Coin toss: The Cardinals call tails but the coin lands on heads. The Broncos have decided to receive the opening kickoff.
15:00: Alphonso Smith is back deep to return the opening kickoff. Taking the kickoff from five-yards deep into the end zone, Smith is tackled at the 25-yard line.
14:56: Correll Buckhalter rushes for three yards on the first offensive play from scrimmage. The offense takes to the field led by Tom Brandstater at quarterback, Buckhalter at running back, Chad Jackson, Eddie Royal at wide receiver, Daniel Graham and Tony Scheffler are at tight end and the offensive line consists of Ryan Clady, Seth Olsen, Casey Wiegmann, Russ Hochstein and Ryan Harris.
14:05: Brandstater just connnected with Jackson for a 43-yard reception. On the next play, Buckhalter rushed for 13 yards, and the Broncos are now at the Arizona 16.
12:45: On third and two from the 8-yard line, Jackson can’t haul in a pass from Brandstater near the goal line. Matt Prater drills a 26-yard field goal and the Broncos take an early 3-0 lead.
11:57: Prater kicks off and Arizona will start its first offensive drive at its own 15-yard line. The Denver starting defense consists of Andre’ Goodman, Alphonso Smith, Renaldo Hill, Darcel McBath and Champ Bailey in the secondary, Wesley Woodyard, Robert Ayers, D.J. Williams at linebacker and Kenny Peterson, Ronald Fields and Ryan McBean on the defensive line.
11:20: A few more players have checked in, including Andra Davis and Elvis Dumervil. After a penalty and a couple stops, it is now third and 10 for the Cardinals.
10:35: On third and 10, Kurt Warner found Larry Fitzgerald for a gain of 36. It looked as if Fitzgerald was primed to to streak past the whole defense, but Smith made a nice tackle to end the play.
9:25: With the Arizona offense facing third and eight from the Denver 47, the Broncos take their first timeout of the half.
9:20: Out of shotgun, Warner fires incomplete downfield, as Lance Long was his intended receiver. Tackle Mike Gandy is called for offensive holding on the play, a penalty the Broncos choose to decline.
9:05: The Broncos start their second offensive drive at their own 7-yard line. Darius Walker, the team’s leading rusher this preseason, is in the backfield to start the drive. Walker gains four yards on his first rush of the game.
7:38: On third and 6, Brandstater scrambles for four yards, coming up just shy shy of the first down marker. Kern boots a 58-yard punt and Arizona takes over possession at their own 33.
6:38: The Denver defense just strung together a nice set of plays, forcing Arizona into a three and out. On first down, Jack Williams tackled Beanie Wells for a loss of three. On the next play, Warner’s pass was knocked down at the line of scrimmage by Matthias Askew. Denver has taken over possession at its own 23.
6:02: Walker is beginning to show off his skill set. After hauling in a 6-yard pass from Brandstater, Walker just bursted down the left side of the field for a gain of 11.
5:38: Brandstater connected with Lloyd for a gain of 16, leading Denver into Arizona territory.
3:16: The Brandstater-to-Lloyd connect is still going strong. The signal caller finds the wideout again, this time for a gain of 32, and Denver is at the Arizona 1-yard line.
2:03: After being stopped on first and goal at the 1, Walker rumbles into the end zone on second down. Prater connects on the extra point and the Broncos lead the Cardinals 10-0.
2:02: Prater booms the kickoff 6-yards deep into the back of the end zone, resulting in an Arizona touchback.
1:58: Penalty flags have hit the field here late in the first quarter. On fiirst down, Arizona and Denver were called for offsetting penalities, as the Cardinals were called for having an illegal formation and Jack Williams was called for illegal contact.
0:51 Darrell Reid just recorded Denver’s first forced turnover of the preseason. Reid intercepted a Warner pass intended for Steve Breaston and the Broncos take over at the Arizona 38.
0:05 Facing third and 9 on the final play of the first quarter, Brandstater keeps Denver’s offensive drive alive by connecting with Lloyd for a 10-yard gain.
