The Denver Broncos and Cincinnati Bengals faced off on the surprisingly warm day in southern Ohio. It was semi-perfect football weather to start the afternoon. Trevor Siemian has his biggest test of his short career against a very good Bengals defense.
Andy Dalton and the Bengals come in with a goal of running the ball straight down the Broncos throat. Winning in the trenches would be critical in this game.
The Broncos opened up with two straight passes, which is a bit surprising. Siemian misfired on the first to Emmanuel Sanders, but then connected with him for nine yards. On third and one, the Broncos elected to throw again and the pass was tipped to end the open drive.
The Bengals found some huge running lanes inside and moved the ball well to start the game, finding themselves at midfield after just three plays, before Jeremy Hill broke free for a fifty yard run down to the Broncos three yard line to setup a first and goal.
Hill ran right through the middle of the Broncos defense for an easy touchdown on the next play to cap a 5 play 75 yard drive.
Bengals 7, Broncos 0.
On their next possession, the Broncos avoided another three and out with Siemian scrambling for four yards to pick up the teams first first down.
Sanders was beating Adam Jones in coverage on this drive with a few big plays to get the Broncos down inside the Bengals forty yard line. The drive almost stalled, but a false start on the Broncos didn’t end the play as the Bengals defenders two two big free shots on Siemian for a personal foul to put the Broncos at the Bengals 25 yard line.
Sanders took a quick screen and weaved his way for a ten yard gain for a nice bit of running after the catch. A few plays later, on third and four, Siemian dodges a sack and overthrew Demaryius Thomas in the end zone. However, an illegal contact penalty gave the Broncos a new set of downs and a first and goal from the Bengals give.
An incompletion in the end zone to Sanders, followed by a draw to C.J. Anderson setup a third and goal from the two. Siemian made a very poor throw that went incomplete. Another failed red zone attempt for the Broncos to cap an 18-play 73 yard drive.
Bengals 7, Broncos 3.
A late hit by the Broncos on the kickoff set the Bengals up at their own 42 yard line. The Bengals continued to exploit the Broncos interior run defense for solid gains in the run game.
After T.J. Ward went down for an injury, the Broncos defense started making plays and the Bengals would punt after their next set of downs.
On the Broncos next possession, Siemian would have an incomplete pass on his first play and Anderson was stuffed on second down. A penalty on Russell Okung was declined and on third and ten Siemian threw behind John Phillips who was open for the first down.
On the ensuing punt, Zaire Anderson and Shiloh Keo converge to force a fumble that the Broncos recovered on the Bengals side of the field. A helmet-to-helmet hit from Vincent Rey on C.J. Anderson went uncalled, to set the Broncos up with a third and five.
Siemian finally went deep on the next play. A 41-yard bomb dropped right into Sanders bucket in the end zone.
Broncos 10, Bengals 7.
Dalton and the Bengals started their next drive at the 21-yard line. The Bengals got a few positive plays and it just felt like the Broncos defense was barely holding on in the run game, but on third and two they came up big with a big stop.
The Broncos did not better with a quick three and out of their own after another errant throw from Siemian. Despite the deep touchdown pass, he was not throwing the ball well to start this game.
After some good pressure on first down, the Bengals went back to the ground game and on third and six Dalton tried to hit Brandon LaFell. However, a ticky tack pass interference call on Bradley Roby setup a new set of downs.
AJ Green got going on the next play with a twelve yard reception. The Broncos defense stiffened to force a third and nine after that. Dalton hit C.J. Uzomah for a 22 yard gain for a big first down. A quick pass to Green for another 10 yards, set up a first and goal at the Broncos four yard line.
Hill ran the next play untouchded for a four yard touchdown run.
Bengals 14, Broncos 10.
Cody Latimer took the next kick forty-five yards for a big return to set the Broncos up with good field position.
Siemian’s arm was hit as he threw and had the ball nearly intercepted. Ty Sambrailo was called for holding anyway, setting the Broncos up with a first and 20. A broken play ended with Siemian hitting Devontae Booker for a 17-yard gain to put the Broncos on the Bengals side of the field.
A short two yard gain, setup a third and one where Siemian would be sacked. A penalty on the defense for holding saved the Broncos drive. A quick pass to Andy Janovich for a fifteen yard gain put the Broncos into field goal range.
Siemian made a terrible decision on the next play, nearly throwing an easy interception on a bootleg. Poor clock management by Siemian led to a timeout for the Broncos.
