Battered Broncos must regroup

The Broncos are down to a quarterback who wasn't even on the roster a few weeks ago after Steve Beuerlein was injured in yesterday's loss to the Vikings. Other injuries have also contributed to Denver's woes as they must regroup for another tough road trip. Read the post-mortems on the game in today's news reports.

Sleight of hand - Denver Post - Adam Schefter
Monday, October 20, 2003 - Besides another quarterback, the Broncos could use a tourniquet. During a near-disastrous, two-week span in which the Broncos have witnessed a magical lateral by Randy Moss and Dante Hall's incredible feat, their team has turned into a Quentin Tarantino movie - gore everywhere.

Quarterback moves to top of Broncos' shopping list - Denver Post - Jim Armstrong
Monday, October 20, 2003 - Do a little dance, make a little notes column, get down tonight. ... Talk about your bad days at the office. In the span of three hours Sunday, Steve Beuerlein stunk up the Metrodome, lost a game, suffered a dislocated finger and gave Mike Shanahan a smorgasbord for thought.

Not hard to point fingers when all are in the wrong - Denver Post - Woody Paige
Monday, October 20, 2003 - My fingers are not broken. I can put them on exactly what happened Sunday. The Broncos, and Beuerlein especially, reeked like a warthog's breath. Beuerlein and many other blunt Broncos admitted they stunk up the Metrodome. Even though the Vikings aren't dreggies like the Detroit Lions, the San Diego Chargers and the Minnetonka Earmuffs, sometime this year the Broncos will have to beat a quality team on the road - or forget another year.

Injury bug bites quickly, affects offense - Denver Post
Monday, October 20, 2003 - Losses started piling up Sunday on the opening kickoff at the Metrodome, when Broncos tight end Patrick Hape suffered a concussion. Ordinarily, an injury to a backup tight end barely generates a headline. But the Denver offense Sunday was largely predicated on two-tight end sets, which were difficult to run once veteran tight end Shannon Sharpe suffered head and knee injuries during the Broncos' 28-20 loss to the unbeaten Minnesota Vikings.

Beat-up team requires backup's boost - Denver Post - Patrick Saunders
Monday, October 20, 2003 - About six months ago, Broncos quarterback Danny Kanell, out of the NFL since the 2000 season, when he had played sparingly with the Atlanta Falcons, sent letters to 15 NFL teams, hoping to hook up somewhere, somehow. He got a quick rejection from the Minnesota Vikings. "They said, 'Our coaching staff is full right now,"' Kanell recalled.

Willing to take on load - Denver Post - Anthony Cotton
Monday, October 20, 2003 - Clinton Portis finished Sunday afternoon with 160 yards total offense and a touchdown in the Broncos' 28-20 loss to the Minnesota Vikings. Now he may be asked to do even more. With Danny Kanell expected to be the starter at quarterback for the foreseeable future, it's likely the offensive onus will fall on Portis.

Spontaneous play provides sparkle - Denver Post - Patrick Donnelly
Monday, October 20, 2003 - At the end of practice on Saturdays, the Minnesota Vikings usually save time for a sandlot session featuring more tips, flips and laterals than a Harlem Globetrotters game.

3rd arm no charm - Rocky Mountain News - Lynn DeBruin
October 20, 2003 - When Danny Kanell glanced up at the Jumbotron on Sunday, the sight was uglier than the ragged Metrodome turf. There was Steve Beuerlein's right pinkie, bent sideways. "I knew he was done," Kanell said.

What timing: Kanell takes over spotlight - Rocky Mountain News - Lee Rasizer
October 20, 2003 - This really was "impeccable timing." That phrase used last week by Steve Beuerlein to jokingly describe the three-game stretch he expected to navigate as the Denver Broncos' new starting quarterback after Jake Plummer broke his foot better fit Danny Kanell's plight Sunday.

Vikings 'shake' up Broncos in passing game - Rocky Mountain News - Lee Rasizer
October 20, 2003 - Steve Beuerlein wasn't just knocked out of the game Sunday, he was taken out of it by a fierce Minnesota pass rush. A Denver Broncos offense that had allowed only nine sacks all season yielded five in the first 20 1/2 minutes. Long yardage situations were a big factor, with all the sacks coming with at least 10 yards to go.

Moss can't be denied his moment - Rocky Mountain News - Lee Rasizer
October 20, 2003 - If you've heard it once, you've heard it a million times when it comes to the philosophy of defending an NFL superstar: Great players are going to make their plays, but you must keep them contained and prevent the big plays. For almost two quarters Sunday, the Denver Broncos had done just that.

Krieger: Injury epidemic might not be fatal - Rocky Mountain News - Dave Krieger
October 20, 2003 - Mike Shanahan had to crawl out from the rubble to talk to us Sunday afternoon. Aside from a little concrete dust in his eyebrows, he looked pretty good. Who knew the Metrodome's roof could collapse on just one of the teams beneath it?

