ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- After the first four games of the 2010 regular season, the Broncos were right in the thick of things with a 2-2 record.
The stretch included a close loss in the season opener, a big win back home at INVESCO Field at Mile High, a game of missed opportunities in a loss to the Indianapolis Colts and a come-from-behind victory in Tennessee.
Jaguars 24, Broncos 17
GAME RECAP: In a game they never led, the Broncos got the ball back after the two-minute warning with a chance to tie the contest. But a
The day was marked by blistering heat and the game was delayed 33 minutes by a lightning storm, though the Broncos downplayed the role of the weather in the loss.
The defense held Maurice Jones-Drew under 100 yards and out of the end zone, but David Garrard threw three touchdowns to spur on Jacksonville to victory.
TURNING POINT: Down seven points with less than a minute remaining in the game, Orton's deep pass intended for
KEY STATISTIC: The Jaguars averaged 34.3 yards per kickoff return, including returns of 46 and 53 yards by Tiquan Underwood. Jacksonville started five drives at their own 30-yard line or better, including two that began at the Jaguars 47-yard line after the long returns.
QUOTABLE: "At the end of the day, one team is going to make more plays than the other, and we ended up on the short end of the stick."
Broncos 31, Seahawks 14
GAME RECAP: The 10th home opener in INVESCO Field at Mile High history ended with the same result as the previous nine -- a Broncos victory.
Denver defeated the Seattle Seahawks, 31-14, to bring its record to 1-1.
Kyle Orton threw for 307 yards and two touchdowns en route to a passer rating of 117.2,
The Broncos jumped out to a 17-0 halftime lead and never looked back.
TURNING POINT: Up 7-0, the Broncos stepped on the gas on third down at the Seattle 35-yard line. Kyle Orton took the snap and pitched the ball to
KEY STATISTIC: Thanks to three interceptions and a fumble recovery on special teams, the Broncos won the turnover battle, 4-0.
QUOTABLE: "That's the best way to play -- let the other team make a mistake, we capitalize on it, and before you know it, it's 14 to nothing."
Colts 27, Broncos 13
GAME RECAP: Though the Broncos put up 519 yards of offense -- 154 more than the Indianapolis Colts -- the team wasn't able to capitalize on its scoring opportunities in a 27-13 loss.
Kyle Orton threw for a career-high 476 yards and a score -- and both Brandon Lloyd and
The defense held Indianapolis to just 40 yards on the ground, though the Broncos rushed for just 47 in what turned into a one-dimensional game.
TURNING POINT: Down a touchdown with 8:46 remaining in the game, the Broncos went for it on fourth-and-3 from the Colts 12-yard line. The Indianapolis defense stood firm, and Peyton Manning proceeded to lead the Colts on a nine-play, 88-yard touchdown drive that effectively sealed the game.
KEY STATISTIC: Five Denver trips inside the Colts red zone yielded a pair of field goals and three turnovers on downs. Since red zone efficiency is measured by the amount of touchdowns scored, the Broncos had a zero percent efficiency rating.
QUOTABLE: "If you don't come away with touchdowns, it's hard to beat a good team like the Colts. We fell short today. The Colts are a good team, and you have to execute on all your P's and Q's to beat those guys."
Broncos 26, Titans 20
GAME RECAP: After falling behind the Tennessee Titans by a score of 20-16, the Broncos mounted a comeback in the fourth quarter, fueled by the defense allowing just 18 total yards in the period.
Denver outscored Tennessee 10-0 in the fourth en route to a 26-20 win, its second of the season.
Kyle Orton's 341 passing yards gave him 1,419 through the first four games of the season -- the second-most in NFL history -- but it was a pass that wasn't completed that might have been the biggest of the afternoon.
On second-and-25 late in the game, down four, Orton launched a pass toward Jabar Gaffney in the end zone. Tennessee safety Chris Hope brought the receiver down before he could make the catch, resulting in a pass interference penalty that put the ball at the 1-yard line. Three plays later, Orton found Correll Buckhalter for a 6-yard score that gave the Broncos a lead they never relinquished.
TURNING POINT: After Buckhalter caught the go-ahead touchdown, the ensuing
KEY STATISTIC: The 2009 NFL rushing king, Chris Johnson, was held to just 53 yards on 19 carries.
QUOTABLE: "You knew Chris Johnson was the key. We knew if we could slow him down good things would happen to us. We knew that was the goal and we feel like we accomplished it -- and most importantly we got the W."