12:54 P.M. EST: The P.A. system played Ring My Bell as the Broncos took the field. Not sure about the significance of that.
1:05 P.M. EST: Technical difficulties forced a computer restart, but we are back now.
1:47 P.M. EST: I apologize, but the entire first-quarter blog has been erased … I type it in Internet Explorer, and the blasted thing and my Internet connection shut down … so when I saved an entry, it only saved the first few lines. I apologize for the issues today. This stadium might be gleaming, but the quality of Internet connections in this city stinks.
1:34 P.M. EST: Forget what I said about this place being nice … I can’t get on the Internet. This place stinks.
1:35 P.M. EST: Second-and-28 after a holding penalty … and the Lions quickly get 20 of the yards they need on a pass from Jon Kitna to Calvin Johnson.
1:37 P.M. EST: After an incompletion, it’s the Lions’ Jason (Hanson) who tries a lengthy field goal … from 53 yards, it’s easily good, with a few yards to spare. Lions lead, 6-0.
1:40 P.M. EST: The Broncos might have found their kickoff returner … Andre Hall has shown the most consistency of any Broncos returner so far this season.
1:44 P.M. EST: Jay Cutler just hit the ground awkwardly on second down … he remains on the ground receiving treatment for over a minute.
1:45 P.M. EST: Ramsey’s first pass gets 18 yards and a first down.
1:49 P.M. EST: Things aren’t going well anywhere right now … Jay Cutler remained on the sidelines for the rest of the drive and my Internet connection is spotty, at best. I’ll try to update this as often as my connection allows, but no guarantees.
1:50 P.M. EST: Jay Cutler has been taken to the locker room for X-rays … he was hit in the lower left leg. He is questionable to return.
1:55 P.M. EST: A costly penalty … Elvis Dumervil got to Kitna on third-and-10, and then grabbed his facemask from behind. A seven-yard loss is wiped out, and now the Lions are in field-goal range at the Denver 33.
1:58 P.M. EST: Kitna-to-Furrey to the Denver 16 … Lions controlling the pace of this game … next play, touchdown, as Kitna finds Furrey for the final 16 yards, beating Karl Paymah across the middle … Furrey bounced off Paymah, used the cornerback to stop and start again and got separation from the third-year player. Broncos now trail 13-0.
2:01 P.M. EST: Still awaiting word on Cutler.
2:02 P.M. EST: Ramsey remains in at quarterback. I don’t see Cutler anywhere on the sidelines.
2:05 P.M. EST: Broncos now at the Detroit 39 after gaining 19 yards on the first two plays of the series. Ramsey’s pass to Brandon Marshall for 13 yards got the drive off to a promising start.
2:06 P.M. EST: Third down … Ramsey looks for Brandon Stokley, and the pass sails high. Denver will punt once again.
2:07 P.M. EST: Halloween may be four days in the past, but the scary part of the autumn is in the first-half stats today. So far, the Lions have an 11-3 first-down advantage, a 164-57 total-yardage edge and a 77-8 margin in rushing yardage.
2:13 P.M. EST: Lions moving again, now looking to expand their advantage before halftime … Their passing game is starting to flourish on these last two possessions, with a 17-yard Kitna-to-Calvin Johnson pass moving them across midfield.
2:15 P.M. EST: Detroit now at the 20 with second-and-5 … Clock down to 50 seconds … Kitna’s end-zone pass to Roy Williams went incomplete.
2:17 P.M. EST: Kitna’s pass to Shaun McDonald in the back of the end zone falls incomplete. Detroit settles for Jason Hanson’s third field goal of the day; Broncos trail 16-0.
2:21 P.M. EST: An illegal-man-downfield penalty, a short Selvin Young run and the clock runs out on the half … Broncos down 16-0.
2:37 P.M. EST: Cutler has a lower left leg contusion. His return remains questionable. I can’t see him anywhere on the Broncos sidelines.
2:38 P.m. EST: A Kitna incompletion yields a three-and-out for the Lions.
2:41 P.M. EST: The crowd begins a chant of “De-fense” as the Broncos sit in the shadow of their uprights … Broncos now have third-and-9 at their 4.
2:43 P.M. EST: Under pressure, Ramsey’s pass for Brandon Marshall falls incomplete. Ramsey is now 5-of-10 for 48 yards … Todd Sauerbrun, who has enjoyed a good day, clobbers a 51-yard-punt that is bobbled as it is fielded, thus yielding no return.
2:49 P.M. EST: Denver’s defense is now managing to give the offense some chances, with two three-and-outs on as many series this half.
2:52 P.M. EST: And now disaster strikes again as Patrick Ramsey is waylaid by Corey Smith, jarring the football loose … Dewayne White recovers the fumble and scoots three yards for the Lions score. Matt Lepsis is very slow to arise and is treated on the field for a minute before rising.
2:54 P.M. EST: Detroit’s lead is now 23-0.
