Pre-Game – Chiefs vs. Broncos

From Sports Authority Field, Denver

2:45 p.m. CST – The Chiefs have left the field after completing their warm-up period. It leaves them with a full 30 minutes to kill before kickoff. Come back after the game as we’ll have complete coverage on the game, the season and even looking ahead to some stuff on the 2012 season – schedule and draft order, for instance.

2:30 p.m. CST – GM Scott Pioli chatting at the 45-yard line with Broncos top football man John Elway. The conversation will turn up somewhere, because it looked like NFL Films had about a half-dozen cameras focused on their brief conversation. NFL Films is out in force here today, with what seems like about double their normal compliment of cameras.

2:25 p.m. CST – The grass playing field here is very worn between the hashmarks, but with no rain or snow expected, it should not be a factor in the game.

2:20 p.m. CST – Very good weather for Denver and the Front Range for the first day of the year. It’s sunny, with a high expected to reach 40 degrees. The wind is out of the northeast around 8 to 10 mph. An hour before kickoff it was 32 degrees, with a windchill factor that made it feel like 24 degrees.

2:05 p.m. CST – For the third straight road game, the Chiefs will be in all white today, white jersey and white pants. They went all one color in the Chicago game and followed it up in New Jersey and today they will be wearing the white pants. Up until the game against the Bears, the Chiefs had gone with the white jersey and red pants on the road.

2:00 p.m. CST – Pete Morelli and his crew will handle the game today. This group is among the better officiating crews in the league and they are not known for taking over the game. That’s a sure sign the league is aware of the importance of this game, especially for the Broncos.

1:55 p.m. CST – No major surprises among the inactive players named for both teams. The Chiefs get a break with veteran safety Brian Dawkins out with his neck injury. Newly promoted from the practice squad Shaun Draughn is on the active list today for the Chiefs. With Jon McGraw inactive, it’s hard to understand why the Chiefs didn’t put him on the injured-reserve list and pull somebody else off the practice squad. One advantage that gives a team is they can sign a player for the one game and tie him up for next year as well. A practice squad player is always a free agent in some form and could leave at almost any time.

1:50 p.m. CST – Inactive players for the Broncos today are SS Brian Dawkins, FB Austin Sylvester, LB Mike Mohamed, G Manny Ramirez, OT Tony Hills, TE Julius Thomas and DE Derrick Harvey.

1:45 p.m. CST – Inactive players for the Chiefs today are QB Tyler Palko, SS Jon McGraw, OT David Mims, WR Jerheme Urban, TE Jake O’Connell, DE Brandon Bair and NT Jerrell Powe.

1:40 p.m. CST – Saturday evening the Chiefs made a roster move, sending RB Jackie Battle to the injured-reserve list with that foot injury he suffered last Sunday. To take his place on the active roster they promoted RB Shaun Draughn from the practice squad. Droughn has spent the past 13 weeks with the Chiefs, after beginning his rookie NFL season as an undrafted free agent with the Washington Redskins. We’ll see in a few minutes whether he’ll actually get the chance to play or not when the game-day inactives are named.

1:35 p.m. CST – Some schedules from early in the season had this game starting at 3:05 p.m. Central time. But kickoff for all the late games today is 3:15 p.m.; the league and networks want to clear the field from the early games because there’s so much at stake in nearly every one of the 16 games this weekend.

1:30 p.m. CST – GM Scott Pioli has spent a lot of time on the field talking with various members of the Broncos staff, including their GM Brian Xanders. It’s as chatty as Pioli has been in some time. He also had a long conversation with QB coach Jim Zorn.

1:25 p.m. CST – The Chiefs QBs and receivers are on the field for their pre-pre-game throwing session and all bodies have been accounted for in the session. While Kyle Orton is throwing to the receivers and backs, Tyler Palko is several yards away throwing to TEs Leonard Pope and Jake O’Connell. In the red zone, the Chiefs threw a bunch of short crossing routes at the goal line, something they may or may not use in the game.

1:20 p.m. CST – Denver QB Tim Tebow is 20 minutes into a pre-game throwing session unlike any I’ve seen since Peyton Manning’s early years. With receivers, running backs, coaches, ball boys and others catching passes, he has broken the field down into four quadrants and he moves from the 50-yard line in, throwing pass after pass. There is warming up, and then there is really warming up and the one thing about Tebow is that he’s constantly working and trying to improve.

1:15 p.m. CST – Good afternoon from the mile high city where the sun is shining brightly on what is a well-worn playing surface here at Invesco Field Sports Authority Field. A happy new year to one and all. Enjoy the day.

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