From the press box: Broncos v Seahawks

It’s the Jay Cutler addition er, edition that is….

6:02p….It’s supposedly cold in the press box but I don’t feel it. CalBear, in a typical display of abandon, has turned up the thermometer. If the stadium catches fire we know who to blame.

6:10p….Haven’t seen to many number 6 jerseys, but if Mr. Cutler has a big night we’ll see a lot Monday.

6:11p….George Foster is starting, hmmmm. I wonder if his recent benching will help step his play up. Cutler needs Foster to play well, heck, he needs the whole offensive line to play better….and the defense….and the coaching.

6:17p….Bad omen of the night; Denver is wearing the blueberry outfit. Terrible. I blame the NFL for this. If the Broncos weren’t playing a night game every night we could forget about them, but no.

6:20p….Jake out for the coin toss and…the Seahawks win the toss. Why am I not surprised?

6:21p….Another “prompt” kickoff. Paul Ernster will kick for Denver. A line drive brought to the 25 but a flag. Probably holding.

6:22p…Yep, holding and the stadium is rocking. The linebackers need to play well tonight. Seahawks with three straight passes with one completion means they have to punt. Denver’s defense is active. A returnable punt, but I can’t see the action because of all the flags.

6:24p….A huge cheer for Jay Cutler. I thought it was the tee kid for a second.

6:25p….First play of Jay Cutler’s career is a handoff to Tatum Bell for five yards. If you wanted to know. So was his second, by the way.

6:26p….Jay’s first pass was incomplete. Three and out for the Broncos. And now the cheerleaders. 12:22 left in the first quarter

6:30p….Seattle back on offense and John Engleberger makes a stop for a loss. If Denver can stop Alexander they have a good shot at winning. Max Strong is a great fullback but just dropped his second pass of the game. Ooops. Key third and twelve. It’s a handoff to Strong, who makes a good gain, but it’s fourth down again. Time to see if the Coke machine is working again. It was down earlier.

6:34p….Cutler runs on first down. He looks mobile, but can he throw from the run? Very conservative play calling so far. A rush by Bell and Cutler has another third down. Cutler passes it, ooh, almost picked off. He can’t be forcing balls in like that last pass. Broncos down the punt at the ten. 0 for 2 for Cutler so far. I wonder what his QB rating is so far?

6:39p….There’s a fire on the Bronco bench. Luckily it’s in a fireplace.I didn’t know they were able to burn wood on the sidelines.

6:40p….Denver defense is playing well. Two stops on first and second brings up third down. Darrent Williams makes another great tackle short of the first down. Another punt for Seattle. This looks like the defense we all saw earlier in the year. Broncos will get it at the 50 yard line. Cutler needs to get a completion to calm the nerves a bit. I predict a screen pass during the next series.

6:43p….Tatum Bell is trying to help Cutler out. A great 25 yard run, followed by another first down. Tatum Bell looks happy to be back in the lineup. He has 46 yards rushing so far.

6:45p….Two more to handoffs to Bell makes it obvious that Shanahan is reestablishing the run.

6:46p….Cutler is sacked, answering the question of what will happen to Jay Cutler first, a sack or a completed pass.

6:47p….Elam puts Denver on the board with a 37 yard field goal. We will miss him when he retires. Broncos 3 Seahawks 0 3:55 left in first quarter

6:50p….Broncos kickoff and let up a thirty six yard return. The special teams is still a problem for Denver.

6:51p….Every Bronco fan needs to thank the Denver defense. They’re playing well. Just let up a first down though.

6:53p….If the Seahawks could only catch the ball, they would be doing much better. Can’t get the first and it’s the fourth punt of the night for Seattle. And that’s the end of the first quarter. Broncos 3 Seahawks 0 Beginning of the second quarter

6:55p….One problem with cold weather. The cheerleaders are wearing parkas. Dang. Speaking of fashion, it also looks like the refs are wearing sweatsuits. I just don’t like those outfits.

6:57 p….A punt to open the second quarter puts the Broncos on their own 2. A fumble! Or is it? No it’s not. Second down for Denver. Denver needs to open it up a little. Cutler has minus 10 passing yards. How, I’m not sure. Another passing situation on third down, but Cutler under throws Cecil Sapp. Sapp catches it, but it should have gone for more. Not an auspicious first pass for the rookie. Denver has to punt, where is Ernster? Oh here he comes. Must have forgot what down it was while he was standing by the heaters.

7:02p….Seahawks take over in Denver territory. A nice pass by Hasselback puts Darrent Williams into a tantrum. First down Seattle. Alexander tries to run it but can’t get by Champ Bailey. He’s now made two great tackles. Here’s third down. The Defense must get off the field. Third down percentage is key. A flag for delay of game puts Seattle back further. Broncos still need to get off the field. The crowd knows and starts the “Defense” chant.

