Second guessing on the day after

On a day that saw Denver out-statistic the Kansas City Chiefs and Clinton Portis out-ran Priest Holmes, the Broncos were left questioning the decision to kick to Dante Hall. Read about it in today's news reports.

Hall's dazzling play beats Denver - Denver Post - Adam Schefter
Monday, October 06, 2003 - Replayed in their minds will be the exact play replayed on television for the remainder of this season. Kansas City Chiefs return man Dante Hall fielding a punt at the 7-yard line. The Broncos' coverage team converging on him like a SWAT team. Barely.

K.C. only assisted in bumbling Broncos' loss - Denver Post - Woody Paige
Monday, October 06, 2003 - All in all, you can't win 'em all, after all. But the Broncos should have won this all-important game. All of them blew it bad. A coaching staff and 43 players (two active players didn't participate) were guilty Sunday of culpable negligence and gross gaffes.

Broncos' strategy knows no bounds - Denver Post - Mark Kiszla
Monday, October 06, 2003 - You don't tug on Superman's cape. You don't spit into the wind. And you don't dare Dante Hall of the Kansas City Chiefs to beat you. Denver did. The Broncos lost. What were they thinking? Letting male pride veto common sense, Denver coach Mike Shanahan made the costly mistake of punting to Hall with the biggest game of this young NFL season on the line. Bad idea.

From shoulder to toes, Plummer hurting - Denver Post - Adam Schefter
Monday, October 06, 2003 - After the Broncos dropped to 4-1, quarterback Jake Plummer underwent extensive treatment on his right shoulder and left foot, the team confirmed. The treatment took so long, the Broncos' media relations department announced Plummer would not meet with the press Sunday.

Hall aside, Broncos not in awe of 'OK' Chiefs - Denver Post - Jim Armstrong
Monday, October 06, 2003 - Notes from the Show Me State ... Fact is, other than Dante Hall, the Chiefs didn't show the Broncos much of anything Sunday. "They know they did," said John Mobley, when asked if the Chiefs had stolen one. "I don't think Jesse James could have gotten away with a bigger steal. But we've got them again. ... We've got them again." ...

Dante destroys Broncos' best-laid plans - Denver Post - Patrick Saunders
Monday, October 06, 2003 - For more than three quarters Sunday, the Denver Broncos kept lightning locked in a bottle. Confident in the speed of their special teams, and armed with a game plan to control that elusive lightning, the Broncos dared Kansas City's Dante Hall to make a play.

Plummer has been hot stuff after opener - Denver Post - Marcus R. Fuller
Monday, October 06, 2003 - Kansas City defensive end Vonnie Holliday said defensive coordinator Greg Robinson has been so passionate about his job this season that he hasn't had time to enjoy the team's success. But as the last few seconds ran down in Sunday's 24-23 victory over the Broncos at Arrowhead Stadium, Robinson couldn't hold back how proud he was of his defense's impressive last stand.

Broncos: Cole clipped - Denver Post - Adam Schefter
Monday, October 06, 2003 - History comes with an asterisk. At least according to the Broncos. On the punt Kansas City Chiefs star Dante Hall returned 93 yards for the winning touchdown Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium, replays showed Chiefs rookie cornerback Julian Battle clipped Denver's Chris Cole. Cole acknowledged it.

Hall monitors fail - Rocky Mountain News - Lynn DeBruin
October 6, 2003 - Forget about the Sports Illustrated jinx. In the biggest battle of the year, Kansas City's little big man sealed the Denver Broncos' fate. "We knew what he could do, and he did it to us anyway," Denver's Chris Cole lamented. Cole was talking about 5-foot-8 Dante Hall, his former Texas A&M teammate and the guy he challenged to "bring it on" a few days earlier. Hall did. On a day when two undefeated teams pulled out their bag of tricks, Hall again proved to be the X-factor.

4 games; 4 TDs: Hall is special - Rocky Mountain News - Lee Rasizer
October 6, 2003 - It wasn't even supposed to be a return. Rather, Dante Hall's record-breaking 93-yard touchdown of a punt that killed the Denver Broncos in their 24-23 loss Sunday evolved into one.

Portis' pain of defeat feels a lot worse than any physical ailment - Rocky Mountain News - Lee Rasizer
October 6, 2003 - It wasn't Clinton Portis' ribs, chest or shoulder that bothered him Sunday. It was the sting of defeat.

Krieger: One Hall of a return really beats Broncos - Rocky Mountain News - Dave Krieger
October 6, 2003 - Losing on a mistake - say, throwing to a back judge or calling x-slant when you mean y-slant - that's one thing. That's how football games are normally lost. Losing on a phenomenon is something else. It's like losing your house to an earthquake. You can't prevent an earthquake.

Lincicome: 'X factor' teaches Broncos painful lesson - Rocky Mountain News - Bernie Lincicome
October 6, 2003 - Pssst, Broncos. Free advice. Don't kick the ball to No. 82. The Broncos knew it, did it any way, lost a football game and must face today knowing they are better at 4-1 than the Chiefs are at 5-0.

Unhappy return: Hall sinks Broncos - Daily Camera - Ryan Thorburn
October 6, 2003 - The instant classic provided more highlights than the 10 o'clock newscasts could handle, and enough water-cooler football fodder for the entire week. But the only play anyone was talking about at Arrowhead Stadium after the Chiefs' 24-23 victory over the Denver Broncos on a sun-drenched Sunday in Kansas City was Dante Hall's 93-yard punt return for the decisive touchdown.