SECOND QUARTER –
Q2 -13:37: Facing third and 2 from the Arizona 19, Brandstater faces an aggressive blitz and can’t convert with his intended target, Lloyd. Prater connects on a 37-yard field goal attempt and Denver now leads 13-0.
Q2 -13:35: Matt Leinart is now in at quarterback from the Cardinals. On his first play at the helm of Arizona’s offense, Leinart is sacked by Robert Ayers for a 2-yard loss.
Q2 -12:09: After Denver’s first team defensive unit forced a three and out, Nate Swift returned Ben Graham’s 60-yard punt for a gain of 9 yards and the Broncos take over at their own 27-yard line.
Q2 -10:50: Brandstater continues to look accurate. After finding Walker for an 11-yard gain, Brandstater moved the chains by connecting with Marquez Branson for 7 yards.
Q2 – 8:15 Brandstater hooks up with Branson again, finding the rookie tight end for a gain of 12. The Broncos are now in the red zone, with the ball at the Arizona 19-yard line.
Q2 – 7:06 Facing third and 9 at the 17, Brandstater takes a shot deep to Kenny McKinley in the right corner of the end zone. McKinley can’t hold on to the pass, but Prater connects on a 35-yard field goal on the next play and the Broncos lead the Cardinals 16-0.
Q2 – 6:56 Prater continues to boom his kickoff attempts. This time the ball ended up dropping 9-yards deep into the end zone, resulting in another touchback.
Q2 – 6:22 The Cardinals take over possession at their own 20, and Wells proceeds to rush for a gain of 9. Arizona moves backward on the next play, however, as tight end Stephen Spach is called for illegal use of the hands to the face — resulting in a 10-yard penalty.
Q2 – 5:58 The Denver defense has forced another turnover. Safety David Bruton just picked off Leinart downfield and returned the ball for 32 yards, setting up the Broncos with a first and 10 from the 11-yard line.
Q2 – 4:33 After offsetting penalties on the Broncos and Cardinals on third and goal, the teams replay the down. Brandstater fires to Richard Quinn in the left corner of the end zone, but the rookie tight end can’t hold on, setting up fourth down.
Q2 – 4:12 With Prater setting up for a field goal attempt, Arizona linebacker Ali Highsmith is called for a neutral zone infraction, positioning the ball half the distance to the goal. Facing fourth and 5, Head Coach Josh McDaniels pulls his field goal unit off the field, electing to go for it.
Q2 – 4:10 Operating out of shotgun, Brandstater fumbles the snap and Arizona takes over at its own 9-yard line.
Q2 – 2:46 Tyler Palko is now in at quarterback for the Cardinals, making him the third Arizona signal caller to grace the field this evening. He just showcased his arm strength by connecting with wide receiver Jerheme Urban for a 29-yard gain.
Q2 – 1:57 Denver’s defense strikes again — forcing yet another turnover. Nic Clemons just forced the ball out of the hands of Arizona wideout Sean Morey and Bruton recovered the ball, handing possession back to the Broncos right at the two-minute warning.
Q2 – 1:10 After completing a 13-yard pass to McKinley, Brandstater was sacked by linebacker Victor Hobson on the next play, setting up third and 16. Brandstater found McKinley short of the first down marker on third down, but the Arizona defensive unit kept Denver’s drive alive as Jameel Dowling was penalized for illegal hands to the face — giving the Broncos an automatic first down.
Q2 – 1:08 On the very next play, Brandstater is intercepted by cornerback Michael Adams, and Arizona takes over at the Denver 39-yard line.
Q2 – 1:08 Arizona’s final offensive possession of the half only goes backwards, as Jarvis Moss gets to the quarterback, forcing Palko to fumble the ball. Arizona recovers the loose ball but is backed up 11-yards after the play.
Q2 – 0:07 Palko fires incomplete on the final play of the half. After the play, Arizona offensive lineman Elton Brown is ejected from the game for unsportsmanlike conduct after bumping an official.
Q2 – 0:00 That’s the end of the first half. Be back in a bit for the start of the second half.