Stinging loss may spell doom for Broncos

Denver's 30-26 loss to the New England Patriots on Monday Night Football makes a trip to the playoffs extremely difficult if not impossible for the Broncos. More injuries and plenty of blame to pass around are the hot topics in today's post-mortems.

Pats bring big hurt - Denver Post - Adam Schefter
Tuesday, November 04, 2003 - No matter how high their pain threshold is, the Broncos will struggle to withstand this. No matter how soft their schedule is in the second half, the Broncos will have a hard time recovering from their latest defeat.

Truth, nothing but the truth, Denver guilty of ineptitude - Denver Post - Woody Paige
Tuesday, November 04, 2003 - The Broncos' season is lost, gone, over, done and many other four-letter words. Curse the night and the Broncos. They got what they deserved - an inexcusable, unspeakable 30-26 loss to the New England Patriots.

Patriots' Belichick proves to be genius, not Shanahan - Denver Post - Mark Kiszla
Tuesday, November 04, 2003 - A season died Monday night. And a coaching reputation for genius got buried. Wonder how Broncos owner Pat Bowlen feels about that five-year contract extension for coach Mike Shanahan now?

McCaffrey's return remains mystery - Denver Post
Tuesday, November 04, 2003 - Broncos wide receiver Ed McCaffrey did not play Monday night, and there are questions within the organization about when the veteran will be able to play again this season - if at all. McCaffrey's quadriceps injury, which began bothering him just before Denver played Oct. 19 at Minnesota, is more severe than McCaffrey or the Broncos have let on, team sources with knowledge of the injury said.

Belichick among game's elite defensive minds - Denver Post
Tuesday, November 04, 2003 - The best-laid notes of mice and men ... He doesn't get style points for personality, but let the record show Bill Belichick is one of the great coaches in this man's league.

Barrel man McKernan feels love in return - Denver Post - Cheryl Preheim 9News
Tuesday, November 04, 2003 - Tim McKernan found out Monday night that even without his signature barrel, he is still one of the most loved fans at Broncos games. "It just hasn't been the same without him," Broncos fan Steve Mayes said.

Barrel man McKernan feels love in return - Denver Post - Anthony Cotton
Tuesday, November 04, 2003 - Like the Broncos, the New England Patriots have been riddled by injuries throughout the 2003 season. However, unlike Denver, which had lost three of four games entering Monday night, the AFC East team had done a great job of overcoming adversity.

Reversal of fortune staggers Broncos - Rocky Mountain News - Lynn DeBruin
November 4, 2003 - In a span of about 30 minutes, Deltha O'Neal went from hero to goat. Now, rather than riding momentum into the bye week, the Denver Broncos (5-4) find themselves riding a three-game losing streak after dropping a 30-26 heartbreaker to the New England Patriots on Monday night.

Elam's absence hurt - Rocky Mountain News - Brad Byler
November 4, 2003 - Micah Knorr stood on the sideline Monday night wondering whether Denver's playoff hopes would hinge on the first field-goal attempt of his four-year NFL career. Unfortunately for the Broncos, they didn't get a chance to find out.

Broncos find a way to create turnovers - Rocky Mountain News - Pat Rooney
November 4, 2003 - One of the most obvious ways to help a backup quarterback settle down once he is thrown into the fray is to collect as many turnovers as possible. Broncos quarterbacks Steve Beuerlein and Danny Kanell have not had that luxury prior to Monday night since replacing injured starter Jake Plummer.

Krieger: Mantle of genius passes before our eyes - Rocky Mountain News - Dave Krieger
November 4, 2003 - Let's face it, geniuses ain't what they used to be, not to mention masterminds. There was a time when you couldn't call anyone a genius unless he was named Albert - Einstein, Schweitzer, Brooks, Shanker, etc. Now there's genius software and genius baby shower gifts, not to mention genius football coaches, and even genius old ball coaches, until recently.

