COIN TOSS: Denver will start on offense with Josh Reed kicking off for the Steelers.
Q1 15:00: Royal returns Reed’s kickoff at the goal line and returns it to the 22-yard line. The Broncos starting offense is on the field with Kyle Orton behind center. The offensive line consists of Ryan Clady, Ben Hamilton, Casey Wiegmann, Chris Kuper and Tyler Polumbus, who is starting in place of Ryan Harris (toe injury). Daniel Graham and Tony Scheffler are lined up at tight end and Brandon Marshall and Eddie Royal are the wide receivers. Correll Buckhalter is starting at running back.
Q1 14:00: After Orton completed a 13-yard pass to Royal on the first play from Scrimmage, Buckhalter rushed for one-yard.
Q1 13:02: Orton again looks Royal’s way, connecting with the second-year wide receiver for a 14-yard game and the ball is now at midfield.
Q1 11:53: The Broncos showcase their version of the wildcat by snapping the ball directly to Buckhalter. After he gains five yards, Orton once again connects with Royal — this time for a 20-yard gain. Denver is now at the Pittsburgh 25 yard line.
Q1 10:28: After Buckhalter loses three-yards on first down, Orton fires a six-yard pass to Brandon Marshall. On third down Orton’s pass intended for Royal is broken up and Matt Prater is on to attempt a 40-yard field goal attempt.
Q1 10:27: Prater connects on the 40-yard attempt, giving the Broncos an early three-point advantage.
BRONCOS 3, STEELERS 0
Q1 10:26: It should be noted that Russ Hochstein started for the Broncos on their first offensive play from scrimmage — not Tony Scheffler as previously mentioned.
Q1 10:18: Prater’s kickoff falls five-yards deep into the end zone. Stefan Logan elects to take the ball out, and he returns the ball to the Denver 17 yard line.
Q1 10:02: On Pittsburgh’s first offensive play of the night Rashard Mendenhall gains five yards. The Broncos starting defense is the on the field. The front seven includes Kenny Peterson, Ronald Fields and Le Kevin Smith on the defensive line, Mario Haggan, Andra Davis, D.J. Williams and Elvis Dumervil at linebacker, Champ Bailey and Andre’ Goodman at cornerback and Brian Dawkins and Renaldo Hill at the safety positions.
Q1 9:02: Ben Roethlisberger operates out of shotgun on second down and completes a 9-yard pass to Santonio Holmes to move the chains.
Q1 8:03: After Mendenhall bounces to his left for six yards on first down, Roethlisberger overthrows Hines Ward — bringing up 3rd and 4.
Q1 7:21: Roethlisberger again operates out of shotgun on third down. With strong coverage in the secondary he has nowhere to throw and is sacked by Elvis Dumervil and Darrell Reid for a 10-yard loss. The Steelers are forced to punt.
Q1 7:20: After a 55-yard punt by Daniel Sepulveda is downed by the Steelers, the Broncos’ offensive unit will take over at their own 18 yard line.
Q1 7:00: The Broncos start off their second offensive possession in effective fashion, as Orton connects with Marshall for a 15-yard reception. Again, if you are watching on TV be sure to check out Marshall’s bright orange shoes.
Q1 6:00: After Orton completes a four-yard pass to Marshall, Knowshon Moreno losses two yards bringing up 3rd and 8.
Q1 5:04: Needing eight yards, Orton finds Marshall over the middle for a nine-yard completion, giving the Broncos a first down at their own 44.
Q1 3:26: After Orton finds Gaffney for a three-yard gain, he throws an incompletion to Royal setting up 3rd and 7. On third down, Orton connects with Marshall for five yards, forcing Denver to punt from the Pittsburgh 48 yard line.
Q1 3:12: Mitch Berger’s first punt attempt of the night results in a touchback, and the Steelers will take over possession at their own 20 yard line.
Q1 2:22: Mendenhall runs up the middle for three yards on first down. On second down, Roethlisberger operates out of the shotgun in a five wide receiver set. He misfires to Mike Wallace bringing up 3rd and 7 from the Pittsburgh 23 yard line.
Q1 1:43: With plenty of time to sit in the pocket, Roethlisberger finds Holmes for a 16-yard gain. First down Steelersr at their own 39 yard line.
Q1 0:55: Andra Davis and D.J. Williams rush past the offensive line to sack Roethlisberger for an eight-yard loss on first down.
Q1 0:05: After Wesley Woodyard makes a shoe-string tackle on Mendenhall, an interception slipped off Andre’ Goodman’s hands on third down, and the Steelers are forced to punt.
