Lock comes off the bench to throw TD cross to Patrick. However the Bengals’ Burrow comes proper again with lengthy TD cross. Bridgewater taken to hospital, however has motion.
DENVER — After their first sequence of the second half, the Broncos’ inept offense was booed off the sphere by their residence crowd.
Early of their second sequence of the second half, Broncos and Bengals’ gamers shakingly gathered round fallen Denver quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, who was immobilized and carted off the sphere with a head damage.
Bridgewater was taken by ambulance to a neighborhood hospital the place he’ll stay in a single day for additional analysis, though the excellent news is he had motion in all his extremities.
The Bengals wound up defeating the Broncos, 15-10, a loss that figures to all however sprint Denver’s hopes of snapping their six-year playoff skid.
“It’s actually powerful,” stated tight finish Albert Okwuegbunam, who had three catches for 58 yards within the surprisingly low-scoring contest. “Initially, you by no means wish to see a man have that sort of damage that unhealthy, particularly with Teddy being such a giant chief on this workforce, having such a giant affect. It was a extremely large blow. All people type of simply gathered round him, however regardless, I do know Teddy’s going to be good. He’s going to be all proper.”
On the Bridgewater damage, the quarterback scrambled, then went airborne as he was clipped on the knee. He was hit once more whereas in midair and his head slammed into the sphere. He immediately went immobile. The Broncos’ medical workforce immobilzed him on the backboard and lifted him on a cart as gamers on either side gathered to indicate help.
To the momentary rescue got here Drew Lock. The erstwhile starter turned backup relieved Bridgewater and sparked the Denver offense by ending off the drive with a 25-yard landing to Tim Patrick to place the Broncos up, 10-9 with 1:15 left within the third quarter.
Lock went 2 for two on the drive, mixing it in with sturdy runs from the Broncos’ working again duo of Javonte Williams and Melvin Gordon.
That began the offensive shootout that was anticipated going into the sport, however was lacking within the first half. When the Bengals bought the ball again, working again Joe Mixon rushed for 12 yards and quarterback Joe Burrow hit receiver Tyler Boyd vast open down the left half. Boyd ran it in for a 58-yard landing and 15-10 lead.
Then Lock began making performs by throwing the ball downfield, most notably on a 24-yard completion to his school buddy Albert Okwuegbunam. Lock’s downfield passing loosed up the Bengals’ secondary in order that the Broncos’ working again duo of Javonte Williams and Melvin Gordon lastly had room to run.
It turned first and purpose on the 10 however on second down Lock stored the ball on a read-option play and had the ball stripped by Bengals defensive lineman Khalid Kareem. It appeared Kareem fumbled it again after an extended return of his fumble, however replay assessment confirmed Lock hit him as he recovered and the defensive lineman went down earlier than getting again up for his lengthy return.
Lock and the Broncos bought the ball again with 1:04 remaining at their very own 25 yard line however they’d no timeouts remaining and wanted to go 75 yards for a landing. A holding penalty, incompletion and sack left them with third and 29 at their very own 6. They did not get it performed.
For his or her AFC wildcard showdown Sunday on a 61-degree day in mid-December at Empower Subject, the Bengals and Broncos began off firing peashooters.
The 2 groups reached halftime with the Bengals’ Evan McPerson kicking a 58-yard area purpose on the buzzer for a 6-3 lead on the Broncos.
It took three area objectives of 53 yards-plus for the groups to keep away from an intermission whitewash.
Previous to this contest, three groups – Colts, Chargers and Payments — had occupied the ultimate three AFC wild-card playoff spots with 8-6 information.
The Bengals be a part of them at 8-7, however the Broncos at 7-7 are in deep trouble. The Broncos should now seemingly sweep their closing three video games — on the Raiders, on the Chargers and residential in opposition to the Chiefs — and hope for tiebreakers to fall their approach
A gathering of 67,106 (not together with 9,028 no-shows) witnessed how each offense appeared tense at the beginning. The Bengals led 3-0 after the primary quarter and people factors required a 53-yard area purpose by Evan McPherson.
