The Denver Broncos won the opening coin toss and deferred to Brock Osweiler and the Houston Texans.
Osweiler and the Texans looked to establish the run early with two straight hand offs to Lamar Miller who would gain five yards total. On that third down and 5, Osweiler wanted DeAndre Hopkins and was nearly intercepted by T.J. Ward. The pass could have been taken to the house had Ward got his hands on the ball.
On the Broncos first possession, Trevor Siemian displayed the same hesitation to throw the ball on his first attempt to setup a second and ten. A quick screen to Demaryius Thomas on the next play netted no gain as the ball did not arrive quickly enough. On third and ten, Siemian didn’t put enough mustard on the ball to Emmanuel Sanders and the pass was broken up.
It is clear that Siemian was not seeing the feel well on that first drive. It is alarmingly similar to how he played against the San Diego Chargers last week. Hopefully he can break through this, or the Broncos could be in trouble offensively again this week.
Riley Dixon’s punt was a bit unimpressive and returnable, which set the Texans up at their own 40 yard line.
Out of the shotgun, Osweiler would hit Hopkins on a quick seven yard gain. Miller would be stuffed for a short gain to setup a third and two. Osweiler felt the pressure up the middle, which affect the pass just enough to allow Aqib Talib to break up the pass intended for Hopkins.
Another fantastic punt from Lechler pinned the Broncos back at their own eight yard line.
Siemian went deep to Sanders on the first play, but the ball floated and was well short. Sanders did a good job breaking up the interception and nearly came down with it. A short pass to Bennie Fowler set up a manageable third down and three. Devontae Booker got himself a look for the first down, but a holding call killed the drive. Siemian would complete a short pass to Jordan Norwood, but he would be stopped short.
Another iffy punt from Dixon was erased by a solid special teams play from Corey Nelson to keep the Texans near their own 40 yard line.
Osweiler would go deep to Hopkins on first down, but Chris Harris Jr. was having none of that. A six yard run from Miller on second down set up another third and manageable for the Texans. Miller would break containment on Shane Ray for a huge 25 yard run down near the red zone.
An incompletion and a short gain from Alfred Blue setup a third and eight for Osweiler. He would have his screen pass blown up to setup a Texans field goal from Nick Novak.
Texans 3, Broncos 0.
On that blown up screen pass, the Texans appeared to lose their starting right tackle who has been trying to keep Von Miller in check.
Texans RT Derek Newton facing Von Miller and it looked like his left knee just caved on him.— Cameron Wolfe (@CameronWolfe) October 25, 2016
In what might be the longest first quarter ever, the Broncos start their next possession with over seven minutes still left in the quarter.
After a short run, Siemian missed badly on a short throw that wouldn’t have been a first down anyway. On third and eight, Siemian made his first great throw of the night 20 yards down the field to Thomas. It too would be called back for a holding penalty on Okung. Predictably, a third and forever handoff to C.J. Anderson would end the Broncos drive in another “three and out”.
With great field position, Osweiler on third and five would hand off to Blue who would rip off a 17 yard run for a first down. After another first down conversion, the Texans were knocking on the red zone door once again.
A quick pass for four yards and a short gain, set the Texans up with another third and manageable at five yards. Osweiler, under pressure, would overthrow his receiver to force the field goal attempt.
Texans 6, Broncos 0.
C.J. Anderson ripped off a nice eleven yard run to get the Broncos their first first down of the game as time ran out.