7:06p….A stop by Denver and Seattle will either punt or try a field goal. They’ll take a timeout first. Broncos 3 Seahawks 0 9:41 left in second quarter

7:08p….Josh Brown will try the field goal but it’s wide left. Denver takes over at the 20 yard line.

7:11p….Jay fumbles his first snap making it second and thirteen. He runs on second, comes close to a first down then gets his face mask grabbed. First down. Maybe Denver should run the option instead.

7:14p…Cutler tries the roll out pass, but he threw it behind Scheffler. Jay makes up for it on third down. Completes to Alexander for a first down. Takes a big hit too. Now Bell goes for big yardage! 31 yards for Tatum puts the ball on the seven. First down and goal.

7:16p….Cutler to Stephen Alexander for a touchdown. First of Cutler’s career. We hope for a lot more. Broncos 10 Seahawks 0 6:14 left in second quarter

7:19p….Seattle takes the kickoff to the 24 before a big hit. Hasselback needs to get his offense moving. Actually, I should say his receivers need to start catching his passes. Another drop on first down. That is the fourth drop of the game by Seattle. Now a delay of game flag. This reminds me of the AFC West Seattle Seahawks. They couldn’t play in Denver at all. Hasselback throws it out of bounds to bring up third down. It’s short and it’s punt number five for Seattle.

7:24p….Fair catch and Denver will start on the 31 yard line. CalBear needs a brat and I could use a hotdog. The Coke is still flat…yuck!

7:28p….Cutler and Co. on offense and Jay tries to make a play but he’s intercepted for a touchdown. Darryl Tapp with the pick. Very Plummeresque. Like I’ve said all week, however, I’d rather have a rookie making those rookie mistakes. Let see if Cutler can rebound.

7:30p….As Tatum Bell takes it outside a fan yells “put in Plummer!” Typical Bronco fan. Tatum Bell has 91 yards rushing so far. A good half. It looks like the running game is coming into form. Bell with another long gain and is over 100 yards for the half. Nice job.

7:32p….The way Tatum Bell is running, Cutler may not get another pass attempt. Seattle’s defense is getting exposed by the run. Rod Smith catches the pass and fumbles. A stupid mistake by a veteran. The Broncos are lucky Hasselback isn’t playing well. Broncos 10 Seattle 7 Two minutes left in the second quarter

7:35p….Time for a meal. Back in a second

7:43p….Or not. The hotdogs are popular. Nice to see Seattle’s kicking game floundering. The Broncos could use another score.

7:45p….It’s fourth and one and a field goal…No, a fake by Elam. Elam gets the first down. Now I’ve seen everything. He could have pulled a hammy or something. It will still be a field goal. It’s good but Elam did, he did pull a hammy. I hope Ernster can kick field goals. I like the fake, but not in this weather. That may come back to haunt Shanahan. Broncos 13 Seahawks 7 End of the first half

7:51p….Still halftime and what have we learned? We learned that Jake Plummer wasn’t the total problem. The Broncos needed everyone to play better, which they have, and have Jay Cutler play better than Jake, which he hasn’t. The running game looks good, now Jay Cutler needs to prove he’s the future or you’ll likely see Jake again next week. As important a half as the Broncos have had this year. Still Jay does have a better passer rating (59.4) than Hasselback (50.3) which is surprising.

8:00p….Broncos will get the kickoff. Time for Denver to put a game away. Broncos 13 Seahawks 7 Start of the third period

8:03p….A nice return to the 34. Another big dose of Tatum Bell. Two rushes to start the half give Denver a 3rd and 6. Show me the money Jay! A terrible pass under pressure is caught by Javon Walker. Shouldn’t throw that ball. Jay owes Javon a watch or something.

8:06p….Third down again. Cutler shows why he’s a first rounder with a rope to Tony Sheffler. Another first down. Now that’s the type of pass we like. Followed by another forced pass. Flags down for holding. Running back Mike Bell with the penalty. Now Mike Bell fumbles, but who has it? Cutler tries to get it but Seattle comes up with it. First down Seahawks.

8:12p….Seattle has seen something and is starting to attack the outside with short passes. The Seahawks get a false start, then a short run and Seattle punts. A fair catch at the 11 yard line.

8:16p….I don’t know who peed in the Denver O-line’s Cheerios but they are blocking great. Another long run, this time by Cecil Sapp. Cutler overthrows Walker. I like that they’re going down field. I only wish it were more accurate. The second down throw is deflected on a stretch out play by the DB. Cutler gets stepped on by his center and is sacked. Punt for Denver.

