2014 Pulitzer Prize Winner

Live Report: Broncos at Texans

Published: December 22, 2013, 9:54 am, by Paul Klee

FINAL: Broncos 37, Texans 13.

—Peyton Manning’s 50th touchdown went to Eric Decker. Jacob Tamme walked off the field with the ball. His record-setting 51st touchdown went to Julius Thomas. Eric Decker walked off the field with the ball.

—The entire Broncos bench greeted Manning after No. 51. 

—Brock Osweiler finished the game at quarterback.

—If the Ravens beat the Patriots this afternoon, Osweiler will finish next Sunday’s game, too.

—The Broncos wrapped up their third-straight AFC West title today. That’s a franchise first.

—It also means the Broncos will have a first-round bye in the playoffs.

—I’m sure Peyton Manning would give back No. 51 if it meant having Von Miller for those playoffs.

—The Broncos defense today: three sacks, two interceptions, season-low 13 points allowed.

Thanks for reading today’s Live Report. More coverage from Houston coming to Gazette.com later today.


Broncos Gameday Live Report — Broncos 30, Texans 13 — 6:57 left in fourth quarter

—Peyton Manning ties the NFL’s single-season record for touchdown passes with a perfect ball to Eric Decker. That’s No. 50.

—Good-teammate Jacob Tamme made sure the actual football made it to the sideline. One for the trophy case.

—Official attendance: 71,061.

—Good things happen when the Broncos don’t ditch the running game.

—ESPN ace reporter Jeff Legwold points out the Texans play close with just about everybody.

Back in a few.


Broncos Gameday Live Report — Broncos 23, Texans 13 — 11:11 left in fourth quarter

—On previous defensive series, Manning and Decker were on the bench, analyzing photographs. On the ensuing offensive possession, Manning hit Decker for a touchdown pass.

—The Broncos have 421 total yards of offense, despite going three-and-out three times this half.

—The Chiefs are in a giving mood. Still down big against the Colts.

—Brock Osweiler is throwing to Decker on the sideline. He’ll play, someday.

—Malik Jackson joins the sack party. 

Back in a few.

Broncos Gameday Live Report — Broncos 16, Texans 13 — 14:11 left in fourth quarter

—The lone bright spot for the Broncos in Houston: Meh. Can’t think of anything. 

—The lone bright spot for the Broncos elsewhere: the Chiefs are down 23-7 against the Colts.

—The Broncos have never won the AFC West in three straight seasons. That could happen today.

—Peyton Manning’s head bounced off the turf. Instead of hustling to the sideline, like he usually does, Manning trudged to the sideline. He’s on the bench now, looking over photographs with Eric Decker.

—Huge play by Mike Adams, the vet.

Back in a few.

Broncos Gameday Live Report — Broncos 16, Texans 13 — 2:00 left in third quarter

—The Broncos have gone away from their running game, again. Adam Gase said last week at Dove Valley that couldn’t happen. Yet it’s happened.

—Ryan Clady, here in the press box, applauded Danny Trevathan’s sack of Matt Schaub. He’s huge, so he’s allowed.

—The Broncos have 10 yards of offense in the second half. Make that 24. Still, though.

—Does this look like a Super Bowl team right now? 

Back in a few.

Broncos Gameday Live Report — Broncos 16, Texans 13 — 7:41 left in third quarter

—The Texans committed their first penalty with 9:40 left in the third quarter.

—Riddle me this: How does a team outgain another team, 357 to 157, and only lead by three points?

—The Broncos haven’t forced a turnover since the Tennessee game.

—But really, the biggest story today is Von Miller’s injury. We’ll know more after the game. It doesn’t sound good.

Back in a few.


Broncos Gameday Live Report — Broncos 16, Texans 13 — 10:18 left in third quarter

—Too easy for the Texans. 

—With all the new players, you get the impression the Broncos are trying to overhaul their defense… in Week 16.

—The Broncos have committed seven penalties. The Texans, zero.

—The sun is shining through the roof. Is that why Andre Johnson dropped the touchdown pass?

—Once again, looks as though it will be up to Peyton Manning.

Back in a few.


Broncos Gameday Live Report — Broncos 16, Texans 6 — Halftime

—Peyton Manning with 296 passing yards in the first half. If our math is correct, he’s on pace for 592 today.

—And it feels like the Broncos aren’t sharp, doesn’t it? Boy, are we spoiled or what.

—Best half by the Denver defense since….?

—Total offense numbers: Broncos, 355; Texans, 83.

—Ryan Clady is up here in the press box. The lone exception when cheering is allowed. Who’s going to argue with an offensive tackle?

Back in a few.


Broncos Gameday Live Report — Broncos 13, Texans 6 — 00:46 left in second quarter

—Most guys get knocked into the opposing bench, opponents scatter. Peyton Manning got knocked into the Texans’ bench, and the Texans caught his fall and helped him up.

—Nice people here in Texas.

—Manning passed the 5,000-yard barrier. He’s the sixth human to throw that many yards in one season. It’s the first time that human has done it.

—We’re assuming Peyton’s human, of course.

—He’s on pace for 500-plus yards. And we’re wondering why the Broncos aren’t sharp again today.

—On a recent defensive series, the Broncos had only one player on defense who was a starter in the playoff loss to the Ravens. That would be Mike Adams. The other 10 guys are either injured, on the sideline or in Baltimore (Dumervil).

—Great stadium you have, Houston. Looks a little like Lucas Oil.

