Gameday is finally here. While there are large swaths of Broncos Country who no longer look forward to watching their team on the grid-iron, there are still seven games left to be played in 2020.
The next is a matchup vs. the Miami Dolphins and however this game shakes out will tell us what complexion the balance of the season is likely to take on for the Denver Broncos.
Drew Lock will start at quarterback. My assumption is, he'll be on a short leash after throwing a whopping and mind-boggling four interceptions last week in Vegas. Going against Tua Tagovailoa, the Broncos will strive to prevent the talented Dolphins' quarterback from joining Ben Roethlisberger as the only rookie signal-callers to lead their respective teams to four straight wins after taking over as the starter.
It'll be fun to see how it all shakes out. Meanwhile, join us as we live-blog and discuss MIAvsDEN here in our weekly Open Thread. Dive into the conversation — it's easy — by simply going to the top of the site and in the bottom right-hand corner of the Mile High Huddle logo, click the follow button.
You can log in with Facebook or Google and either way, it's free. From there, sound off in the comment section and share your takes and observations with our staff, subscribers, and fellow members of the MHH community as we react to the game in real-time.
What to Watch For
TE Noah Fant needs 71 receiving yards to reach 1,000 for his career.
RB Melvin Gordon needs 40 receiving yards to reach 2,000 receiving yards in his career.
S Kareem Jackson needs one pass defensed to become the 13th player (9th active) since he entered the league in 2010 to record 100 passes defensed
K Brandon McManus needs one 50+yard field goal to set a new team single-season record.
CB Michael Ojemudia needs one forced fumble to become the ninth rookie cornerback to force three fumbles in a single season.
WR Tim Patrick needs 23 receiving yards to reach 1,000 for his career.
S Justin Simmons needs one interception to become the third Bronco to record 15 picks during his first five seasons with the team (since the 1970 AFL/NFL merger).
The Broncos win the toss and defer. Dolphins will receive to open this game.
Bradley Chubb gets nice pressure on Miami's opening play. Tua play-fakes, dips past Chubb and throws deep. Incomplete.
Matt Breida picks up four yards on second down.
On 3rd-&-6, the Broncos flush Tua out of the pocket and he throws deep, incomplete. Miami will punt.
Diontae Spencer fields the 52-yard punt and gains one yard after making a couple nifty moves.
Lock starts from his own 20-yard line.
The first-down give goes to Phillip Lindsay. Stopped for no gain.
On 2nd-&-10, out of the shotgun, Lock throws deep down the right sideline to Jerry Jeudy. Incomplete.
On 3rd-&-10, Miami shows crazy pre-snap movement. Broncos call timeout as the play-clock expires.
Lock is picked off by Xavien Howard. On his second throw of the game. Howard returns it to the Broncos' 22-yard line. Wow.
On 2nd-&-6, Simmons picks off Tua. However, the play comes back as A.J. Bouye is penalized for defensive holding. Automatic first down for Miami.
Two runs later, the Dolphins have a 3rd-&-1 from the Broncos' 6-yard line.
Defensive tackle Sylvester Williams shaken up on the play. TV timeout.
Salvon Ahmed picks up the first down with a 1-yard gain.
Tua hits DeVante Parker for a touchdown. Bouye burned in coverage. Ugly. Extra point is good.
Dolphins 7, Broncos 0
Lock returns to the field. The Broncos are sticking with him. For now.
Gordon gets the inside hand-off and picks up one yard.
On 2nd-&-9, Lock has plenty of time, throws deep to Patrick. Incomplete. Patrick stopped running and couldn't track the ball.
On 3rd-&-9, Lock is flushed left, throws across his body on the run to Jeudy. Accurate throw but Nik Needham broke up the pass.
Sam Martin's punt goes 48 yards to the Dolphins' 26-yard line.
Denver forces Miami off the field. On 3rd-&-6, Tua is pressured and sacked by Dre'Mont Jones. Punt.
On 3rd-&-10, Lock connects with KJ Hamler for a 15-yard gain.
After a 2-yard pass to Fant on first down, the give goes to Lindsay, as center Lloyd Cushenberry pulls right. Lindsay picks up 20 yards.
