Questions remain after big win

The Broncos had a big win over Cincinnati on Sunday. Has Denver improved, or was it just the same old Bengals on the other side of the ball. Read about it in today's reports.

Faint praise for opener - Denver Post - Adam Schefter
Monday, September 08, 2003 - CINCINNATI - Shocks come frequently at Paul Brown Stadium, where if long-standing NFL records do not fall, defensive line coaches do. Nearly five minutes into the third quarter of a game that will be remembered for the dastardly debuts of new Broncos quarterback Jake Plummer and new Cincinnati Bengals coach Marvin Lewis, Denver defensive line coach Jacob Burney fainted.

McCaffrey feels pain of riding bench - Denver Post
Monday, September 08, 2003 - CINCINNATI - Broncos wide receiver Ed McCaffrey usually absorbs his most painful hits during the game, not the night before it. But last weekend was different. Saturday night at the Broncos' team hotel in Cincinnati, wide receivers coach Steve Watson informed McCaffrey that Ashley Lelie would start instead.

Sloppy, but perfect in my book - Denver Post - Woody Paige
Monday, September 08, 2003 - CINCINNATI - Getting ever so nearer to that elusive, exacting, enviable 19-0 record, the Broncos flogged the Cincinnati Bengals on the First Sunday. This is all that matters: Broncos 30, Bengals 10.

Denver profiting with Pryce - Denver Post - Mark Kiszla
Monday, September 08, 2003 - CINCINNATI - To hear the Broncos tell it, defensive end Trevor Pryce wears two faces. There is the monster who has passionately sacked quarterbacks and repeatedly clawed his way to the Pro Bowl, causing foes to tremble with fear and teammates to rave with appreciation. And then there is the moper who dogs it on too many plays, then trudges to the bench and sits alone, with eyes empty except for that 1,000-mile stare.

Gold's interception return defines D - Denver Post - Patrick Saunders
Monday, September 08, 2003 - CINCINNATI - One play told the entire story for Al Wilson, the Broncos' linebacker and defensive captain. Everything Wilson wants his defense to be this season, and everything it wasn't last season, was illustrated in that one play.

Portis gives Shanny upper hand vs. Lewis - Denver Post - Jim Armstrong
Monday, September 08, 2003 - CINCINNATI - Notes from Cincy, where S.O.B. stands for Same Old Bengals ... "He was like a rookie out there. ... He was like a young guy starting his first game." Mike Shanahan was talking about Jake Plummer, but it might as well have been Marvin Lewis. What, you think Shanny, after signing that huge contract extension, was going to let himself get embarrassed by some rookie head coach?

No positive spin for Lewis - Denver Post - Shannon Russell
Monday, September 08, 2003 - CINCINNATI - For nearly nine months, hope has satiated the Queen City's hunger for NFL redemption. On Sunday afternoon, hope flowed through boisterous radio callers, jam-packed tailgating lots, orange-and-black spirit garb and two white signs hanging in Paul Brown Stadium emblazoned with "In Marvin We Trust."

Victory sinks in for Broncos - Rocky Mountain News - Lynn DeBruin
September 8, 2003 - CINCINNATI - It was supposed to be the dawning of a new era, and it was, for the Denver Broncos defense and star running back Clinton Portis. But as the season opener Sunday against Cincinnati showed, Jake Plummer and Marvin Lewis have a long way to go before they change reputations.

Broncos start Lelie, but there's no catch - Rocky Mountain News - Lynn DeBruin and Lee Rasizer
September 8, 2003 - CINCINNATI - It hardly was shocking to see Ashley Lelie line up as a starter Sunday. No, the shocker came after the game, when a glance at the statistics showed neither he nor Denver Broncos veteran Ed McCaffrey had made any catches.

Portis says Plummer will improve - Rocky Mountain News - Lee Rasizer
September 8, 2003 - CINCINNATI - Jake Plummer admitted to butterflies for his debut, and at his worst Sunday, floated passes similarly. While the Broncos quarterback didn't pass downfield much, when he did, he struggled.

Krieger: Jake's not great, but Pryce is right - Rocky Mountain News - Dave Krieger
September 8, 2003 - CINCINNATI - OK, so Jake looked better in the spiffy black-on-black outfit he wore to the postgame interview session than he had all day, certainly better than counterpart Jon Kitna in his own black-on-black on the field. The Bengals might want to think about switching to black and blue, but I don't suppose they need any help from me filling their suggestion box.

