Ladies and gentlemen, we are here for the 2016 NFL season opener…which is the same game that we saw when the curtain last closed on The Shield in February.
LET’S GET TO IT!
WEEK 1 – DENVER, COLORADO
ANNOUNCERS: AL MICHAELS, CRIS COLLINSWORTH
8:30 – Prior to the game’s start, the Broncos roll out their three Vince Lombardi trophies – each carried by a former Bronco. The choices? Terrell Davis, John Elway, and Peyton Manning after a handoff from Von Miller. A little overdramatic but whatevs.
8:39 – The national anthem hits and Denver’s Brandon Marshall is taking a knee. Guys, that is not helping anybody. The phrase “RAISING AWARENESS” grinds my gears. ACTION, POSITIVE ACTION.
8:42 – The Trevor Siemian Era is underway…Denver opens with the ball.
8:47 – Unlike the Super Bowl, Denver is humming right along in Carolina territory. However, just like in the Super Bowl, they get sloppy. Rookie running back Devontae Booker provides us with the season’s first turnover. He fumbles approaching the red zone. Carolina ball.
8:52 – Carolina near midfield. A Kelvin Benjamin sighting gets Carolina 17 yards in Denver territory.
8:54 – A reverse to Ted Ginn puts Carolina in prime scoring position around the Denver 15. Meanwhile, the Panthers have already used two timeouts.Is Andy Reid coaching this game?
8:57 – Newton to Benjamin and the Panthers are on the board…
PANTHERS 7, BRONCOS 0
9:07 – Broncos rolling downfield again. Siemian looks pretty competent as Denver lands back in Carolina territory again.
9:09 – Two trips into Carolina territory, two turnovers. Linebacker Thomas Davis intercepts Siemian on a third down.
9:11 – What a glorious tweet this is to ignore if you’re an Eagles fan:
9:15 – Mike Tolbert gets blown up on a shovel pass. Punt time for the Panthers as the first quarter comes to an end.
END OF FIRST QUARTER: PANTHERS 7, BRONCOS 0
9:20 – Andy Janovich takes his first career carry and rumbles on a 3rd and 1 like he is John Riggins in 1982. Janovich scores standing up.
PANTHERS 7, BRONCOS 7
9:26 – Denver’s pass rush is getting to Cam Newton again. He can’t stay set t in the pocket long before having to jump around.
9:33 – Carolina still with the football and approaching midfield.
9:38 – Panthers facing a 3rd and 6. By the way, this makes me laugh:
9:40 – Cam Newton throws the ball sometimes like he is Randy Johnson.
9:41 – Newton hits on a big third down to Greg Olsen and the Panthers are back in scoring position again with just under five minutes left before halftime.
9:46 – Cam caps an 18-play drive (the longest in Panthers history) with a TD run to return the lead back to the Panthers.
PANTHERS 14, BRONCOS 7
9:50 – BREAKING: HERE IS THE FIRST CAM NEWTON DANCE OF THE SEASON:
9:58 – Damnit. I left Kelvin Benjamin on the bench in my fantasy league. Blah.
9:59 – Cam looks like he is hurt all of the time.
10:03 – Newton leads the Panthers down the field for a field goal without any timeouts. Pretty impressive stuff to end the first half.
HALFTIME: PANTHERS 17, BRONCOS 7
10:04 – Not exactly shocking that the Panthers are leading. Denver’s still trying to figure itself out on offense.
10:20 – Carolina ball to begin the second half….
10:22 – Newton gets stopped on a 3rd and 1. Punt for Carolina. Meanwhile, NBC is bringing Peyton Manning into the booth. Good god.
10:27 – Peyton is talking and now I’m fighting with someone over Brady’s suspension. Great.
10:28 – Peyton rooting for the Broncos in the booth ushers in a third Broncos turnover in Carolina territory.
10:32 – Punt for Carolina. Meanwhile, Cam is injured. Good lord. Back issues.
10:35 – Cam got blasted by Von Miller in the head but no call. PROTECT THE QUARTERBACK.
10:39 – Cam is back in. By the way, here is the hit:
10:42 – Panthers get tagged for a facemask call and another procedure call. Basically face a 3rd and Boulder. PUNT.
10:45 – Denver has the football and desperately needs to actually cash in on one of these drives.
END OF THIRD: PANTHERS 17, BRONCOS 7
10:56 – The Broncos draw closer thanks to a screen pass TD to running back C.J. Anderson. All of a sudden, it’s a three point game.
PANTHERS 17, BRONCOS 14
10:59 – Panthers take back over…for the moment. A tipped pass leads to a Chris Harris interception in Carolina territory. Now, the Broncos are poised to take the lead.
11:05 – An awful spot gives Denver a great spot inside the Carolina 10. However, the Panthers challenge.
11:09 – Panthers win challenge but called a timeout to look at the play. So, they used two timeouts but get one back for winning challenge.
11:10 – Denver gets first down on Anderson run. Goal to go.
11:14 – Anderson is running like old-time Terrell Davis. Bangs it in from the 1.
BRONCOS 21, PANTHERS 17
11:17 – If you’re a Panthers fan, follow this account. They are tremendous:
11:21 – On cue….here comes Carolina. The Panthers are in Denver territory.
11:23 – Denver holds Carolina on a 3rd and 5. Panthers have to settle for a short field goal.
BRONCOS 21, PANTHERS 20
11:28 – A critical 3rd and 7 for Denver leads to a Panthers sack. Punt. Carolina gets ball back with just over three minutes left.
11:35 – This is baby-making time for Cam. 2nd and 20…
11:36 – Von Miller (remember him) sacks Newton on 3rd and 15. It’s fourth down and decision time for the Panthers with just one timeout and the two-minute warning left.
11:39 – Chris Harris gets called with an illegal hands to the face on a 4th and 21. JESUS. First down Panthers.
11:42 – Cam has to burn another timeout. Carolina’s last…..UGH.
11:45 – Both of these teams can’t get out of their own way. Personal foul and intentional grounding call offset each other. Only :36 seconds left…
11:48 – Somehow, the Panthers have made their way into Denver territory…and into field goal range. Benjamin comes up with a big catch to set the table for a potential field goal. Under :10 seconds remaining…
11:50 – Gano from 50 to probably win it….TO by Denver.
11:51 – Gano hooks it wide left. Denver will win it.
FINAL: DENVER 21, CAROLINA 20
SUMMARY: The Broncos survive again. I don’t know how they do it. Actually, that’s a lie. They do it with defense and a running game. They did it to Carolina again. Kudos to Cam Newton. He got his a$$ whipped tonight.
Anyhow, Trevor Siemian certainly looked like an actual NFL quarterback tonight. However, Denver may have to pull some teeth to score points this year.
Goodnight! I leave you with song.