Schon: Denver Broncos Game Day News and Notes

The Champ is back, the weather is freezing and thanks to the Buccaneers tank job, the Denver Broncos control their own destiny. That's actually kind of scary...

I love living in Colorado… but… I think I actually froze an appendage walking from the parking lot to the media entrance - I'll have to check later. At least the crowd seems pumped – which is more than I can say for Tampa Bay. Leave it to Jon Gruden to make things difficult… anyway, here's the inactives for Denver - WR Chad Jackson, S Marlon McCree, CB Jack Williams, FB Andrew Pinnock, FB/LB Spencer Larsen, LB Niko Koutouvides, G Pat Murray and DE Tim Crowder.

In Rod We Trust – Nice standing O for one of Denver's best – Mr. Smith will definitely be missed …

1st Quarter
Broncos win the toss and I'm starting to regain the feeling in my fingers... it's a great life. Cutler and Co. bust it out with a bang – excellent mix of the pass and run, topping it off with a Cutler 2-yard scramble for the end zone – eight plays, 80-yards and the Broncos are one step closer. Now we'll see about the defense…

So far, so good. Bailey's back with a vengence – beautiful blind side smackdown on Trent Edwards force a fumble, Bills recover but it doesn't really make a difference – drive stalls after three quick ones. Broncos take it deep in their own territory.

Eddie Royal's the hero of the moment – 71-yard foot race falls just short of a score. Broncos hold all the momentum at this stage… Unbelieveable non-call for pass interference – everybody on the face of the planet saw that one coming – Broncos settle for a rare Matt Prater field goal and it's 10-0 as Buffalo takes the field.

Bills are playing it pretty consistent – three and out seems to be the story of the quarter for Edwards – unbelievably bad punt by Brian Moorman on fourth down gives Denver a short field at their own 35-yard line.

When in doubt go to Marshall… or Royal… or Darrell Jackson – quarter comes to a close with Denver knocking on the door just outside the Buffalo 20. You'd never guess this is the same team that tanked to Kansas City.

2nd Quarter
They're almost making it look easy… Denver's scored on every possession to this point. Even Matt Prater is pulling through – I may decide to let him back in the fan club if he keeps this up. Back to back field goals inside the 50-yard line – I can hardly contain my excitement. Broncos take a 13-0 lead as Mr. (Semi)Automatic splits it from 30.

Oh-oh… here come the Bills – slow and steady but it's working. Thanks in part to a roughing the passer penalty on Elvis Dumerville, Buffalo's inside the twenty. Third and 12 toss to Parrish falls in-com-plete and it's Rian (yes, that's the correct spelling) Lindell to the rescue – there goes the shutout – Buffalo trims it 13-3 with 7:43 left in the half.

The Denver Broncos are back in business boys and girls, minus P.J. Pope – they just announced it's another hamstring on a running back – who would have thought? I believe they'll be holding open tryouts at halftime if anyone's interested. Cutler's keeps it rolling – but currently it's rolling backwards – thanks to a series of penalties the Broncos are looking at third and 31 from the Buffalo 48. Ouch… Cutler to Marshall picks up 12 and we've hit the two-minute warning…zzz….zzz… Here comes my new/old best friend Matt Prater from 54-yards out – he hasn't missed this year from outside 50… kick falls short – Bills take it at the 44.

You're back on thin ice Prater....

Nobody controls a clock quite like Trent Edwards (well..maybe they do, but it's too taxing to think about it right now). Nine plays, 56-yards and suddenly the Broncos lead doesn't look so secure as Marshawn Lynch breaks the plane from two-yards out. First half comes to a very quiet close with the Broncos clinging to a 13-10 lead.

Did I mention Matt Prater's on thin ice?

3rd Quarter
Nice loss of momentum to close out the half… here comes Buffalo to start the third and it doesn't look pretty. Edwards is moving it… quick toss to Fred Jackson and the Bills have crossed midfield. Broncos finally find a way to tighten up the "D" line but Lindell schools Prater by knocking it through from 49 – 9:52 left in the quarter and the Broncos are tied with Buffalo 13-13… freakin Buffalo?

Did anybody bother to tell the Broncos that San Diego won?

Let the meltdown begin…Broncos drive comes to an unceremonious ending with a Brandon Marshall fumble at the 42-yard line. I can't wait till the postgame presser on this one. Unless things change quickly, this could go down as one of the biggest Denver choke jobs in history.

Playoffs? Playoffs? How about just win one at home?

Bills rebound with a seven play, 48-yard drive in just under four-minutes and Lindell nails it again – Bills take a 16-13 lead. I wonder if there's anything stronger than coffee in the media dining room?

If they're going to do it - it's got to be now. Shanny's breaking out the big guns - completions to Marshall, Scheffler, Graham and Stokley roll it down to the six where Cutler polishes it off with a sweet scramble to the corner. Broncos regain the lead 20-16 and I believe there's a pulse left in the city.

Another One Bites the Dust - RB SElvin Young has a pinched nerve, his return is questionable. I've officially lost count on how many Broncos running backs have gone down this year - I think we're nearing triple digits. Third quarter comes to a close.

4th Quarter
Right back at you – Bills break it big time… Edwards connects with Jackson on a 65-yarder and moves it to the Broncos 3 – two plays later Edwards spreads it to Steve Johnson and it's a Buffalo touchdown – Bills are back on top 23-20.

Ok, so here's your follow up – Broncos respond in kind with a six play, 49-yard drive that actually has Prater making a field goal – Broncos tie it back up at 23-23 – I'm getting dizzy…

It looks like Edwards isn't finished yet – Bills take an extremely lame Prater kick and bring it back 30-yards… 45-yard kick and a 30-yard return – that hurts. Sixteen-yard completion, 11-yard completion, 10-yard run and before you know it it's Fred Jackson off tackle for the touchdown – Bills back up 30-23 with 9:00 left in the game.

(Cut and Paste) If they're going to do it - it's got to be now – It's all up to JC and right now he's headed in the right direction. At least he was – after marching it all the way down to the Buffalo 15-yard line, Cutler unleashes the most ill-timed interception of his career. Instant package punch to the 70,000+ crazy enough to brave the cold…

Buffalo appears to be so shocked they can't muster a first so deep in their own backyard – Broncos force the punt and have one last chance at redemption.

Cutler's controlling the clock – Stokley and Marshal are the go to guys and Denver's moving their way downfield – with 1:07 they're sitting at second and ten from the 20 – no luck – it all boils down to one final play on fourth and five – incomplete to Stokley in the end zone… thirty-two seconds remaining and the Broncos drop ANOTHER one at Invesco…

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