8:21p….Seattle with the ball again. They need their offense to step up worse than Denver does. Only 79 yards of offense so far for Seattle. Denver has 242 so far. Broncos 13 Seahawks 7 5:52 left in the third quarter

8:22p….Welcome to the game Alexander. He’s finally starting to do something on the ground. Seattle starting to find their offensive rhythm. Two first downs on the drive so far. They’ve finally gone over 100 yards of offense.

8:25p…..Hasselback goes deep towards Champ Bailey. That’s a mistake, and Champ makes them pay with a pick in the end zone. Have I mentioned how great the Champ Bailey trade was? First down for CutCo (my new nickname for the Jay Cutler led Offense). A drive of some length would do wonders for Jay Cutler right now.

8:30p….Offense sputters again. Cutler tries Walker again on 3rd down and another incomplete pass is the result. Punt for Denver. Cutler needs to get in the groove quickly as the natives are getting restless. Seattle takes over at their 25 yard line. 2:16 left in the third quarter

8:34p….Just came back from hunting for a non-flat Coke to see the Seahawks down their punt on the Broncos one yard line. No turnovers please. Yikes, no safety either. They Broncos just got out of the endzone. Broncos 13 Seahawks 7 Start of the fourth quarter

8:37p….Almost 4000 no shows. They’ll get booed for sure. It’s also a mess at the endzone. The cheerleaders are dancing and the players are waiting because they have to play in the same spot. What a mess!

8:39p….3rd and 6 for Cutler and he’s sacked! That’s three sacks for Cutler. Brings up fourth down. At least Ernster remembered his helmet this time. Returned to the Bronco 36 yard line.

8:41p….Seattle with wonderful field position, but the Denver defense is still playing well. A sack takes Seattle out of field goal range. Seattle has only two 3rd down conversions. The punt is fumbled by Darrent Williams, at least the Broncos came up with it. A sloppy game for Denver. They are fortunate to have a first down at the 21. Now an injury timeout. I can’t see who it is but it might be Williams. Broncos 13 Seahawks 7 11:37 left in the fourth quarter

8:47 p….Must be a bad injury. The cart is being brought out. The injury is to Al Wilson and this is not good. He’s the last guy to want to be carted off the field. The crowd is chanting “Wilson.” I’m not sure I think of anyone who I would less like to see hurt. The Bronco bench has surrounded Wilson on the field. You know when a guy is important when the rest of the team surrounds them. Wilson will be driven off the field to a standing ovation. I hope to have more information. When I get it you’ll get it. Unless I’m in the locker room.

8:53p….Back to the action. Tatum Bell with the two yard run. And Tatum Bell is limping off the field. Two plays, two key injuries. Denver needs to get a spark back. They look a little dazed right now. Mike Bell comes in. Cutler needs to step up right now! A run though, and the crowd is booing. Shanahan needs to open up the offense, not shut it down. Denver punts. Seattle ball at their 38 yard line. 9:42 left in the fourth quarter

9:00p….An interesting note is that Cutler still has an edge over Hasselback in passer rating (53.0 to 36.5). Nearly a touchdown by Seattle who has taken the momentum.

9:01p….Al Wilson has a sprained neck and won’t return. It could have been a lot worse.

9:02p….Alexander scores and the Seahawks take the lead. Seahawks 14 Broncos 13 8:13 left in the fourth quarter

9:03p….Seattle to kickoff. A short kickoff, and another fumble. Seattle recovers. Denver doesn’t want to win this thing. Four fumbles lost is way too many. Seahawk ball on the Denver 40.

9:05p….The Broncos must hold here or this game will be out of reach. They stuff Alexander twice to bring up third down. And again! But a flag against the Broncos. Holding on Veal. Too many dumb mistakes by Denver, particularly when they had the stop.

9:10p….Another stop by Denver, and Josh Brown will try to stop his field goal miss streak. He converts the 44 yard field goal and now Denver needs a touchdown. Seahawks 17 Broncos 13 4:08 left in the fourth quarter

9:11p….CalBear notes that this is the perfect time for Cutler to get a “Elway-type” comeback. Seattle kicks off and Denver doesn’t fumble. Yea!!!

9:12p….1st down on the 29. A tip and another interception for Cutler. Ballgame. There goes the fans. They know the game’s over also. I have to go downstairs. Back with the post mortem later. It should be a fun locker room.

10:24p….Seahawks 23 Broncos 20 Well Cutler tried to bring the Broncos back, but another late loss sends the Broncos record to 7-5. Cutler doesn’t deserve the blame for this loss, but the same symptoms that doomed Plummer are still evident. Five turnovers were the main problem. Poor play calling was another. Cutler gets another chance but this game definitely puts Mike Shanahan on the hot seat.

I think the San Diego game next week is pretty big. Broncos must win or they’re done. Simple as that.

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