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Broncos run their way to 10-3 halftime lead

Denver Broncos' McGahee celebrates with teammates after scoring a touchdown against Cincinnati Bengals during their NFL football game in Denver Reuters

Broncos fans put up billboards asking for more of Tim Tebow this week, but they might have picked the wrong offensive player.

Willis McGahee, forced into the starting lineup by the injury to Knowshon Moreno, had 58 yards and a touchdown in the first half and the Broncos lead the Bengals 10-3 after 30 minutes. Lance Ball and Spencer Larsen added 22 more yards on the ground to give the Broncos 80 rushing yards for the half. That’s 42 yards more than they managed against the Raiders in their Week One loss and a big reason why Denver has a lead with their depleted roster.

They started the game without Moreno, Brandon Lloyd, Elvis Dumervil, Champ Bailey and D.J. Williams and saw Eddie Royal leave the game after a quarter with a groin injury. That’s forced Tebow into action as a wide receiver, but the Broncos have kept the ball on the ground and dominated time of possession as a result.

It has also helped that the Broncos convert their third downs while the Bengals keep coming up short. Cedric Benson was stuffed on two third-and-one running plays and Andy Dalton was incomplete on a third attempt on third-and-one, while the Broncos were able to extend drives five times on third down in the first half. The Bengals couldn’t do it once, which helps explain a big Denver edge in time of possession and goes a long way toward explaining why the Broncos have a lead at the break.

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5 Responses to “Broncos run their way to 10-3 halftime lead”
  1. trbowman says: Sep 18, 2011 5:49 PM

    McGahee should be starting over Moreno going forward.

  2. barklikeadog says: Sep 18, 2011 6:10 PM

    Can I still get tix for bungles home opener next week?

  3. sullijo1 says: Sep 18, 2011 7:33 PM

    Bengals are not very good.

    Over 50% of the Broncos Payroll was standing on the sideline (per CBS) – then they lose Eddie Royal and Julius Thomas early.

    They had Eric Decker, Patrick Willis and Tim Tebow (yes, that Tim Tebow) playing WR and still beat this team…..and let’s not act like the Broncos were even average to start with before losing 8 starters. That was a pretty gutsy performance by the Broncos – I’ll give them that.

    BTW – Cincy was given 4 timeouts in the 2nd half (one during a broncos punt, one on 4th and 1, and 2 while the broncos were trying to run out the clock with 3 minutes left). Not that it mattered – except Ed Hocculi was the Referee – worth noting.

  4. dasportsninja says: Sep 18, 2011 7:42 PM

    Neck Beard must go- Put Quinn or Tebow in. These 3 yard completions on 3rd and 10 have to stop. He is turning into a check down king. All the negativity is getting to his head. It seems like he is afraid to throw the ball down field.

  5. sullijo1 says: Sep 18, 2011 8:11 PM

    dasportsninja:

    I could care less who starts at QB for Denver, but make a valid point if you want someone else. I’m really losing confidence in Broncos fans – they used to actually know the game pretty well. I happened to watch the game today and didn’t recall very many 3rd and long 3 yard completions.

    So, I went back and looked at the play by play…..there were ZERO of these so called “check downs” during the entire game.

    There were 3 third downs that went incomplete where Orton passed short and the Broncos didn’t get a first down or run ball. There was a 3rd and 7, a 3rd and 5, and a 3rd and 9. Not one situation you describe above.

    He had 6 completions over 14 yards including a 25 yard TD and a 52 yard TD.

    If you want to say “protect the ball better,” I get it – since he fumbled once each of the first two weeks…..but bring some facts….not delusional opinions.

    Again, I have no preference re: QBs in Denver, but Orton threw to guys named Decker and Willis most of the day due to injuries – cut the guy some slack.

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