Lincicome: Plummer's debut doesn't rate highly - Rocky Mountain News - Bernie Lincicome
September 8, 2003 - CINCINNATI - Uh, oh. A 20-point opening game victory should not cause shudders. Even against those helpful footwipes, the Bengals, a team that Broncos coach Mike Shanahan swears will be heard from later.

Portis struts stuff - Rocky Mountain News - Lee Rasizer
September 8, 2003 - CINCINNATI - It might be Jake Plummer's job to run the Denver Broncos offense, but once again, running back Clinton Portis emphatically stated the case that he'll be the player who largely carries it. In the first half Sunday, Portis touched the ball on 16 of 31 plays, accounted for 114 of 196 yards and scored both touchdowns as Denver jumped to a 17-point lead on in its way to an easy 30-10 win against Cincinnati.

Broncos cruise past Bungles - Daily Camera - Ryan Thorburn
September 8, 2003 - CINCINNATI — Are the Broncos back? Well, it's hard to say, because the Bungles are still here. Denver's running game was on track and the defense was dominant during a season-opening 30-10 victory over Cincinnati on Sunday at Paul Brown Stadium. At this point, however, Arizona certainly doesn't miss Jake Plummer, whose interception-to-touchdown ratio is 3-to-0.

Interceptions lift defense - Daily Camera - Ryan Thorburn
September 8, 2003 - CINCINNATI — In the end, the 2002 season slipped through the hands of Ray Rhodes' players. Denver's defense created a league-low nine interceptions during a 9-7 season that could have been 11-5 if a couple potentially game-altering turnovers weren't dropped.

Thorburn: For Plummer, key statistic is 1-0 start - Daily Camera - Ryan Thorburn
September 8, 2003 - CINCINNATI — Jake Plummer, for the first time in his NFL career, was a big winner Sunday. "I've never won a game by 20 points before," the Snake said. It's a safe bet that winning a road game by 20 points with a quarterback this bad was a first for the Broncos, too.

Broncos 30, Bengals 10 - Cincinnati Enquirer - Mark Curnutte
Monday, September 8, 2003 - The recent history of the Bengals is exactly that, history, coach Marvin Lewis said after his first game as their coach. But Lewis lived through a bit of the Bengals' past Sunday afternoon and, when searching for something positive to take from a 30-10 loss to Denver, even uttered a phrase similar to those often used by his predecessors. "The thing our guys did today is they hung together as a team," said Lewis, sounding a lot like one of his coaching mentors, Dick LeBeau, circa 2002.

Daugherty: Still no reason to cheer - Cincinnati Enquirer - Paul Daugherty
Monday, September 8, 2003 - First game deja vu all over again. Then they played a game. And it counted. If you are the Cincinnati Bengals, it's better to have a perpetual offseason, when all anyone can talk about is how good things are going to be, without having to witness how bad things actually are. Still.

Denver manages to bottle up Dillon - Cincinnati Enquirer - Neil Schmidt
Monday, September 8, 2003 - The opening drive of the Bengals' season consisted of three Corey Dillon rushes: 4 yards, 5 yards, then a brick wall on third-and-1. The Broncos stood over him cackling and flexing. "We knew it wasn't going to happen again," Denver linebacker John Mobley said.

Defense Packs Pressure in Stifling Bengals - - Andrew Mason
Sept. 7, 2003 - CINCINNATI -- Corey Dillon darted, dodged and looked for openings, but found none. Jon Kitna stepped forward, rolled out, stopped and cut in his attempts to buy time in the pocket, but found few open receivers and even fewer passes devoid of pressure.

Broncos-Bengals Notebook: Gold, 'D' Find Turnover Touch - - Andrew Mason
Sept. 7, 2003 - CINCINNATI -- No interceptions by Broncos linebackers? Two potential game-altering picks that went through the hands of John Mobley and Ian Gold? Those moments were remembered by NFL Films when it put together the highlight film of the Broncos' 2002 season. They were forgotten on Sunday in Cincinnati, when Gold grabbed a fluttered, desperate pass from Jon Kitna and sprinted 12 yards for a touchdown that put the Broncos in front 27-3 and turned Week 1's game into a full-fledged rout.

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