On 1st-&-10 from the 36-yard line, Broncos flagged for false start. Troy Fumagalli. On 1st-&-15, Demar Dotson flagged for false start.
On 1st-&-20, the give goes to Lindsay but the Dolphins get immediate penetration, so the ball-carrier reverses field and is unable to turn the corner. 2-yard loss.
On 2nd-&-22, the quick throw goes to Jeudy, who picks up eight yards. Brings up 3rd-&-14.
Lock scrambles right, and with a little tippy-toe action, extends to move the chains on third-and-long.
Gordon picks up eight yards on first down with a nice burst.
On 2nd-&-1, Lock hits Nick Vannet who picks up 15 yards. 1st-&-Goal from the 1-yard line.
The goal-line give goes to Gordon who plows through the A-gap to pay-dirt. Touchdown Broncos. Extra point is good.
Broncos 7, Dolphins 7
On second down, Tua is sacked by Malik Reed. It's Reed's sixth sack of the season. He now leads the team.
On 3rd-&-18, Miami dumps it off to Ahmed for a 12-yard gain. Alexander Johnson delivers a monster hit.
The punt goes 50 yards and is returned eight yards by Spencer.
Lindsay picks up two yards on first down.
End of quarter.
Broncos 7, Dolphins 7
Broncos start with a 2nd-&-8. Nothing doing inside, so Lindsay breaks it outside and picks up three yards.
Lock connects over the middle with Hamler on 3rd-&-5 but it's a yard short. Punt.
Martin's punt goes 49 yards and is returned seven yards. Dolphins will start on their own 11-yard line.
Two Ahmed runs combine for no yards. Reed makes the 3-yard tackle for a loss.
On 3rd-&-10, Reed pressures Tua who throws incomplete.
Punt goes 41 yards and is fair-caught by Spencer.
Broncos start on their own 41-yard line. Great field position.
On first down, Lock fires complete over the middle to Patrick with room to run. Patrick picks up 39 yards.
On the ensuing first down, Lock hits Fant for a 9-yard gain.
On 2nd-&-1, Gordon is tackled for a 2-yard loss.
Lock hit hard on third down by Kyle Van Noy but manages to get the ball out. Incomplete. Broncos have to settle for a field goal try.
McManus hits from 29 yards.
Broncos 10, Dolphins 7
Tua hits Mike Gesicki for an 8-yard gain. Ahmed moves the chains on second down.
On 1st-&-10, Tua hits Gesicki again for four yards.
On 3rd-&-4, Tua hits Parker for a 9-yard gain to move the chains.
On 1st-&-10, Ahmed breaks it outside and Bryce Callahan takes a bad angle, blowing by for a 14-yard gain.
On 3rd-&-5, Tua moves the chains again with a nice throw to Parker, who dives to make the catch.
Tua hits Ahmed for an easy 10-yard dump-off.
On 3rd-&-10, Tua sacked by DeMarcus Walker. Dolphins forced to kick a field goal.
Michael Ojedumia flagged for illegal block in the back on ensuing kick-off. Sets Denver back.
On 1st-&-10 from Denver's 15-yard line, Lindsay picks up five yards.
Gordon picks up 25 yards on 2nd-&-5.
Lock throws incomplete on first down.
On 2nd-&-10, Lock fires at Jeudy on the slant but Howard breaks up the pass. Jeudy's got to catch that.
On 3rd-&-10, Lock drifts and hits Jeudy for a 23-yard gain who runs out of bounds, stopping the clock.
Broncos are in business.
Lock goes deep to Hamler down the right side but the throw is too deep.
Broncos stall but McManus pounds through the field goal to take the lead into halftime.
End of half.
Broncos 13, Dolphins 10
Broncos driving on opening possession
Broncos drive deep into Dolphins' territory.
On 4th-&-1 from the Miami 14-yard line, instead of taking the 31-yard chip shot field goal, the Broncos go for it and Gordon gets stopped short. Turnover on downs.
DeShawn Williams sacks Tua on 2nd-&-10.
On 3rd-&-15, Tua throws complete to Patrick Laird but only picks up seven yards.
