The Denver Broncos took the field in the humid and hot Florida weather to take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. At stake, the Broncos were looking to maintain an undefeated record and in control of the AFC through one quarter of the season after the New England Patriots were skunked at home against the Buffalo Bills.
The Buccaneers received the opening kickoff to get things going. On their first third down of the day, Jameis Winston throws an interception to Aqib Talib who returned it down to the Buccaneers eleven yard line.
From there Trevor Siemian on his first throw hit Demaryius Thomas on a slant for the touchdown. Just like that...
Broncos 7, Bucs 0.
On their next possession, Chris Harris Jr. came out after making a tackle and the Buccaneers quickly made it past midfield after a big catch by Mike Evans. Harris would return two plays later, but on third down Vincent Jackson would make the third down conversion down inside field goal range.
Darian Stewart was beat by the tight end to set the Buccaneers up at the Broncos eleven yard line. On second down and nine, Von Miller was held on a potential sack (still make the tackle), but the play moved the Buccaneers back to their own nineteen yard line.
Tight ends continue to be the Broncos Achilles heel as the Bucs got all of those yards back and then some. On third down, Winston was nearly sacked twice before breaking free for a touchdown run.
The #Broncos third down defense is leaving much to be desired through four weeks.— MileHighReport (@MileHighReport) October 2, 2016
Broncos 7, Bucs 7.
A quick first down pass from Siemian to Emmanuel Sanders followed by another quick pas to Thomas set the Broncos up out near the forty-five yard line. On second and one, Siemian play faked to C.J. Anderson and the pass sailed incomplete. Anderson would take the ball on the next play and got stuffed at the line for no gain. Broncos punt after a very quick drive.
Winston continues to pose problems for the Broncos with another scrambled for a first down to keep their next drive going. The run game got going for them on the next play with a twelve yard run for the Buccaneers.
Todd Davis opened up first down with a near sack on Winston, but then Billy Winn showed up in the run game with a nice stop for a loss. After a false start, Winston, on third and 17, hit Charles Sims in the flat for another loss. Bucs punted on fourth and 19.
After getting stuffed at the line again on an Anderson run inside, Siemian hit Jeff Heuerman for a big gain and a first down. Anderson would be stuffed at the line again to end the quarter.
On the ensuing punt, the Buccaneers got a solid return to setup themselves up with great field possession. After a stuffed run, Aqib Talib got his second interception of the game and returned it down inside the thirty yard line.
From their own 32, after a false start penalty, Siemian hit Thomas for a first down inside the red zone. A pass interference on Jordan Taylor set the Broncos up at the one yard line where C.J. Anderson burrowed his way in for the score two plays later.
Broncos 14, Buccaneers 7.
Sylvester Williams showed up on the next drive with a solid run stuff, but a pass interference penalty on Will Parks set the Bucs up near midfield.
After stuffing the first run play, Sims gained seven yards on his next rush to setup a manageable third down for Tampa Bay. Another false start made it a less manageable third down attempt. A first down run was wiped out by a hold, which turned it into a third and fifteen for the Bucs that would be stopped by the Broncos defense.
The Broncos offense were not up to the task on their next drive, starting with a Siemian sack and a short three yard run by Anderson. On third and seventeen, Siemian gives the ball to Anderson on draw who gained twelve of those yards back. Three and out for the Broncos.
Another big punt return from the Buccaneers set them up at midfield.
After another stuffed run, Shane Ray was juked out of his jockstrap and took a cheapish shot on Winston who unloaded on the deep ball that was broken up by Talib and T.J. Ward.
On third and nine, the Buccaneers converted again for a thirteen yard gain. The third down struggles continued for the Broncos defense.
Bucs 4-of-8 on third downs. Broncos 0-for-3.— Andrew Mason (@MaseDenver) October 2, 2016
An incomplete pass on first down and a five yard run, setup yet another third down for the Broncos defense. A fantastic pass defense of Will Parks was wiped out by an offsides by Von Miller to setup a third and a short one.
Miller made up for it with a huge run stuff, and a strip from the running back by Ward that would be recovered by Winn for the Broncos.
Siemian would be dropped for the third time of the half after being body slammed by the Bucs defensive lineman. Sadly, the Broncos had two guys open on the play for a deep ball, but the protection faltered badly on the play.
A quick run play brought the game to the two-minute warning.
Trevor Siemian's hurt. Talking to trainers. Paxton Lynch came over for the conversation.— Paul Klee (@bypaulklee) October 2, 2016
Siemian would need to be carted off the field with what could be a serious shoulder injury.
Paxton Lynch enters the game and promptly throws an incompletion 20+ yards down the field. Broncos punt to end that drive.
With no timeouts, the Bucs tried hard for the two minute drive and failed.