On second down, Siemian threw a screen pass on a broken play to Sanders for minimal gain. Siemian, on third and nine, hit Latimer for a 10 yard reception to get the Broncos inside the Bengals red zone.
A terrible pass from Siemian to Sanders went no where, but then a draw play to Anderson set the Broncos up with a third and one. Siemian completed a pass to Sanders for the first down for a first and goal opportunity with 31 seconds left in the half.
Siemian hits Sanders on a perfect throw for a touchdown. Brandon McManus had his extra point blocked.
Broncos 16, Bengals 14.
The Bengals down the ball to take the game into halftime.
The Bengals took their opening possession after a quick first down, found themselves in a third and 10 situation. Von Miller finally got into the action and would have had a sack had he not been held, but Dalton’s pass was incomplete anyway and the Bengals are forced to punt.
Siemian completed a pass to Thomas who took one step before having the ball knocked free. It felt like a call that could be ruled incomplete in most cases, but not this time. Bengals set up shop deep in Broncos territory.
The Broncos defense came alive after that with back to back sacks by Shane Ray. On third down, the Bengals had a block in the back penalty and it was accepted by Gary Kubiak. On third and 32, the Bengals got two yards and punted.
Anderson had a short gain, but the Siemian held onto the ball a bit long with Ty Sambrailo getting burned by Carlos Dunlap to setup a third and sixteen. A draw play from Anderson ripped off fourteen, but the Broncos still punt.
Andy Dalton used his legs for some big plays as pass plays broke down for him. The Bengals made a drive from those plays, getting to the Broncos 35-yard line. From there on third and four, Dalton hits Giovanni Bernard in the flat for a first down pass for nine yards.
It is clear the Broncos defense has lost the game at the point of attack as the Bengals were near 150 yards rushing late in the third quarter.
From the Broncos 25 yard line, the Bengals kept pounding the rock and found themselves down near the 15 yard line to end the quarter.
On third and 12, Chris Harris Jr. made a great play on the ball and almost tipped it up high enough for the interception. Bengals grabbed the lead, however, with a field goal to cap a 15-play 60 yard drive.
Bengals 17, Broncos 16.
From their own 18 yard line, Siemian can’t make a decision and tried to run the ball and was hit hard for a short gain. He seemed to begin to get panicky on his next throw, but a Bengals penalty gave the Broncos an automatic first down. It was the Broncos fifth first down given by a penalty.
A nine yard pass to Thomas on the next play, set up a second and short that Booker convert on the next play with a two yard gain. Two plays later, the Broncos converted another second down into a first.
From their own 46 yard line, Siemian can’t make a decision again and is sacked for a short loss. on 2nd and 13, Siemian squeezed a pass into Sanders two yards short of the first down marker. However, Thomas had a false start to make things a bit harder for the Broncos. Siemian then hit Thomas for the first down who broke a tackle to gain a few extra yards on the play.
From the Bengals 35 yard line, Siemian hit Bennie Fowler for another first down after a 13-yard pass. After a short run from Booker, the Broncos had another red zone opportunity.
A quick pass to Sanders was taken all the way down to the Bengals three yard line for a 17 yard gain to setup a first and goal.
A first down handoff to Janovich nearly resulted in a touchdown, but he was stood up at the one yard line. Siemian, on the play action, hit tight end John Phillips for a touchdown. On the two-point conversion, Siemian tried to run it in and fumbled.
The touchdown capped a sixteen play 82 yard drive for the Broncos.
Broncos 22, Bengals 17.
The Bengals had their next drive ended in a three and out after a big drop by AJ Green that would have been a first down.
On the Broncos first play on their next possession landed in the arms of Jeff Heuerman for a 28-yard gain. The Broncos playing to win. Anderson took the next handoff for a one yard loss, Siemian threw an incomplete pass to Thomas to setup a third and long.
Then it happened.
Siemian threw deep to Demaryius who caught it despite being well covered and walked it into the end zone for a 55-yard touchdown reception. That would be four touchdown passes for Touchdown Trevor.
Broncos 29, Bengals 17.
Broncos rookie Will Parks intercepted Dalton on his very next throw to seal the deal for Denver. Three plays later, the Broncos would opt to punt instead of a long field goal.
From there, the Broncos defense tee’d off on Dalton and this game was over the minute the score deficit became double-digits. Dalton drove down the field despite being under constant pressure, but the Broncos defense had no problem giving up chunks of yards for time.
Sacks from Shane Ray and Von Miller iced the game. Broncos win.