—Two field goals doesn’t make for a happy Peyton Manning.

Back in a few.


Broncos Gameday Live Report — Broncos 10, Texans 6 — 5:35 left in second quarter

—Heckuva play by Robert Ayers on third-and-1. Three-man rush, and Ayers still got to Schaub.

—Steve Vallos is out with a concussion. Got blasted on special teams. Scary-looking deal.

—Peyton Manning appeared to give his offense a pep talk prior to their last drive.

—Someone needs to get Steve “Greek” Antonopulos a pep talk. With this banged-up roster, he’s the busiest trainer in the biz.

—Trindon Holliday’s usually yapping. In his return to Houston, which cut him last season, he seems to be yapping more often than usual.

—Quiet crowd here in Houston. Maybe they’re still in shock the Rockies gifted Dexter Fowler to the Astros?  

Back in a few.


Broncos Gameday Live Report — Broncos 10, Texans 3 — 14:54 left in second quarter

—Today couldn’t be off to a worse start for the Broncos. Von Miller’s out with a knee. Eric Decker was helped off the field with a lower-body something or other. Steve Vallos has a concussion.

—The injuries have gotten to the point it’s worth wondering: when the Broncos signed Peyton Manning as a free agent, was the deal with the devil? 

—Big-time double move by Demaryius Thomas on the touchdown. Left his defender back at the 30.

—That’s No. 48 for No. 18. Two more ties the record, three more breaks it.

—The Broncos have over 200 yards of offense…. through 16 minutes.

—Why is the score only 10-3? Dumb penalties.

—The crowd here is probably 30-percent Broncos fans. The other 70-percent is asking this question: Teddy Bridgewater or Jadeveon Clowney?

Back in a few.



Broncos Gameday Live Report — Broncos 3, Texans 0 — 5:06 left in first quarter

—Apologies for the delay. Computer issues! Think we’re good to go now.

—The Broncos spent time with former President George H. Bush here in Houston this weekend.

—Peyton Manning preferred to go for the first down on 4th-and-3. Instead, Matt Prater booted another field goal.

—Knowshon Moreno running hard today. Also doesn’t mind signaling for a breather when he needs one.

—The Ball-Moreno punch looking much better than against San Diego, which isn’t hard to do. 

—The Broncos must be the most undisciplined 11-3 team in the NFL. This goes back to our theory: the only (AFC) team that can beat the Broncos is… the Broncos.

—Von Miller with a knee injury. His return is questionable. Not good. But no reason to play him today, if there’s an issue.

—Julius Thomas can’t pick up the first down on fourth-and-3. That’s the first time this season the Broncos have missed a fourth-down conversion. They were 7-for-7.

Back in a few.




Broncos Gameday Live Report — Broncos (11-3) at Texans (2-12) — Reliant Stadium, Houston — 30 minutes until kickoff (11 a.m.)

—The Broncos’ stay in Houston had its share of difficulties already. During a power outage at the team hotel, the team held meetings by candlelight.

—Former Texans return man Trindon Holliday seems to be a ringleader on the field during warmups. One man’s plea: if you’re going to use Holliday, use him. Don’t shuttle in Wes Welker or Eric Decker for return duties.

—The Texans’ practice facility (above) is across the street. It’s known as one of the better facilities in the league, all-knowing ESPN reporter Jeff Legwold says.

—It sure seems to be setting up for a Ravens return to Mile High in the divisional round of the playoffs.

—Which is fitting, when you think about it. After the Jags upset the Broncos in the 1996 playoffs, the Jags returned to Denver in the 1997 playoffs. The Broncos smoked ‘em, 42-17.

Back in a few.



Broncos Gameday Live Report — Broncos (11-3) at Texans (2-12) — Reliant Stadium, Houston — 30 minutes until kickoff (11 a.m.)

—The roof is open at Reliant Stadium (above). There was some rain this morning, though it’s clearing up now.

—Andre Johnson is on the field, warming up. On a bad team, he leads the NFL in receptions. 

—Colleague David Ramsey had a good column on Wes Welker earlier this week. 

—Peyton Manning is on the field, having a chat with guys who look to be the Texans’ ownership.

—The Broncos have one eye on Chiefs-Chargers today. With a Chiefs loss, the division is theirs for a third-straight season. That would be a franchise record.

—Call me nuts, but me thinks the Chiefs now present the greatest obstacle to an AFC championship. 



Broncos Gameday Live Report — Broncos (11-3) at Texans (2-12) — Reliant Stadium, Houston — One hour until kickoff (11 a.m.)

Morning, everyone. Paul Klee joining you from Reliant Stadium for the first early kickoff of this Broncos season.  We’ll keep this Live Report going through the final horn…

—The tailgate lots are virtually empty (above). A healthy percentage of Texans fans are simply counting the days until they own the first pick in the draft. Which prospect should be their pick? It won’t be the best quarterback in the draft. 

—Champ Bailey will return to the cornerback rotation today. He’s not expected to start. 

—Brock Osweiler is going through his pregame routine down on the field. So are Trindon Holliday, Britton Colquitt and Matt Prater. Prater is stretching it out from 47 yards.

—This is Houston’s final home game. At the moment, there are more Broncos fans in the building than Texans fans. In their previous trip to Texas — at Dallas — Broncos faithful accounted for roughly 30 percent of the crowd.

—What to get the Broncos for Christmas? We broke it down in Sunday’s column.

Back in a few.

Twitter: @Klee_Gazette