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Broncos live: Denver’s defense held the line in the first half

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The Denver Broncos offense is every bit as bad as last week and now the defense is losing grip on holding the line for them as the first half ends.

NFL: Denver Broncos at Tennessee Titans Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

DeMarco Murray gets an easy first down run on the next play to get the Tennessee Titans into field goal range as the Denver Broncos defense looks tired out there.

After an incompletion from Marcus Mariota, he takes the option seven yards on second down to setup a third and three. The Titans converted, but an offensive pass interference call on Delanie Walker negated the play.

On third and 13, on the edge of field goal range the Broncos defense woke up with a monster 10-yard sack from Shane Ray to end the drive.

After a blocking in the back penalty on Kayvon Webster, Denver starts their drive inside their own ten yard line. Justin Forsett took the screen pass from Trevor Siemian for ten yards and a first down.

Emmanuel Sanders catches a short six yard pass on first down. On second down, Siemian finally throws further than ten yards to Sanders for a big gain down the field for twenty yards.

Siemian went deep to Sanders, but the ball was slightly underthrown and tipped by the defensive back as Sanders was open for the deep route. On third and eight, Siemian held the ball too long and was nearly sacked. The ball was thrown well short of the sticks anyway.

Riley Dixon redeemed himself with a booming 53-yard punt that was downed at the Titans three yard line.

If there were ever a time for the Broncos defense to make its presence known in this game, it was on this drive.

It didn’t happen as Murray ripped off nine yards on first down. On second down, Murray picked up the first down easily enough. With the Broncos defensive line getting blown off the line, the Titans are getting four-six yards a clip even if the first Broncos defender makes the tackle.

On second down and four, Mariota attempted to do another read-option, but the play was stopped by both Von Miller and T.J. Ward. On third and three from their own 22 yard line, Mariota threw across his body and across the field for an improbable completion for a 17 yard gain and a first down.

After a short run from Murray and an incompletion from Mariota, the Titans were faced with a third and seven at their own 42 yard line. Mariota, from the shotgun, threw it outside to Harry Douglas behind the line of scrimmage and ran it for the first down.

However, Murray blocked a Broncos defender in the back to negate the play. On third and 7, Mariota took off again for the first down. At this point, he has 5 carries for 47 yards.

With under four minutes to go in the half, the Titans already had doubled the time of possession on the Broncos.

After a short run, Harry Douglas targeted Chris Harris Jr’s knee in a very dirty play. After the Titans convert, Aqib Talib attacked Douglas to start a brawl on the sidelines.

Amazingly, the refs didn’t eject anyone. Talib was charged with a personal foul on the fight and the Titans were looking to score before the half.

Just outside the 20 yard line, an angry Broncos defense seemed to be playing a little faster with a gangbusting rush on Mariota and an incompletion into the end zone. Talib re-entered the game on second down and the Broncos stuffed the run play for two yards to setup third down to take the half to the two-minute warning.

The momentum didn’t last as Mariota converted on a pass to Walker to the Broncos seven yard line for the first down, then two plays later scored on a pass to Rishard Matthews only to have the play negated by offensive pass interference. Chris Harris Jr. broke up the next pass to force a third and goal from the 13 yard line. Mariota tried again and the ball sailed out of bounds for an intentional grounding penalty.

Titans 13, Broncos 0.

On the half, the Titans had 138 yard rushing to just 52 yard passing.

The Broncos offense finally got something going in the final two minutes as Siemian quickly got the Broncos past midfield, but several short dink and dunk completions ate up the clock and ate up their chances for points.