Broncos survive late FG miss to beat Panthers

Fri Sep 9, 2016 1:03am EDT
 
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(The Sports Xchange) - The Denver Broncos began the new season the same way they ended last season, by beating the Carolina Panthers.

In the NFL's kickoff game, C.J. Anderson ran for a score and caught another in the fourth quarter, and the Broncos beat the Carolina Panthers 21-20 on Thursday night in a Super Bowl rematch.

Denver beat the Panthers 24-10 in the championship game seven months ago.

Trevor Siemian, starting in place of the retired Peyton Manning, overcame two interceptions in his NFL starting debut to throw for a late score to help the Broncos rally.

Cam Newton ran for a score, passed for another and led the Panthers to within field goal range in the final seconds, but Graham Gano's 50-yard try was wide left.

During the pregame playing of the national anthem, Denver linebacker Brandon Marshall took a knee. Marshall was a college teammate at Nevada with San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who has been taking a knee during the anthem to protest racial injustice.

Trailing by 10, the Broncos pulled to within 17-14 when Anderson turned a screen pass from Siemian into a 25-yard touchdown with 14:50 remaining.

On Carolina's ensuing possession, corner back Chris Harris tipped Newton's pass intended for Kelvin Benjamin and caught the deflection for the interception as he tumbled to the ground. A roughing penalty on Carolina guard Andrew Norwell gave the Broncos possession at the Panthers' 23-yard line.

Anderson converted a 4th-and-1 play to give the Broncos a fresh set of downs inside Carolina's 2-yard line and bulled his way into the end zone on third down to put Denver in front for the first time.   Continued...

 
Sep 8, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos players celebrate after a missed field goal attempt  by the Carolina Panthers in the fourth quarter at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports