Broncos inactives include Brady Quinn as the 3rd QB, CB Andre Goodman, RB Laurence Maroney, S Darcel McBath, OL Stanley Daniels, OL Eric Olsen, WR Demaryius Thomas and LB David Veikune….
Crank the heat in the Box – the Denver Broncos are on the field… Wonder why nobody ever sings in the Press Room?
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Well, I guess we've all been here before – Broncos take the toss, start out like they're on fire and shake a quick seven on the board before your first beer is done.… Seven plays, 80-yards and there's actually a few smiles in the crowd.
Rams response falls flat but you still get the feeling this could spell trouble later on – Broncos field their second drive on their own 20.
McD's mixingit up nicely between air and ground – three plays later they're across midfield and looking to draw blood. Unfortunately St. Louis slams it on their own 35 and force Prater to make good from 49 – Broncos open up an early 10-0 lead with 7:24 in the first.
First sign of trouble – Rams pull out a sweet drive of their own, chewing up nearly six minutes in the process. Michael Hoomanawanui seals the deal connecting with a perfect toss from Sam Bradford from 36-yards out and the Rams pull within three at 10-7.
Quarter comes to a close with the Broncos once again creeping close to midfield…
Something tells me this might become standard as the game progresses – Semi-decent drive – hit the wall – Prater to the rescue. Such was the case on the last two possessions –still, they're holding it tight at 13-7.
Bowlen must be cutting back on the electrical bill – Press Box is freezing.
Not sure what the exact temperature is, but I swear I'm missing some body parts…
Rams have crossed midfield and are 32-yards away from taking the lead – like I said, this could be trouble. Bradford continues to chip away at it and the Broncos look confused – McD calls time with St. Louis facing 1st and ten from the 19 – let's see if it matters.
Evidentially not – Rams grab it on a 2-yard toss from Bradford to Billy Bajema and the crowd grows cold and quiet – St. Louis leads 14-13… my guess is the booing will commence shortly.
Guess is correct – three and out certainly didn't help – Rams get another shot.
I like this Bradford kid – for being a rookie he sure knows how to exploit a defense… at least the Broncos defense anyway. Another perfect strike to a wide open Bajema, and I mean wide open, Rams take a 20-13 lead after the missed PAT.
Boos continue to make their way onto the field and continue even louder as the team blows out another 3 and out…sadly pathetic…. How would you like to trade places with Pat Bowlen right now?
Creeping closer to the 2:00 warning and Bradford's got them across midfield again – first and ten from the 42.
Rams march it inside the 20 and get slammed – Josh Brown squares it from 28 and St. Louis holds a 23-13 lead with less than a buck left in the half.
Here comes Trouble Part Two - Eddie Royal fumbles the kickoff - Rams recover and get another shot to close out the half... Brown splits it again and in less than a minute the Rams have put up two field goals and take a 26-13 lead into the locker room.
First half closes to a chorus of BOOS... headed to burn one, despite the weather.
I'm officially beginning the Cut and Paste portion of the game – after the Rams folded on a three and out Denver did its best two and through with a Knowshon Moreno fumble, giving St. Louis a thirty-one yard field and a bucket of momentum. Bradford wastes little time – Darby untouched up the middle for the score – Rams blowing it out 33-13… Welcome to NFL Purgatory.
Maybe it's just a matter of how you respond to adversity – and when it comes to the Broncos, the response generally blows. No life, no spirit, no momentum and no progress… Two drives so far this quarter - one fumble, one punt. I've seen more inspiration during a root canal.
Brown finally tanks on a 35-yarder and the Broncos grab a decent field – only to find the quarter come to a close, trailing it by twenty - 33-13.
Don't look now, but somebody noticed a pulse. Orton connects on a key second down shot - 41-yards down the right side to Brandon Lloyd and the lead is cut to 13 points with just over 14:00 remaining.
Not that anyone here really gives them a shot to come back in this one, but at least the embarrassment is somewhat lightened – at least at this stage… Keep in mind Bradford still has plenty of time to skewer the D backs before the day is done.
Ok, slight skewer – Bradford rolls it to the Broncos eight and Josh Brown grabs the easy chip shot for par. Lead increases 36-20 and the crowd is quietly making its way toward greener pastures.
Perfect night for massive alcohol and a fire place… neither of which I happen to have right now.
For a team that hasn't won a road game the entire year, St. Louis is making it look pretty easy.
Broncos find a little spark two drives later as Orton hits Eddie Royal from 16 out… Two-point conversion fails and Denver's cut it to a ten point difference with just under five minutes remaining… Rams hold tight 36-26.
Keep thinking to myself… stranger things have happened. Just can't quite remember when.
Clinging to life – Broncos convert on fourth and eight to cross midfield. Follow it up with a beautiful 38-yard shot to Eric Decker and before you know it Brandon Lloyd snakes in a 5-yard toss - Prater adds the point and we've got a ball game ladies and gentleman – well, kind of – Rams will take the kick with 2:35 on the clock and try to kill it at all costs.
You know what's coming here… onside kick – Prater sails it out of bounds but the Rams get flagged for batting the ball. Move it up ten and we'll kick it again… Oneside Part Two – Rams hold on and take possession just beyond the 40.
Broncos burn their final time out with 2:27 left – Rams are looking at second and six with the remaining faithful busting the noise. Hunter for a two-yard gain up the middle as the two-minute warning kicks off.
Denver "D" HOLDS – Rams are forced to punt – partially blocked by Bruton – rolls dead at the 34-yard line with a buck six left.
Orton to pass – flags fly – interference on the defense and illegal motion on the offense – pretty much a waste of time – replay first down.
Out of the shotgun Orton gets railed – second and sixteen with 36 seconds.
Incomplete to Daniel Graham – brings up third and sixteen.
Incomplete to Royal – they've got one last shot on fourth down.
Orton back to Royal for another INCOMPLETION and this one's in the books. Broncos drop to 3-8 with a 36-33 loss to the St. Louis Rams.
Firmly convinced we've reached a low point in franchise history – don't be surprised to see some changes – soon.
Notes and Quotes to follow
Michael John Schon has covered the National Football League and the Denver Broncos for the past twelve-years. As a member of the Pro Football Writers Association he has published and syndicated columns to both newspapers and magazines throughout the United States and Canada. His syndicated radio broadcast: "Schon Live" airs weekly on various radio and Internet stations around the country. You can follow all of Schon's updates on Twitter - Facebook or drop him an email at Michael John Schon
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