Orton leads Broncos past Bills
Brady Quinn leapfrogged Tim Tebow, at least for one night.
Kyle Orton, who has turned the quarterback drama in Denver into a question of who will be his backup, led the Broncos on two touchdown drives in a 24-10 victory over the Buffalo Bills on Saturday night.
Quinn had a mostly solid performance, throwing a touchdown pass but also an interception — which he disputed — and Tebow was sacked and made a big scramble in cleanup duty.
The game was marred by several injuries, including a scary one to Bills running back Johnny White, who was strapped to a body board and carted off the field after his head was driven into the grass on a clean tackle by linebacker Mario Haggan in the third quarter.
White was moving his left arm as he was taken via ambulance to a hospital, and Bills coach Chan Gailey said: ''He's going on the plane back with us now.''
Gailey said wide receiver Donald Jones also wasn't seriously injured.
Jones took a vicious hit from rookie safety Rahim Moore that sparked a scuffle in the second quarter and left the second-year pro on the ground for several minutes before he got to his feet.
Jones had beaten Cassius Vaughn down the Bills' sideline, but Ryan Fitzpatrick's throw overshot Jones, and Moore sliced in and — without launching himself — hit the defenseless receiver under the chin. Jones' head bounced off the ground, and Moore was flagged for a personal foul.
''I mean no harm,'' Moore said, ''but you know what? It's football.''
Bills running back Fred Jackson and wide receiver Stevie Johnson both shoved Moore after the play.
''I saw (Jones) at halftime, he was doing OK,'' Fitzpatrick said. ''Nobody wants anyone to get hurt but if you look at one thing that was maybe a positive tonight was the reaction from our guys toward them. We are a tight unit and you saw it right there. For someone to come after, take a shot at our guy, that didn't sit well with us.
''We're a team that doesn't like to be pushed around, we're not going to be pushed around by anybody. We thought that was inappropriate the way it went down and we reacted to it.''
Moore said he didn't think he'd done anything wrong but apologized in case the film shows he did.
''I didn't even know I was flagged until I ran to the sideline,'' he said. ''If it was the wrong thing to do, I apologize, but at the end of the day, I mean no harm to nobody.''
Broncos safety David Bruton sustained a head injury in the fourth quarter.
He was wheeled through the locker room still in uniform and with an oxygen mask to a waiting ambulance, and the Broncos said he was hospitalized for observation but had no further information on his condition.
Haggan also injured his right shoulder, but downplayed his injury, saying his concern was for White.
''His head hit the ground pretty hard,'' Haggan said. ''Unfortunate situation. It was pretty clean. I just said my prayers and hoped that he's OK.''
The injuries overshadowed the latest twists and turns in the Broncos' quarterback competition.
Broncos coach John Fox, making his home debut, said nothing should be read into Quinn entering the game before Tebow, a reversal of the backups' order in the exhibition opener.
''Last week we put Tim in first behind Orton and this week, I've said all along it was going to be a competition, it was just fitting in the second game to do the reverse of what we did last week,'' Fox said.
After Orton completed 10 of 13 passes for 135 yards and a touchdown, Quinn came in and went 10 of 16 for 130 yards, one TD and one interception in the end zone just before halftime.
Tebow was 1 for 2 for 10 yards. He ran once for 7 yards.
''If we can keep on improving at a steady incline, I think we'll be a good offense come Game 1,'' Orton said.
Newly signed running back Willis McGahee scored twice, on a 1-yard run and a 13-yard catch from Orton.
''I think we're going to be an offense that can be explosive, be versatile, be dynamic and score a lot of points,'' Orton said.
Quinn drove Denver to the Bills 3 in the waning seconds of the first half, but his throw to Eric Decker was deflected by defensive end Spencer Johnson and scooped up by cornerback Terrence McGee before it hit the grass. He rumbled to midfield as time expired.
Quinn said he thought the ball hit the grass and the Broncos should have gotten another crack at the end zone with, say, 1 second left.
He later led Denver to Matt Prater's 48-yard field goal and hit Britt Davis for a 24-yard touchdown toss that made it 24-3.
Quinn said he has no idea if he'll remain the No. 2 quarterback, and he's not alone.
Fox said he hasn't decided on his QB rotation for the regular season, and when he does, he probably won't say. As part of the new labor agreement, teams no longer have to designate a third quarterback on game day.
''I think, from a competitive standpoint, what the league allows you to do is not name a 2 or 3,'' Fox said. ''My past suggest that we won't.''