Broncos zap Bolts, 37-13

The Broncos brought home another win, but lost two key players during the process.Both Jake Plummer and Clinton Portis were taken out of the game after suffering injuries in the first half, but Denver went on to defeat the San Diego Chargers 37-13.

Jake Plummer saw more than half the game in San Diego from the sidelines, after suffering what was first described by coach Mike Shanahan as a minor concussion while diving for a first down during the first half. After succeeding at the first down attempt, Plummer was able to pull-off one more touchdown pass, but was then sidelined for the rest of the game.

Later, head coach Mike Shanahan admitted that Plummer did not suffer a concussion.

"If Steve (Beuerlein) went down on the first or second play and Jake went in there with a separated shoulder, they would know that we could not throw the football," Shanahan said. "So, for his sake and our sake I had to fib a little bit."

During Plummer's first half performance, he looked more comfortable as he is evidently adjusting to the Broncos complex offense. Although he didn't look entirely impressive, he was able to execute in the red zone, which gave the Broncos the edge early in the game. Plummer left the game with 3 touchdown-passes and completed 9 for 13 for 94 yards.

Clinton Portis had a phenomenal game before being injured, gaining 129 yards on 12 carries. Portis took a blow to the chest late in the first half and was kept in the locker room for the second half to be evaluated.

"I am good," said Portis. "I will be back next week. I let a guy get a good sock on me. He got underneath my shoulder pads. I will be sore for a couple of days, but will be able to practice Wednesday.î"

The blow to Portis' chest only caused bruising, which won't keep him out of the next game. Both Plummer and Portis are expected to return to practice Wednesday and are likely to play in the home-opener against the Raiders.

Due to Plummer's injury, Steve Beuerlein entered the game with one minute remaining in the first half and was able to make some big plays, but he still wasn't completely satisfied. Beuerlein finished with 7 completions in 16 attempts for 98 yards. He sees definite room for improvement.

"I could have made four or five more plays out there today," said Beuerlein. "I could have made at least three more touchdowns. I feel like I need to play better if I am going to play down the road."

This seems to be the theme for the Broncos this year and it is clearly visible on the field. The Broncos played relentlessly even when they secured a substantial lead over the Chargers, which is what led them to their second consecutive road-win this season.

The main focus now is to get the team well for game three against the Raiders.

More stories about the Broncos' win

Bruised Broncos breeze by Chargers 37-13 -
SAN DIEGO (Sept. 14, 2003) -- The Denver Broncos lost their starting quarterback midway through the second quarter and their top running back was gone by halftime. They still manhandled the San Diego Chargers, winning 37-13 for their second successive road victory.

Portis' Powerful Start Propels Offense - - Andrew Mason
Sept. 14, 2003 - SAN DIEGO -- On a day where the Broncos' names were taken out of the league's record book, Clinton Portis took a few more steps towards someday putting his own name into it. Once again, the appearance of lightning-bolt helmets brought out the best the second-year running back had to offer. Portis went over the 100-yard mark before the first quarter was complete, and his running set up two Broncos touchdowns, allowing the Broncos to build up a three-score first-half lead for the second straight week, one that held up into a 37-13 triumph at Qualcomm Stadium.

Broncos romp to win over Chargers - Rocky Mountain News - Bernie Wilson
September 14, 2003 - SAN DIEGO - Jake Plummer looked a whole lot better on Sunday, until he hurt his throwing shoulder. Plummer separated his right shoulder diving for a first down, but stayed in for two more plays, long enough to throw his third touchdown in less than two quarters and help the Denver Broncos beat the San Diego Chargers 37-13. The Broncos (2-0) dominated the Chargers (0-2) despite losing Plummer, who was replaced by Steve Beuerlein, and then running back Clinton Portis, who suffered a chest bruise and missed the second half.

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