Q1 0:00: On the final play of the first quarter, Royal returned Sepulveda’s 43-yard punt for six yards to the Denver 23.
End of First Quarter: Broncos 3, Steelers 0
Q2 14:32: Buckhalter gets the handoff on the first play of the second quarter, picking up seven yards on the carry.
Q2 13:42: After Buckhalter rushes for one yard on second down, Orton operates out of shotgun on third down. Orton throws a laser to Royal, connecting with the wideout for an 11-yard gain to move the chains.
Q2 12:50: Orton has a pass intended for Moreno intercepted for a touchdown by Tyrone Carter. Carter returned the ball 48 yards for the score. After Jeff Reed connected on the extra point, the Steelers own a four-point lead.
STEELERS 7, BRONCOS 3
Q2 12:48: Kenny McKinley takes Reed’s kickoff at the three-yard line and returns it out to the Denver 21.
Q2 12:00: The Broncos looked to operate out of the wild horse formation on first down, as Orton went out wide to the right. But Orton quickly slid back behind center and handed the ball off to Moreno who gained four yards on first down. Orton is sacked by Brett Keisel on second down, bringing up 3rd and 10 from the Denver 21.
Q2 11:08: On 3rd and 10, the Broncos keep the chains moving. Orton connects with Marshall, who makes a move at the middle of the field and races to his left to complete a 15-yard reception.
Q2 9:58: After Moreno loses a yard on first down from the Denver 36, Orton hooks up with Gaffney for a gain of three. It is now 3rd and 8.
Q2 8:54: Under pressure on 3rd and 8, Orton fires complete to Daniel Graham. It is an 18-yard gain, and the Broncos have first and 10 at the Denver 44.
Q2 8:31: After a false start is called on Russ Hochstein, Orton can’t connect with Marshall on 1st and 15 — throwing a bit high of the wideout.
Q2 7:45: Orton fakes the handoff to Moreno then throws a screen pass to Marshall, who picks up 10 yards on the play to bring up 3rd and 5.
Q2 7:40: On third down, Orton fires to Gaffney along the left sideline. The pass is ruled an incompletion, but the Broncos elect to challenge the call on the field.
Q2 7:38: The Broncos challenged if Gaffney had possession of the ball as he landed out of bounds. The call on the field was upheld and the Broncos had decided to go for it on 4th and 5.
Q2 7:34: Orton fires complete to Stokley on fourth down. However, Ben Hamilton was called for holding on the play and Mitch Berger is now on the field as the Broncos are forced to punt.
Q2 7:05: Berger’s 26-yard punt lands out of bounds at the Pittsburgh 23 yard line.
Q2 6:02: After Mendenhall cuts back to his left for a four-yard gain on first down, he cuts back on a similiar play on second down, gaining four more yards and bringing up 3rd and 2.
Q2 5:30: Roethlisberger looks to his right on third and short and finds Wallace for an 11-yard gain, giving the Broncos a first down at their own 42 yard line.
Q2 4:38: Mendenhall gains three yards on first down. Prior to second down Pittsburgh offensive lineman Trai Essex is called for a false start, bring up 2nd and 12.
Q2 2:44: Roethlisberger completes a four-yard pass to Hines Ward bringing up 3rd and 8 from the 44. Under pressure by three Broncos on third and long, Roethlisberger manages to make his way out of the pocket and complete a pass to Heath Miller. Vonnie Holliday, however, was right there to make the tackle well short of the first down marker — forcing a Pittsburgh punt.
Q2 2:42: Royal signals for a fair catch on Sepulveda’s 40-yard punt, and the Broncos will take over at their own 16.
Q2 2:00: After Buckhalter rushes toward the right sideline for a gain of six yards, Moreno rushes to the left for three yards. The Broncos will face a 3rd and 1 from their own 25 after the two-minute warning.
Q2 1:32: Lined up in a one-receiver set, Orton goes play action and connects with Marshall in the middle of the field for an 18-yard gain.
Q2 0:18: After Orton is sacked by Keisel, Buckhalter can’t escape a defender after catching a second-donw pass, and he loses a yard. On third and long, Buckhalter rushes to his right for five yards and the Steelers call a timeout, forcing the Broncos to punt.
Q2 0:10: After getting off a punt attempt, Berger is hit by Pittsburgh cornerback Joe Burnett. Limas Sweed was also called for holding on the play, and Pittsburgh will start its offensive possession at its own 8 yard line.
Q2 0:00: Roethlisberger takes a knee to run out the clock, and the Steelers own a four point lead heading into the locker room.
End of First Half: Steelers 7, Broncos 3