixon took a knee to end the half.
Continue following tonight’s game on DenverBroncos.com’s Second Half Blog.