Thorburn: Broncos hurt by more than Hall - Daily Camera - Ryan Thorburn
October 6, 2003 - Sunday's game at Arrowhead Stadium between the undefeated Broncos and Chiefs lived up to all of the hype. The teams will play again Dec. 7 at Invesco Field. Until then, Kansas City's 24-23 victory will live in infamy throughout Denver. Act I of what could very well turn out to be a three-game drama between these AFC West foes was unforgettable. It had everything except Jake Plummer's first fourth-quarter comeback in orange and blue.

WR Lelie bemoans missed opportunity - Daily Camera - Ryan Thorburn
October 6, 2003 - Ashley Lelie blamed himself for the Denver Broncos' 24-23 loss to the Chiefs in Kansas City on Sunday. Although the second-year receiver caught three passes for 36 yards at Arrowhead Stadium, Lelie felt he had opportunities to make three or four additional plays that would have changed the final outcome.

Broncos find little solace in winning statistical battle - Daily Camera - Ryan Thorburn
October 6, 2003 - This is why Brian Griese told you he didn't care about your fantasy football team when he was the quarterback of a potent Denver offense. On Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium, Clinton Portis was a statistical superhero, racking up 141 yards rushing (6.1 per carry) and 79 more receiving. His Kansas City counterpart, Priest Holmes, was limited to 97 yards rushing and 14 receiving.

Another huge Hall return lifts Chiefs past Broncos - Kansas City Star - Adam Teicher
Mon, Oct. 06, 2003 - They've had this view before, the guys blocking for Dante Hall. They've seen Hall apparently trapped without hope only to pop loose and bust another return. At some point, perhaps, they will cease to be amazed at Hall's exploits. For now, what Hall did to rescue the Chiefs in Sunday's 24-23 win over Denver left them as stunned as anyone.

Highly favored Broncos were due to be deflated against Lions - Kansas City Star - Jason Whitlock
Mon, Oct. 06, 2003 - Kansas City's "Lil Inferno" continued to blaze Sunday afternoon inside Arrowhead Stadium, incinerating the arrogant Denver Broncos, igniting 79,000 rabid fans and fanning the 5-0 Chiefs' Super Bowl flames. Dante Hall is hotter than your grandmama's fried-fish grease, and subsequently so are his Kansas City Chiefs, 24-23 winners over the previously undefeated Broncos.

Bounces go Broncos' way, but Chiefs get handle on win - Kansas City Star - Ivan Carter
Mon, Oct. 06, 2003 - Anyone who has tossed the old pigskin around the backyard knows the odd-shaped sphere can take some funny bounces. But when a football continually rolls free before ending up in the hands of the opponent, well, a player can't help but wonder if it's just not supposed to be his day.

Defense gives up big plays, but it's the key stops that really matter - Kansas City Star - Adam Teicher
Mon, Oct. 06, 2003 - The revamped Chiefs defense hadn't seen a multidimensional opponent like the Denver Broncos. It showed Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium. The Broncos hit the Chiefs with both the run and the pass in rolling up 469 yards of offense. Denver completed a 72-yard pass in setting up one touchdown and had a 65-yard run by Clinton Portis for the other.

Hall's Return Dooms Broncos - - Andrew Mason
Sunday, October 5, 2003 - For three and a half quarters, the Broncos had defused the ticking time bomb that is Kansas City Chiefs Dante Hall. He'd made some outstanding returns, but hadn't wormed his way through the coverage units for any of the backbreaking variety, the kind of returns that had doomed the Pittsburgh Steelers, Houston Texans and Baltimore Ravens in Kansas City's previous three games. In the fourth quarter, he -- and subsequently, the vast majority of the 78,903 onlookers at Arrowhead Stadium -- exploded.

Broncos Vow to Bounce Back - - Andrew Mason
Sunday, October 5, 2003 - The result wasn't what the Broncos hoped it would be on Sunday. But while their undefeated record was shattered with the 24-23 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, their confidence and resolve was not. "We're a little disappointed, don't get me wrong," linebacker Al Wilson said. "We definitely would love to be 5-0. But 4-1 is not a bad record. We played a tremendous football team today, and we'll see them again in December." It was one of 16. And no champion has escaped unscathed in 31 years.

Broncos-Chiefs Notebook - - Andrew Mason
Sunday, October 5, 2003 - The end-around has seen various permutations this year -- four runs by Rod Smith in the first four games, an aborted inkling at a pass that Smith held on to at Cincinnati, a reverse to Ashley Lelie against the Lions. But what Smith delivered in the first quarter was something new -- not only a throw, but a crossfield one -- as Smith stopped on the right side, turned and heaved a pass 30 yards in the air down to the left side of the field. Portis had to turn back and lean for the football, but he scooped up the pass and sprinted another 45 yards to set the Broncos up for a first-and-goal and what would be the first points of the game.

Hall leads Chiefs past Broncos - - John Clayton
Sunday, October 5, 2003 - No team in football is seemingly blessed more than the Kansas City Chiefs. Dick Vermeil built his offense around a halfback named Priest, and the Chiefs have won four straight, including their Sunday 24-23 victory over the Broncos, because of a return specialist who seems to be on speaking terms with a higher authority.

Shanahan pulled out all the tricks - - John Clayton
Sunday, October 5, 2003 - The Chiefs defense knew Mike Shanahan would try to baffle them. He always does. Chiefs defensive coordinator Greg Robinson knows to expect the worst because Shanahan had Robinson as his defensive coordinator when the Broncos won back-to-back Super Bowls.

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