Final

Rams 26

(0-3, 0-2 away)

Broncos 27

(2-1, 1-0 home)

Coverage: CBS

8:00 PM ET, August 24, 2013

Sports Authority Field at Mile High, Denver, CO 

1 2 3 4 T
STL 7 13 0 626
DEN 7 3 7 1027

Broncos 27, Rams 26

Associated Press

DENVER -- The Denver Broncos were running up and down the field at breakneck speed, taking an incredible 49 snaps in the first half. Yet, Alec Ogletree felt like things were moving in slow motion.

"I had a great week of practice and each week I've been trying to get the game to be a little bit slower. So this week, the game was definitely a lot slower for me," Ogletree said after starring in St. Louis' 27-26 loss to Denver in a preseason game Saturday night.

The rookie linebacker ruined Ronnie Hillman's night with a strip-and-score takeaway and kept Peyton Manning from turning all those passes into points with a big interception.

Wrapped up by Cortland Finnegan, Hillman turned his back to his tackler, exposing the ball. Ogletree ripped it from his arms, scooped it up and trotted 13 yards for the score one week after Hillman's fumble at the goal line was returned 106 yards for a touchdown in Seattle.

"I still have great confidence," in the ground game, Broncos coach John Fox said. "I personally thought his progress was stopped."

So did Manning, but the whistle wasn't blown.

"They didn't call it, so I guess that wasn't the call," Manning said. "It wasn't an easy play by any means when they hold you up. It's not the most ideal position to be in. So, good play by them and Ronnie will learn from it and I think he'll be better for it."

Manning completed 25 of 34 passes for 234 yards in one half, but Ogletree's pickoff just before halftime set up Greg Zuerlein's 58-yarder field goal that gave the Rams a 20-10 lead at the break.

"I'm not sure I wouldn't have thrown that 99 times out of 100," Manning said. "That guy made a pretty athletic play. That guy's got long arms, obviously got a pretty wide wingspan. I was surprised he was able to get his hands on the ball."

Ogletree also had a half-dozen tackles and two pass breakups in his breakout preseason performance.

The backups played through a driving rain in the second half, Lance Ball's 5-yard TD run with 3:43 left proving the difference.

Despite Manning's gaudy statistics, big blunders by the backfield and special teams hurt the Broncos.

After Ogletree's fumble return gave St. Louis a 17-7 lead, rookie Montee Ball, trying to unseat Hillman as Denver's featured running back, dropped a wide-open pass from Manning at the Rams 13 as the Broncos settled for a field goal.

"I got too antsy. I smelled the end zone and I took my eyes off it for a second to find the defenders," Ball said. "But you've got to catch the football first."

Ball's 1-yard TD run against backups in the third quarter made it 20-17.

After allowing a TD kickoff return of 107 yards at Seattle, the Broncos watched Tavon Austin scoot 88 yards before punter Britton Colquitt corralled the electric rookie at the 3. They also had a field goal attempt blocked.

Sam Bradford followed Austin's big return with a strike to Jared Cook for a quick 7-0 St. Louis lead. He finished 9 of 16 for 110 yards.

Denver tied it at 7 when Manning rolled right on fourth-and-1 from the 6 and hit Demaryius Thomas in the back of the end zone. The Broncos stalled at the Rams 16 on their next drive and T.J. McDonald got a hand on Matt Prater's 34-yard field goal try.

Ever the pragmatist, Manning donned his helmet and glove on his right hand and threw several passes on the sideline during a driving rain in the fourth quarter.

"No, he had no intentions of going in," Fox said. "He was just practicing his wet-ball mechanics."

Von Miller, the Broncos' All-Pro linebacker who is facing a long suspension for violating the NFL's drug-abuse policy, played at defensive end the entire first half, and Fox plans on playing next week, too, when most of the starters sit.

"The league suspended him six games," Fox said. "I wasn't going to suspend him for eight."

The Rams wrap up the preseason against Baltimore.

"I think it's been a blessing this preseason for us because we've gotten to play against Aaron Rodgers last week, Peyton this week and we get Joe Flacco on Thursday," Rams linebacker James Laurinaitis said. "We have a young secondary, so I think it gives our guys a chance to play against the best."

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AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

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Follow AP Pro Football Writer Arnie Melendrez Stapleton on Twitter: http://twitter.com/arniestapleton

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
STL
DEN
1st Downs1127
Passing 1st downs
1018
Rushing 1st downs
18
1st downs from Penalties
01
3rd down efficiency
2-136-16
4th down efficiency
0-01-1
Total Plays5383
Total Yards198446
Yards per play3.75.4
Total Drives1615
Passing148313
Comp - Att
17-3134-49
Yards per pass
4.86.4
Interceptions thrown
02
Sacks - Yards Lost
4-271-10
Rushing50133
Rushing Attempts
1833
Yards per rush
2.84.0
Red Zone (Made-Att)2-33-5
Penalties11-749-65
Turnovers04
Fumbles lost
02
Interceptions thrown
02
Defensive / Special Teams TDs10
Possession25:1934:41

Passing Leaders

STLC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Bradford9/161106.9102-13
Davis5/9404.4001-13
DENC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Manning25/342346.9110-0
Osweiler9/15895.9011-10

Rushing Leaders

STLCARYDSAVGTDLG
Pead5224.4015
Richardson5102.007
DENCARYDSAVGTDLG
Ball14433.1111
Hillman6345.7016

Receiving Leaders

STLRECYDSAVGTDLGTGTS
Cook45012.51226
Quick22412.00173
DENRECYDSAVGTDLGTGTS
Decker66611.00158
Thomas7649.11179

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERSTLDEN
stlTD12:15Jared Cook 3 Yd Pass From Sam Bradford (Greg Zuerlein Kick) 70
denTD07:21Demaryius Thomas 6 Yd Pass From Peyton Manning (Matt Prater Kick) 77
SECOND QUARTERSTLDEN
stlFG09:53Greg Zuerlein 35 Yd 107
stlTD09:20Alec Ogletree 13 Yd Fumble Return (Greg Zuerlein Kick) 177
denFG05:01Matt Prater 31 Yd 1710
stlFG00:00Greg Zuerlein 58 Yd 2010
THIRD QUARTERSTLDEN
denTD04:57Montee Ball 1 Yd Run (Matt Prater Kick) 2017
FOURTH QUARTERSTLDEN
denFG08:46Matt Prater 54 Yd 2020
denTD03:43Lance Ball 5 Yd Run (Matt Prater Kick) 2027
stlTD01:56Zach Potter 1 Yd Pass From Kellen Clemens (Two-Point Pass Conversion Failed) 2627