Instead of taking the ball into halftime with a safe lead, Gary Kubiak went for some points. After a quick completion, Lynch hit Sanders for a sixteen yard gain to get the Broncos into Buccaneers territory.
After scrambling back to the line of scrimmage, Lynch was flushed out and had to throw the ball away. On third and ten, Lynch hit Sanders down the seam for another big first down on the 18 yard completion.
Lynch would misfire on a throw down the seam to Bennie Fowler for an incompletion. The pass was perfect, but Fowler dropped it. On second down, Sanders would catch the ball right at the twenty yard line for another first down.
With 14 seconds left, a nice pass into the end zone didn’t get there early enough and was nearly intercepted. Brandon McManus would bang it through to put the Broncos up two scores going into halftime.
Broncos 17, Buccaneers 7.
The Denver Broncos received the second half kickoff from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. After a run for no gain from C.J. Anderson, Paxton Lynch would hit Demaryius Thomas on a nice intermediate throw down the field for a first down.
Thomas came up gimpy on the play and would come out for a few plays. An incomplete pass to Cody Latimer would bring a second down run from Anderson for a nice nine yard gain. On third and one, Lynch would bootleg to hit Anderson for a short gain to move the sticks again.
Devontae Booker finally got into the mix with a one yard gain and on second down Lynch would hit Emmanuel Sanders for a first down inside the Buccaneers 40-yard line. Booker took the ball again for a seven yard gain on the very next play.
With no where to go on the next play, Lynch threw the ball away. On third and three, Lynch didn’t have anywhere to go with the ball and threw it away again while being rushed. A defensive holding penalty gave the Broncos a first down, however.
Anderson took the first down run for ten yards on the next play, but would be stuffed on the next run. On second down, Lynch hit Thomas for a first down inside the five yard line to setup a first and goal.
After two runs that netted negative yardage, Lynch would throw an incomplete pass on third down to end the drive. The pass was caught by Cody Latimer, but his momentum carried him out of bounds. Lynch clearly wanted to be as safe as possible on the throw ... or it was just a badly thrown ball.
Two extended scoring drives led by Lynch, the second eats half the quarter. Would have been a knockout to get a TD, but still.— Ian St. Clair (@IanStClair) October 2, 2016
Brandon Mcmanus added another field goal to the score.
Broncos 20, Buccaneers 7.
The Broncos defense quickly put the Buccaneers into a third and long when Derek Wolfe got to him for the sack. It’s just the second sack of the say, Sylvester Williams got one in the first half, despite Jameis Winston being under constant pressure.
Some trickery by the Broncos punt return unit that resulted in a 20 yard return, but a penalty wiped that out.
After eating up half the quarter on their first drive of the half, Lynch and the Broncos set up at their own 25 yard line. A quick pass to Emmanuel Sanders for two yards, followed by a four yard run from Anderson setup a third and manageable. Lynch hit Sanders over the middle for a first down out near midfield.
A six yard run from Anderson was followed by a no gain from Booker. On third and four, Lynch overthrew Sanders deep down the field. Lynch definitely pulled the trigger too early on the play.
Kayvon Webster pinned the Buccaneers deep inside their own five yard line on the punt.
The Buccaneers got out of their own end zone, but on third and two Wolfe struck again with his second sack of the game. Buccaneers forced to punt again. The field had been flipped with that as the Broncos started at their own 46 yard line.
Another deep throw from Lynch was overthrown on first down and Anderson would be stuffed on second down to end the third quarter.
On third and 11, Lynch made a bad decision on a pass to Thomas that was almost intercepted. Instead of was incomplete and the Broncos punted.
From their own 16, Winston started in the shotgun and completed a short pass over the middle. Todd Davis gifted fifteen free yards with a horse collar tackle on the play to take them all the way out to the forty yard line.
A screen pass to Mike Evans resulted in just a one yard gain as Harris Jr. disrupted the play. Winston was flushed out of the pocket on the next play and nearly sacked again by Wolfe. On third and long, Winston was pressured again and the pass was incomplete.
Lynch and the Broncos got things going on the next drive spurred by a beautiful pass to Thomas for 31 yards to set them up in scoring range.
Paxton Lynch: 13/23, 165 yards.— Ryan Koenigsberg (@RyanKoenigsberg) October 2, 2016
Jamies Winston: 12/26, 116 yards and two interceptions.
A ten yard run by Kapri Bibbs put the Broncos into the red zone. On a bootleg, Lynch hit Sanders for another touchdown for the Broncos.
That was two, long impressive drives for Lynch in the second half.
Broncos 27, Buccaneers 7.
That was the game sealing touchdown.
After a lightning delay, the Buccaneers would try to get going against the No Fly Zone, but the deficit was too steep. Meanwhile the Broncos just focused on eating up the clock with the run game to move to 4-0.