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(Sunday, October 3rd)
Final Score: Denver 26, Tennessee 20
Nashville, TN (Sports Network) - Kyle Orton's six-yard touchdown pass to Correll Buckhalter with 1:33 remaining lifted the Denver Broncos over the Tennessee Titans, 26-20.
Orton completed 35-of-50 passes for 341 yards with two touchdowns and a pick for the Broncos (2-2).
Eddie Royal caught eight passes for 113 yards and a score, while Brandon Lloyd hauled in a career-high 11 passes for 115 yards.
Vince Young threw for 173 yards and a touchdown for Tennessee (2-2), while Chris Johnson was held to just 53 yards on 19 carries in defeat.
Trailing 20-16 early in the fourth quarter, the Broncos started from their own 30-yard line. Orton, though, made a huge mistake on 3rd-and-11 from the Titans 41. His pass sailed over the head of Lloyd and into the hands of Tennessee safety Michael Griffin.
Denver's defense did its job by forcing the Titans to go three-and-out. Following the punt, the Broncos started from their own 30 with 8:15 to play.
The Broncos marched down to the four-yard line, but Orton's pass on fourth down was incomplete with 4:32 left. The Titans did little on offense and had to punt the ball back to Denver.
Faced with a 2nd-and-25 from midfield, Orton threw a bomb to Jabar Gaffney. The pass was incomplete, but defensive pass interference on Chris Hope put the ball at the one-yard line. Buckhalter scored a few plays later to make it 23-20.
"It's sweet to catch that touchdown pass. But at the same its all about everyone doing their job," Buckhalter said.
The ensuing kickoff was a bloop kick that Tennessee failed to handle. The Broncos fell on the ball at the 17. Matt Prater made a 36-yard field goal to give Denver a 26-20 margin with 28 seconds left on the clock.
The Titans got no further than their 23 on the final possession of the game.
A scoreless first quarter featured a missed Rob Bironas field goal and Johnson fumble.
The Broncos drew first blood early in the second frame. Faced with a 3rd-and-1 from the Tennessee 36, Orton threw an incomplete pass. However, a roughing the passer penalty gave Denver a first down. The visitors took advantage three plays later when Royal caught a two-yard TD pass with 11:24 left.
The Titans responded with a touchdown on the ensuing possession. Javon Ringer got the four-play drive started with a 54-yard run. Young capped the march with an eight-yard TD pass to Britt.
The score was 10-10 at the half following a 36-yard Prater field goal and 55-yard Bironas field goal.
Denver got the ball to start the second half and got a 36-yard field goal from Prater to take a 13-10 lead. On the ensuing kickoff, rookie Marc Mariani followed his blockers and sprinted 98 yards down the right sideline for a touchdown.
The Broncos fought right back with a great kickoff return of their own, as Demaryius Thomas raced 65 yards to the 23-yard line. Denver got a 35-yard field goal from Prater to cut the gap to 17-16 with 8:12 remaining.
Bironas' 46-yarder extended Tennessee's margin to 20-16 with five minutes to go.
Tennessee holds a 20-14-1 edge in the all-time regular season series with Denver...Titans cornerback Jason McCourty (forearm) missed the game. Rookie Alterraun Verner made his first NFL start in his place...Titans defensive coordinator Chuck Cecil made an obscene gesture toward the officials in the second quarter and could be facing a hefty fina...Denver was without fullback Spencer Larsen and Knowshon Moreno due to injuries. The Broncos had just 19 yards on the ground, compared to 121 for the Titans.
10/03 17:44:47 ET