Dolphins punt and Spencer returns it for no gain. Alijah Holder penalized for holding.
On 3rd-&-2, Lock hits Hamler for a 16-yard gain to move the chains.
Gordon picks up nine yards on first down with Garett Bolles pulling and sealing off the right edge.
On 3rd-&-10 from the Miami 44-yard line, Lock throws incomplete to Hamler but Dolphins are flagged for pass interference and roughing the passer. Broncos take the roughing foul and the 15 yards. Moving the chains.
On 2nd-&-3, Gordon takes it to the house up the middle. Broncos extend lead.
Broncos 20, Dolphins 10
On 1st-&-10, Tua throws the checkdown to Ahmed and Callahan blows him up. Incomplete.
On 3rd-&-10, Antonio Callaway beats Bouye on the slant to move the chains.
On 3rd-&-6, Tua throws to Parker incomplete but Bouye flagged for pass interference moving the chains.
Tua picks up big yards on first down with his legs but Austin Jackson penalized for holding.
End of quarter
Broncos 20, Dolphins 10
Dolphins start with a 1st-&-20 from the 50-yard line.
DeShawn Williams chases Tua out of bounds on second down. Counts as a sack. Williams' second of the day and in his career.
On 3rd-&-Long, Tua is sacked by Bradley Chubb. Sixth sack of the day for Denver. Punt.
On first down, Lock dumps it off to Hamler who is tackled for no gain.
Lindsay picks up one yard on second down.
On 3rd-&-9, Gordon picks up four yards.
Martin's punt goes 56 yards to Miami 21-yard line.
Tua is replaced with Ryan Fitzpatrick. Broadcast thinks it might be due to his foot.
On 3rd-&-3, Fitzpatrick hits Gesicki for a 25-yard gain.
On first down, Fitzpatrick hits Ahmed for a 10-yard gain. Tackle made by Johnson.
Sylvester Williams bats down the first-down pass by Fitzpatrick.
On 2nd-&-10, Johnson drops a sure-fire interception when Fitzpatrick throws it right to him.
On 3rd-&-10, Fitzpatrick scrambles but Chubb tackles him after a 1-yard gain.
Jason Sanders hits the 53-yard field goal attempt. Dolphins narrow the margin.
Broncos 20, Dolphins 13
Lock hits Fant for a 29-yard gain on first down.
Lindsay picks up 20 yards on first down. The kick-out block blows open a hole and Lindsay's vision does the rest.
An unncenessary roughness foul gets the Broncos inside the red zone.
Gordon breaks off a huge run but has the ball punched out inches from the goal line. Refs call it a touchdown but it's reversed upon review. Dolphins recovered the fumble.
Gordon has now lost four fumbles this year to lead the NFL.
Fitzpatrick starts from the 2-yard line.
On first down, Fitzpatrick throws incomplete.
On 2nd-&-10, Fitzpatrick dumps to Parker, who makes Kareem Jackson miss and picks up 15 yards.
On first down, Fitzpatrick scrambles and his hit hard by Chubb helmet-to-helmet. The play picks up five yards and Chubb's penalty gives Miami an additional 15. Dolphins now on the 36-yard line.
On 2nd-&-8, Patrick hits Malcolm Perry for a 7-yard gain.
On 3rd-&-1, Fitzpatrick hits Gesicki to move the chains.
On 1st-&-10, Simmons breaks up the pass. Incomplete.
On second down, Fitzpatrick is hit as he throws. Incomplete. Dolphins flagged for holding.
On 3rd-&-11, Fitzpatrick hits Parker for a 21-yard gain. Dolphins have crossed well into Broncos' territory.
On first down, Fitzpatrick hits Perry for an easy 12-yard gain.
On 3rd-&-8, Fitzpatrick fires for Parker in the end zone but Simmons picks it off!
Broncos can't get 10 yards on first three downs but Dolphins run out of timeouts.
On 4th-&-14 with four seconds left, Lock drifts to buy time and throws deep to Patrick and COMPLETES! The play goes for 61 yards and gives Broncos the victory.
End of game.
Broncos 20, Dolphins 13