Monday, October 13, 2003 - Moments after the Broncos' first loss of the season, wide receiver Rod Smith angrily lit into teammates for what he thought was a lack of fire. With Denver's second loss of the season creeping up Sunday quicker than darkness, Smith provided some fire of his own.
Artistic process isn't pretty - Denver Post - Woody Paige
Monday, October 13, 2003 - The Broncos' past two home games contained a whole horde of ugsomeness. So did Picasso's "Demoiselles d'Avignon" and "Still Life with Chair Caning." Despite frequently looking as disjointed, confused and vulgar as a nude descending a staircase, the Broncos remained undefeated in Denver on Sunday afternoon. Afterward, all of us could mouth the words before coach Mike Shanahan did (again): "Good teams find a way to win."
Geezers take in Sunday stroll - Denver Post - Mark Kiszla
Monday, October 13, 2003 - It was an hour past the game's final gun, and the last Broncos left standing in an otherwise deserted locker room were three old veterans of the NFL wars. Jason Elam. Steve Beuerlein. Shannon Sharpe. What are these geezers still doing here? Winning.
Gold gone for season with hurt knee - Denver Post
Monday, October 13, 2003 - On a play they wished they never would have run, the Broncos defense lost speed, and linebacker Ian Gold lost more. Gold, scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent after this season, tore his right anterior cruciate ligament Sunday during the first quarter of Denver's 17-14 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Beuerlein finds rhythm in nick of time - Denver Post - Jim Armstrong
Monday, October 13, 2003 - As he walked off the field, Steve Beuerlein looked up to the heavens and said a quick prayer. A prayer. That's more than he had in the first 2 1/2 quarters. "For whatever reason, I couldn't find a rhythm," Beuerlein said. "My job is to get the ball to guys and let them make plays, and I wasn't doing it very well. We changed things up a little bit because I was obviously struggling."
Secondary makes strong statement - Denver Post - Patrick Saunders
Monday, October 13, 2003 - When the Broncos reported for training camp on July 25, who knew their young, inexperienced and no-name secondary would be a force that would help win a tight game on a brilliant October afternoon? OK, maybe defensive coordinator Larry Coyer, defensive backs coach David Gibbs and player-coach Jimmy Spencer knew. But few others believed.
Porter's Denver trips no vacations - Denver Post - Joseph Sanchez
Monday, October 13, 2003 - Six weeks later, it was strictly a business trip. And for Pittsburgh linebacker Joey Porter, who was hit by a stray bullet at a Denver bar Aug. 30 after attending the Colorado State-Colorado game, it was an unsuccessful trip.
In the kick of time - Rocky Mountain News - Lee Rasizer
October 13, 2003 - For 48 1/2 minutes Sunday, the Denver-Pittsburgh game was akin to repeatedly hitting the snooze button. It was a peaceful, quiet, 7-6 affair. Then it was as if the two teams collectively saw the clock and realized they'd overslept. A flurry of activity resulted.
Missed opportunities confound Steelers - Rocky Mountain News - Brad Byler
October 13, 2003 - One week after a humiliating 33-13 loss at home to the Cleveland Browns, the Pittsburgh Steelers were intent on coming to Denver and turning their season around before it slipped out of control. Instead, they let opportunity after opportunity slip away in a 17-14 loss to the Broncos on Sunday.
Victory makes Beuerlein feel a lot better - Rocky Mountain News - Lynn DeBruin
October 13, 2003 - To think Steve Beuerlein could have been sitting on his living room couch Sunday, sipping a cold one. On his couch, the Denver Broncos' 38-year-old quarterback wouldn't have had Kendrell Bell delivering punishing shots to his midsection, or a 213-pound safety drilling him from behind.
Krieger: Looking to a leader, Broncos find selves - Rocky Mountain News - Dave Krieger
October 13, 2003 - Yes, fine, whatever. Ugly. Paltry numbers. Turnovers. Incompetence. Warm beer. True. And couldn't miss the point more completely if the complainants had been in the bathroom when Jason Elam kicked the winner. This was the game that showed these are not last year's Broncos.
Lincicome: Beuerlein can't give it away, obviously - Rocky Mountain News - Bernie Lincicome
October 13, 2003 - Bullet dodging does beat bullet catching, unless you are a suicide or a circus act, both of which the Broncos resembled Sunday. Still, what matters is that the Broncos did not lose a football game they could have, maybe should have, without their little old franchise-saver at quarterback, Jake Plummer, the extent of whose injury is both a mystery and a budding concern.
Gold will be out for rest - Rocky Mountain News - Lee Rasizer and Lynn DeBruin
October 13, 2003 - Al Wilson knew fellow Broncos linebacker Ian Gold was perhaps seriously hurt when he went over to check on his fallen teammate Sunday. "You could just see the grimace on his face and you could hear him making sounds and it didn't sound good," Wilson said. "We knew it was going to be tough."
Without Plummer, Broncos' run game screeches to a halt - Rocky Mountain News - Pat Rooney
October 13, 2003 - When the Broncos defeated the Detroit Lions two weeks ago, they learned that life without running back Clinton Portis would be a struggle. On Sunday, the Broncos discovered that the dynamic second-year running back might not be the most indispensable part in the team's rushing attack. The absence of quarterback Jake Plummer helped bring the Broncos' running game to a grinding halt during the team's 17-14 victory against Pittsburgh.
Beuerlein takes hat off to Denver defensive line - Rocky Mountain News - Lynn DeBruin
October 13, 2003 - Quarterbacks typically treat their offensive linemen to steak dinners or fancy gifts for a job well-done. But in this case, don't be surprised to see Steve Beuerlein taking out the Denver Broncos defensive linemen.
