With the Broncos receiving the opening kickoff, it was imperative that their offense start to move the football.
Paxton Lynch opened things up immediately with a play-action pass to Emmanuel Sanders for nearly a thirty yard gain. A pass interference on Sanders on the next play, to kill the drive. Sanders probably saved an interception, so it wasn’t all bad.
After a quick first down for the Falcons, Shane Ray came up with a big stop on Devonta Freeman for no gain. Matt Ryan scrambled for a short gain to setup third and long. With Chris Harris Jr. out with a helmet malfunction, the Falcons looked to exploit the secondary. Instead, Von Miller spun inside for a big third down sack on Ryan to end the drive.
Unfortunately, the punt went all the way down to the half-yard line for the Broncos.
A rookie QB will start at his own one-yard line with Ty Sambrailo at tackle. pic.twitter.com/FzCwDuUpC4— Jon Heath (@JonHeathNFL) October 9, 2016
From there, Lynch would immediately throw an interception deep down the field to give the Falcons solid field possession for their next drive.
Ryan would hit Julio Jones with Aqib Talib in coverage for a big 20 yard gain on the Falcons first play to set themselves up just outside the red zone.
After an offensive pass interference and a no gain run play, the Falcons on second and 19 hit Tevin Coleman who beat Brandon Marshall for a touchdown pass. The route is on with the Falcons rolling 20-3 over the Broncos.
On the next play for the Broncos, Ty Sambrailo was destroyed (again) and Lynch was strip sacked. The Broncos recovered, but on second and 20 Lynch was able to run for six yards.
Demaryius Thomas made a great catch on a tipped ball, but was tackled a half yard short of the first down marker. On fourth and inches, down 20-3, Lynch would sneak it for two yards and a first down.
Another holding call on Sambrailo ruins a drive for the Broncos. On second and 19, a screen pass to Devontae Booker sets up a third and 12. Lynch would scramble for a few yards and the Broncos punt again.
Bench Ty Sambrailo— Brandon Thorn (@VeteranScout) October 9, 2016
Broncos Country agreed.
The Broncos defense was still fighting hard, but Bradly Roby was beaten by Mohammad Sanu on a third down to get the Falcons out to midfield. The Falcons on a third and 19, completed a pass to Sanu, but he would have the ball stripped by T.J. Ward for a huge momentum swing for the Broncos.
Falcons 20, Broncos 3.