It didn’t take the Texans long to move the ball out to midfield. Von Miller started the game, but after a few plays he would come out. Carlos Hyde would immediately run for nine yards upon Miller’s exit from the game.
Miller sat out for a few plays, but came back in for a third and five at the Broncos 38-yard line. He would cause Laremy Tunsil to false start to move the Texans back five yards. On the next play, Watson would be chased outside by Miller and forced to throw it away to end the drive. Rookie Dre’Mont Jones injured what appeared to be his ankle and needed a cart to get off the field on that play.
A solid punt pinned Drew Lock and the Broncos back to their own eight yard line to start the game.
Lock threw a dangerous pass to Noah Fant that was nearly intercepted, but instead was caught by Fant who ran it 48 yards into Texans territory for a big play on first down.
Two plays later, Lock was under pressure and found Andrew Beck over the middle for a 29-yard gain down to the Texans 12-yard line. Phillip Lindsay would take a short screen pass 12 yards to the end zone, but that touchdown would be cancelled by a block in the back by none other than Garett Bolles.
In previous weeks, that would have been a drive killing penalty, but the Broncos now have a franchise quarterback. On third and 12, Lock fired the ball down the middle to Fant for a touchdown to put the Broncos up 7-0 early capping a 92-yard drive.
Again, the Texans streaked out to midfield rather quickly and found themselves again inside the Broncos 40 yard line on their next drive.
However, the Broncos defense were in a bend don’t break mentality as Kareem Jackson returned a fumble and ran it all the way back for the 68-yard touchdown. Alexander Johnson punched the ball out, then Jeremiah Attaochu picked it up and flipped it back to Jackson who took it all the way to the house for the 14-0 lead.
Down 14-0, the Texans got the ball back again for the third time in the first quarter. The first quarter would end with Houston again moving the ball to midfield, but Jeremiah Attaochu had himself another big play with a sack to force a third and 14. DeAndre Hopkins came wide open in the middle of the field, but he was lit up by Jackson who jarred the ball loose to force a punt.
Lock immediately went deep over the middle to Tim Patrick on first down, but the ball was tipped away at the last second. On the final play of the first quarter, Royce Freeman gained a yard up the middle.