2:57 P.M. EST: Lepsis is back in as the Broncos take over after a 34-yard kickoff return for Andre Hall. The first-year running back from South Florida has been a bright spot today; he’s averaging 29.0 yards per kickoff return.
3:01 P.M. EST: A nice grab by Tony Scheffler across the middle is followed by two incompletions, including one Brandon Marshall drop. With third-and-10 after the passes, Marshall then redeems himself with a 14-yard grab near the right sideline as three defenders closed in on him.
3:03 P.M. EST: Detroit calls timeout; the Lions had just 10 men on the field.
3:05 P.M. EST: Travis Henry takes over with a 7-yard run and a 22-yard carry … and then can’t walk back to the sideline, trying to get his balance before finally falling to the ground near the sideline.
3:07 P.M. EST: Henry is on his feet as trainers worked on his right hand … Meanwhile, the Lions crowd, without a care in its collective Honolulu blue world, does the wave.
3:08 P.M. EST: Selvin Young in on first-and-goal from the 5 … he is stopped for no gain.
3:09 P.M. EST: Ramsey looks for Daniel Graham amidst a thicket of silver helmets across the middle; Cory Redding swats the pass away.
3:10 P.M. EST: Ramsey looks for Brandon Marshall on the slant route … the pass is behind the second-year wideout. Broncos are going for it.
3:12 P.M. EST: The Lions had their worst field position of the day after the Broncos were turned away at their 5-yard-line … but took just seconds to get out of it .. or as long as it took Sean McHugh to go 46 yards with a pass … on the next play, Shaun McDonald gets a pass up the left sideline, follows a Mike Furrey block on Domonique Foxworth and sprints untouched to the end zone. Broncos now trail 30-0.
3:17 P.M. EST: Marshall is back in, and had a pass on the next drive.
3:20 P.M. EST: It seems as though each pass Ramsey throws is accompanied by a thunderous Lions pass rush … he continues to stand in, continues to make his throws fearlessly.
3:22 P.M. EST: Fourth-and-7 at the Lions 40, and the Broncos are going for it … but it will now be fourth-and-12 after the Broncos take a delay-of-game penalty. Head Coach Mike Shanahan sends the punt team onto the field.
3:26 P.M. EST: Lions call timeout with third-and-6 forthcoming. The Broncos have forced two three-and-outs already this half — unfortunately, the one exception was the two-play, 95-yard series that resulted in McDonald’s touchdown catch.
3:27 P.M. EST: The officials rule that McDonald trapped, and did not catch, a third-and-6 pass from Kitna. Detroit punts for the third time this quarter and the Broncos will take over at the 26.
3:29 P.M. EST: Broncos will have third-and-a-long-9 as the fourth quarter begins.
3:32 P.M. EST: The fourth quarter commences with an 11-yard Ramsey-to-Scheffler pass to keep the possession alive.
:35 P.M. EST: Glenn Martinez with a 10-yard reception in his return to Detroit; he moves the Broncos into Lions territory at the Detroit 46.
3:36 P.M. EST: Broncos continuing to move downfield … a 10-yard pass on fourth-and-1 — Marshall caught it — has Denver at the Detroit 32. Less than 10 minutes remain.
3:40 P.M. EST: With third-and-5, Ramsey let go of a pass as he attempted to avoid a furious pass rush … and disaster struck. Shaun Rogers intercepted it, sprinted into the open field up the left sideline and outran the Broncos for the 66-yard return. A bad afternoon gets worse, and the Broncos now trail 37-0.
3:45 P.M. EST: From bad to worse … and even worse. Tony Scheffler fumbled on the next play from scrimmage; Alex Lewis recovered and sprinted into the end zone for the touchdown. The Broncos are challenging the call.
3:49 P.M. EST: The challenge goes the Broncos’ way, but the fumble stands. Detroit takes over at the Denver 34 with 7:52 remaining as Lewis was ruled down by contact at the 34. J.T. O’Sullivan takes over at quarterback for Jon Kitna.
3:52 P.M. EST: Still another injury for the Broncos … D.J. Williams is hurt. He walks off the field under his own power.
3:55 P.M. EST: Williams is back in the game.
3:56 P.M. EST: T.J. Duckett plows forward, carrying defenders down to the Denver 3-yard-line on a 22-yard carry. One play later, he’s in the end zone.
3:58 P.M. EST: 44-0. Gracious.
4:02 P.M. EST: Broncos in hurry-up mode now … trying to avoid the first shutout for the franchise since Nov. 22, 1992.
4:06 P.M. EST: Broncos now at the Detroit 2 with 2:38 left after a Lions pass-interference penalty … playfake, rollout, touchdown to Brandon Stokley. The shutout is averted.
4:07 P.M. EST: Maybe not … the Lions are challenging the call.
4:12 P.M. EST: The touchdown stands … and with 2:26 to go, it’s time to pack for the locker room. More to come later.