In any other case, the Bengals had simply three first downs within the quarter whereas the Broncos had two and solely 33 yards of offense as their three sequence resulted in punts. The Broncos’ greatest possession was their first, but it surely died when receiver Courtland Sutton flat dropped a 15-yard in-route on a cross from Teddy Bridgewater that might have transformed a third-and-2.
A recreation like this, when there’s nothing going, it’s a cliché, and a bit ambiguous, to say the secret is for a workforce to begin “making performs.’’ However that’s what the Broncos did early within the second quarter. Justin Simmons on a security blitz sacked Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow for an 11-yard loss, forcing a punt.
And Bridgewater rapidly made a giant play by scrambling ahead and, simply as he hit the road of scrimmage, improvised a dump cross to Noah Fant who rambled 28 yards into Cincinnati territory.
The drive stalled and this time it was Broncos’ kicker Brandon McManus who booted a 54-yard area purpose that was good by a lot.
It was 3-3 with 10:44 left within the second quarter.
Once more, each groups exchanged punts.
On the opposite facet of the 2-minute warning, the Bengals had been responsible of a neutral-zone infraction. A 3rd-and-6 turned a third-and-1, no downside for rookie working Javonte Williams. It turned third-and-5 at midfield with 35 seconds left within the half. Bridgewater checked all the way down to working again Melvin Gordon throughout the center, selecting up the primary down on the Cincinnati 42. After one other drop, this one by tight finish Albert Okwuegbunam, Bridgewater hit Tim Patrick alongside the left sideline for a 9-yard completion, establishing third-and-1 on the Bengals 33 with 17 seconds remaining.
That was shut sufficient for McManus to try a 51-yard area purpose – however he pushed it vast proper. With 9 seconds remaining, Burrow wanted only one 19-yard completion to Tyler Boyd to arrange a 58-yard area purpose try for McPherson.
He made it for the lead going into halftime.
It turned out to be a 6-point, final-second swing that was large in a 6-3 recreation.
Bridgewater was 12 of twenty-two for less than 98 yards when he left along with his scary head damage within the third quarter. Lock was 6 of 12 for 88 yards with a landing. Williams was the main rusher with 72 yards off 15 carries and Gordon added 53 yards off 15 carries.
Burrow was 15 of twenty-two for less than 157 yards with the landing cross and no interceptions. High rusher Joe Mixon was held to 58 yards on 17 carries earlier than he went down with an damage late within the recreation.
The Broncos didn’t wish to expose second-year cornerback Essang Bassey to waivers Saturday however once they realized nickel security Caden Sterns wasn’t going to play in opposition to the Bengals due to a shoulder damage, they wanted a roster spot to activate backup security P.J. Locke from the COVID-19 checklist. Bassey is a slot nook who performed in 12 video games with three begins as a rookie final 12 months so he’ll draw curiosity – groups have been checking in on him to see if he’s wholesome.
Bassey suffered a torn ACL somewhat greater than a 12 months in the past and has not come round as hoped. He has solely performed in a single recreation as a particular teamer this season and was inactive within the Broncos’ earlier two video games earlier than he was lower.
If Bassey clears waivers at 2 p.m. Monday, the Broncos plan to signal him again to their apply squad.
A Broncos contingent of about 40 individuals will fly by personal airplane Monday morning to Atlanta to attend the Celebration of Life service for former Broncos star Demaryius Thomas, who handed away Dec. 9 just a few weeks shy of his thirty third birthday. The contingent is anticipated to incorporate six or seven present gamers. Those that performed no less than half a season with Thomas had been Garett Bolles, Bradley Chubb, Shelby Harris, Kareem Jackson, Brandon McManus, Tim Patrick, Justin Simmons, Courtland Sutton, Josey Jewell and Alexander Johnson. The group is anticipated to fly again quickly after the celebration, which can be held within the basketball enviornment of D.T.’s alma mater, Georgia Tech.
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