Playful tip drill more than just gratuitous - Rocky Mountain News - Jess Myers
October 20, 2003 - Late in their Saturday practices, Minnesota Vikings offensive stars Randy Moss, Moe Williams and Daunte Culpepper like to work on tipping and lateraling the ball to one another, much to the chagrin of coach Mike Tice. But now that just such a play produced a touchdown in the Vikings' 28-20 win against the Broncos on Sunday, Tice said he wouldn't object to their horseplay any more.

Previously a liability, Vikings defense becomes an asset in only one season - Rocky Mountain News - Jess Myers
October 20, 2003 - While going 5-11 and 6-10 the past two seasons, the Minnesota Vikings' dynamic offense tried to cover the shortcomings of the team's woeful defense. On Sunday, the Broncos offense discovered what a difference a season can make.

Salaam might join list of sidelined Broncos - Rocky Mountain News - Lynn DeBruin and Lee Rasizer
October 20, 2003 - Tom Nalen walked into the locker room, his uniform pants covered with blood. It was symbolic of how bloodied and battered the Denver Broncos are right now.

Broncos report, October 20 - Rocky Mountain News - Brad Byler
October 20, 2003 - Key play - With 12 seconds left in the first half and the score tied at 7, Minnesota quarterback Daunte Culpepper scrambled right to buy time, then heaved the ball 44 yards. Randy Moss hauled in the pass at the 15-yard line and, as he was being tackled by Broncos defenders Sam Brandon and Nick Ferguson, flipped the ball over his right shoulder to running back Moe Williams, who took it the rest of the way for the score.

Broncos lose game, another QB - Daily Camera - Ryan Thorburn
October 20, 2003 - Playing Monday morning quarterback is one of the great things about following your favorite football team. But for Bronco fans, this is getting ridiculous.

Sykes notches 7 tackles in debut at LB - Daily Camera - Ryan Thorburn
October 20, 2003 - Special teams were slowly becoming a satisfying way for Jashon Sykes to make a living. But for the former Colorado standout, there is nothing like getting paid to play linebacker in a big game. On Sunday, Sykes made his surprise debut as Denver's new strong-side linebacker. The only problem was he hates losing as much as he loves playing.

Moss' play leaves Broncos in shock - Daily Camera - Ryan Thorburn
October 20, 2003 - Randy Moss describes himself as a super freak, and it's probably the best way to sum up the game- and head-turning move he made on the first half's final play Sunday at the Metrodome. At that moment the Broncos, despite the early struggles of quarterback Steve Beuerlein, had the momentum.

Thorburn: Problems mounting for Broncos - Daily Camera - Ryan Thorburn
October 20, 2003 - Ugly. Disfigured. Gross. Broken. And Steve Beuerlein's right pinky wasn't looking very good, either. We're talking about the Broncos' offense without Jake Plummer, and their chances of being in the playoff picture with Danny Kanell running the lamest show on turf. Denver is a respectable 5-2. But each loss has also cost them a quarterback.

Vikings beat Broncos to remain undefeatedy - Minneapolis Star Tribune - Kevin Seifert
October 20, 2003 - The first clue arrived in the first quarter, when a screen pass designed for Randy Moss turned into a 47-yard checkoff to a streaking Kelly Campbell for a touchdown. The second came when Moss, falling on his backside at the end of the first half, flipped the ball wildly over his head. It settled, of course, into the hands of Moe Williams, who darted into the end zone for another score.

That's the trick - St. Paul Pioneer Press - Bill Williamson
Mon, Oct. 20, 2003 - One moment, the Sunday morning meeting room was quiet. The next, the hard, pounding thud of helicopters could be heard. Mike Tice was at it again. Suddenly, Robert Duvall appeared on a screen in front of the Vikings. 'I love the smell of napalm in the morning,'' said Duvall, starting the most famous line of the war epic 'Apocalypse Now.' 'It smells like … victory.'' Hours later, the Vikings continued their triumphant roll through the early NFL season with a hard-fought 28-20 victory over the Denver Broncos at a thunderous Metrodome.

Vikings defense snuffs out Broncos' last stand - St. Paul Pioneer Press - Sean Jensen
Mon, Oct. 20, 2003 - The scenario is all too familiar to the Vikings and their fans: their defense must protect a narrow lead with the clock ticking down in the fourth quarter. Four times last season the Vikings blew fourth-quarter leads, making mistakes and missing tackles. But for the second time this season, the Vikings' defense denied a desperation drive, adding to their credibility as an improved unit.

Broncos-Vikings Notebook: Portis Finds His Form - DenverBroncos.com - Andrew Mason
Sunday, October 19, 2003 - For running back Clinton Portis, Week 7 brought a return to form. After posting his lowest yardage total in a full, start-to-finish starting assignment against the Steelers a week earlier, Portis powered the Broncos' offense by blasting his way through for 160 yards from scrimmage -- 117 on 25 carries and 43 more on three receptions.

Kanell Galvanizes Broncos in Near-Comeback - DenverBroncos.com - James Merilatt
Sunday, October 19, 2003 - Danny Kanell's two-year quest to get back into the NFL had reached a desperate juncture earlier this year. Eleven months removed from a short stint in the Arena Football League with the New York Dragons, he sent letters to various clubs asking for one more opportunity in the NFL.

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