2:33 P.M. MDT: Absolute dominance by the Jaguars in the first quarter, as the Broncos ran just three plays without gaining a first down in the opening period. The team stats breakdown:
FIRST DOWNS: JAX 6, Denver 0
PLAYS: JAX 21, Denver 3
TOTAL YARDS: JAX 96, Denver 10
YARDS PER PLAY: JAX 4.6, Denver 3.3
TIME OF POSSESSION: JAX 13:02, Denver 1:58.
2:35 P.M. MDT: Denver can make up for a multitude of sins with a stop here … Jarvis Moss claims he was drawn offsides after he was five yards into the backfield, and it turns out he was; Greg Estandia is called for a false start.
2:37 P.M. MDT: Maurice Jones-Drew gets four yards back, moving to the Denver 3, setting up third-and-goal. The north end zone crowd tries to get the place riled up; they’re standing, and others around the building rise to their feet. David Garrard finds Reggie Williams in the back of the end zone … There’s a flag down … Twelve men on the field against Denver, so the touchdown stands.
2:38 P.M. MDT: First-half drives don’t get much more damaging than that. Jacksonville not only gets the touchdown, but chews up 11 minutes and 44 seconds of the clock … The march covers 80 yards in 18 plays. Death by paper cuts.
2:41 P.M. MDT: Denver will take over at the 20 after the touchback on the kickoff. A three-and-out here would be devastating.
2:43 P.M. MDT: And the Broncos go backwards … Brandon Stokley called for offensive pass interference; he was ruled to be blocking while Jay Cutler’s pass to Javon Walker was in midair. The subsequent first-and-20 sees Cutler elude the pass rush, but then fire low for Travis Henry.
2:45 P.M. MDT: Inside handoff to Selvin Young picks up six of the yards … Denver now in a crucial third-and-14 … Cutler rolls right … floats one downfield for Brandon Marshall … and he makes the grab just as Reggie Nelson slams into him … the ball hung up in the air, but Marshall still makes the catch, and Denver is at the Jaguars 35.
2:47 P.M. MDT: Three plays later, third-and-4, and Cutler calls Marshall’s name again … 12 yards and the Broncos are in the red zone at the Jaguars 17.
2:48 P.M. MDT: Going backwards again … Matt Lepsis flagged for holding; back to the JAX 27.
2:49 P.M. MDT: More backwards … Mike Bell loses four yards after bouncing off Marcus Stroud. Denver’s at the JAX 31 now.
2:50 P.M. MDT: Goodness gracious Gertrude … first Cutler ducks under Terry Cousin, then Marshall eludes Reggie Nelson, Brian Williams and another Jaguars defender to make it down to the 1-yard-line … Thirty yards on as fine a run after the catch as you will see … quite reminiscent of his touchdown against Seattle last year.
2:51 P.M. MDT: And “Jack Nasty,” a.k.a. Nate Jackson, finishes it off with the 1-yard grab. It’s Jackson’s first career regular-season touchdown, and something tells me he’ll be writing about it this week. Game tied at 7-apiece.
2:52 P.M. MDT: That was just what the Broncos needed … 80 yards, 10 plays and 6:29 off the clock.
2:54 P.M. MDT: Not what Scott O’Brien wanted to see … Jones-Drew sprinting 42 yards with Todd Sauerbrun’s kickoff. JAX begins its possession at its 48.
2:57 P.M. MDT: Fred Taylor getting some tough yards …. he gets dragged five yards by Taylor on second down.
2:58 P.M. MDT: John Lynch not in right now … he’s standing on the sidelines, holding his helmet, wearing a visor. Curome Cox is in the game right now.
3 P.M. MDT: Jacksonville now 75 percent (six-of-eight) on third downs … oy gevault.
3:01 P.M. MDT: Elvis Dumervil adds a sack to his season total … Jaguars now in third-and-10 … crowd making a jet engine’s worth of noise … and it doesn’t help, as Garrard finds Dennis Northcutt for 21. Jaguars now seven-of-nine on third downs — 77.7 percent — and that is the defining statistic today.
3:04 P.M. MDT: Taylor runs down to the 4-yard-line. Jacksonville has 96 rushing yards on 21 carries so far.
3:06 P.M. MDT: Lynch has a strained groin … his return is questionable.
3:07 P.M. MDT: Now the Jaguars turn to Greg Jones … he powers through D.J. Williams and Simeon Rice for the score. There’s 1:56 on the clock and the Broncos have three timeouts to try and answer the Jacksonville score.
3:11 P.M. MDT: Broncos at the 20 to begin the drive … in hurry-up, no-huddle mode … out of the shotgun … but the drive ends when Selvin Young ets hit at the 40-yard-line and fumbles; Jacksonville recovers with 1:26 left and two timeouts and just 42 yards to cover to the end zone. Rashean Mathis forced the fumble.
3:13 P.M. MDT: Jaguars now at the Denver 26 after a 15-yard connection from Garrard to Northcutt in front of Jeff Shoate … 0:56 left in the half.
3:14 P.M. MDT: Jacksonville now at the Denver 18 with second-and-2 … JAX offense has all its pistons firing right now.
3:15 P.M. MDT: Jones-Drew runs to the Denver 9 … Dumervil nearly chases Garrard down on first and goal but gets stiff-armed by the passer; the ensuing pass eventually falls incomplete.
3:16 P.M. MDT: Garrard finds Jones-Drew across the middle for eight yards … and the play will stand after the Broncos are called for offsides.
3:16 P.M. MDT: Garrard spikes the football on third-and-goal from the 1; this stops the clock with 11 seconds to go … Not sure why you spike the football there, especially with one timeout remaining … Denver calls timeout as the Jaguars begin to set up for the 19-yard John Carney field-goal attempt.
3:18 P.M. MDT: Carney’s kick is good, and the Broncos trail by two scores for the first time all year, at 17-7.
3:21 P.M. MDT: The crowd boos as the Broncos opt to take a knee with a 17-7 halftime deficit.