Maddox makes it clear why he's starter - Rocky Mountain News - Brad Byler
October 13, 2003 - There's a reason why Steelers coach Bill Cowher believes in Tommy Maddox. Bronco fans finally saw why late in the game in the Steelers 17-14 loss to the Denver Broncos on Sunday.
With words, deeds, Smith sets the tone - Rocky Mountain News - Pat Rooney
October 13, 2003 - One week after his biggest game of the season, Rod Smith was in danger of becoming a forgotten man. But as Smith has done throughout his 10-year career in Denver, he saved his biggest plays for when the Broncos needed him the most.
Broncos report, October 13 - Rocky Mountain News
October 13, 2003 - Key play: The Steelers tied the score on Jerome Bettis' two-point conversion, leaving Denver's offense with 2 minutes, 41 seconds for a winning drive. Facing a third-and-10 at the Pittsburgh 46-yard line, Steve Beuerlein's throw to Shannon Sharpe was slightly off the mark. But Sharpe reached out with his right hand to corral the pass and not only get Denver a first down, but into field-goal range. Four plays later, Jason Elam nailed his 47-yard kick.
Resilient Broncos kick Steelers - Daily Camera - Ryan Thorburn
October 13, 2003 - Forget about Steve Beuerlein's two interceptions. He already has because the Broncos won. Did you forget about the two near-turnovers the 38-year-old backup quarterback got away with? The Steelers can't because they lost. Resilient Denver (5-1) beat reeling Pittsburgh (2-4) 17-14 on Sunday at Invesco Field because the home team cashed a fourth-quarter fumble in for seven points and the visitors cashed three gifts into just six points.
Woelk: Smith delivers when Broncos need it most - Daily Camera - Neill Woelk
October 13, 2003 - They are overused maxims, but that does not diminish the truth when applied where truly warranted. Great players make great plays. Leaders lead. Sunday afternoon, Rod Smith proved that he qualifies as both — and because of him, the Denver Broncos managed to stay within one game of the AFC West-leading Kansas City Chiefs.
Shanahan praises defensive effort - Daily Camera - Barney Hutchinson
October 13, 2003 - For the first three quarters, the Denver Broncos stuffed the Pittsburgh Steelers defensively, keeping the visitors out of the end zone and limiting them to a pair of field goals. They chased Steeler quarterback Tommy Maddox down for six sacks and allowed only 128 yards total offense after three periods.
LB Gold out for season after suffering torn ACL - Daily Camera - Ryan Thorburn
October 13, 2003 - The Broncos don't have the fastest trio of starting linebackers in the league anymore. Starting weak-side linebacker Ian Gold, who was enjoying his best season as a professional, tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee while covering a punt in the first quarter.
Elam field goal lifts Denver to victory on final play - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - Ed Bouchette
Monday, October 13, 2003 - In a bottom-line business, the ink dripped gruesome red again for the Steelers yesterday. It didn't matter that they played their best game of their four losses, that they finally caught up from behind in a game, that their defense might have had its best performance of the season.
Rare Bettis fumble is costly for Steelers - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - Gerry Dulac
Monday, October 13, 2003 - Jerome Bettis fumbles about as often as Mario Lemieux misses an open net. Before yesterday, he hadn't lost a ball since the 2002 season opener in New England. Before that, he carried 760 times without a fumble.
Play of the Game: Dropped interception at the 20-yard line - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - Gerry Dulac
Monday, October 13, 2003 - The ball was floating in the air, looking like an inning-ending pop to short, and Brent Alexander was going to nestle under it like Ozzie Smith. "Those are the ones you catch nine out 10 times," Alexander said.
Beuerlein Keeps Faith, Delivers in Clutch - DenverBroncos.com - Andrew Mason
Sunday, October 12, 2003 - Steve Beuerlein had every reason to be frustrated during most of the Broncos' Week 6 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. His first pass was intercepted by Chad Scott. His first three quarters saw the Broncos score just one touchdown, with a tide of frustration in the stands cresting early in the final period as boos rained down from the stands on an offense that had accounted for less than 10 yards on seven of its first 10 possessions.
Hall of Fame Players Making Hall of Fame Plays - DenverBroncos.com - James Merilatt
Sunday, October 12, 2003 - On a day when the Denver Broncos high-powered offense couldn&rsquot find its normal groove, a trio of veterans stepped up and delivered in the clutch. Thanks to the fourth-quarter heroics of Jason Elam, Shannon Sharpe and Rod Smith, the Broncos avoided the upset on Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers and improved their record to 5-1.
Broncos-Steelers Notebook: Gold Injured - DenverBroncos.com - Andrew Mason
Sunday, October 12, 2003 - On a day that saw the Broncos' first last-second, game-winning field goal at INVESCO Field at Mile High, the defense incurred a potentially crippling blow due to the loss of linebacker Ian Gold. The one-time Pro Bowler left the game in the first quarter with what was initially termed as a twisted knee. Further examinations revealed a torn anterior cruciate ligament. Oops.
No Icing Denver's Cool Customer - DenverBroncos.com - Andrew Mason
Sunday, October 12, 2003 - As the clock wound under one minute to play late on Sunday afternoon, the smell of opportunity had replaced the aroma of tailgate barbecues wafting up from the parking lots surrounding INVESCO Field at Mile High. Quarterback Steve Beuerlein had just completed three straight passes to push the Broncos across midfield. Even though the Broncos had no timeouts remaining, the fact that they'd already covered 34 yards on a harried drive was enough to get the team's fans believing in the chance for victory.
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