Lincicome: Decimated Denver didn't quit, but . . . - Rocky Mountain News - Bernie Lincicome
November 4, 2003 - I'll take Single Adjectives That Best Describe the Broncos football season so far, Alex. Peculiar. Comical. Erratic. Fluky. Unlucky. Plucky. Over. And remember to put the answer in the form of a question. What is a Terry Pierce?

O'Neal has nightmare finish after good start - Rocky Mountain News - Paul Willis
November 4, 2003 - After losing his starting cornerback position to Kelly Herndon earlier in the season, Denver Broncos cornerback Deltha O'Neal thought the abyss in which he had plummeted was as low as he could go. Turns out, there was a level below what he termed "rock bottom." O'Neal experienced those depths last week at Baltimore, when the fourth-year pro was designated inactive for the first time in his career. Then came Monday night.

Kanell struggles in 2nd half - Rocky Mountain News - Lee Rasizer
November 4, 2003 - Danny Kanell wasn't throwing up from the flu. He wasn't throwing wildly because of capricious winds and a bum thumb as he did the previous week in Baltimore. The Denver Broncos quarterback was merely thrown off his game in the second half Monday night by the New England Patriots defense.

Barrel-less, Broncos' No. 1 fan back in game - Rocky Mountain News - Owen S. Good
November 4, 2003 - Instead of the orange cylinder from his armpits to his knees, and his birthday suit underneath, Tim McKernan wore a void of black fleece that seemed to acknowledge what was not there. But people still recognized him as the Denver Broncos' No. 1 fan. People still called him Barrel Man.

Plummer says he's right on schedule in comeback from injury - Rocky Mountain News - Lynn DeBruin and Lee Rasizer
November 4, 2003 - Quarterback Jake Plummer was relegated to bystander role again Monday night because of a broken left foot, but expect the Denver Broncos quarterback to take some major steps back toward the starting lineup this week. Though he hadn't run or taken any drops as of Friday, Plummer said he still is on schedule to return for the Nov. 16 game against the San Diego Chargers.

Broncos report, November 4 - Rocky Mountain News
November 4, 2003 - Key play: The Patriots, trailing 26-23 with 2 minutes remaining, had the ball on their own 47-yard line. But Kevin Faulk turned a short pass into a 19-yard gain, putting New England into field-goal position. Four plays later, quarterback Tom Brady went for the end zone, completing an 18-yard pass to David Givens for the winning score. Givens beat Deltha O'Neal on the play.

Adams: Two AFC West coaches may be out of work soon - Rocky Mountain News - Sam Adams
November 4, 2003 - It is quite possible the Denver Broncos will face two new AFC West coaches in 2004. And some might believe the Broncos will face two new AFC West coaches before the end of this season. The San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders are in a stupor at the bottom of the AFC West. San Diego is 1-7, and the defending AFC-champion Raiders are 2-6.

Broncos at a loss for words - Daily Camera - Ryan Thorburn
November 4, 2003 - Welcome to the bye week, Broncos. As in goodbye playoffs. Denver, a team that was once 4-0, limped off Invesco Field with a 5-4 record after a devastating 30-26 loss to the New England Patriots (7-2) on Monday night.

Hutchinson: Loss dooms hopes for playoffs - Daily Camera - Barney Hutchinson
November 4, 2003 - Tom Brady did more than lead his New England Patriots to a picture-perfect, six play, 58-yard drive for a touchdown near the end of the fourth quarter Monday. The 18-yard touchdown pass didn't merely give the Pats a 30-26 win in the final 30 seconds of the game. Brady basically drove a stake through the heart of the Denver Broncos. They are not mathematically eliminated from the playoff picture in the NFL. But the Broncos would have to pull off a few miracles of their own in the second half of the season — and the 2003 campaign has been very short of miracles.

Trio of former CU tight ends influence game's outcome - Daily Camera - Ryan Thorburn
November 4, 2003 - Three former Colorado tight ends played important roles in Monday's game between Denver and New England at Invesco Field, a 30-26 victory for the visitors.

O'Neal in and back out of good graces - Daily Camera - Barney Hutchinson
November 4, 2003 - Deltha O'Neal made an interesting journey in the course of the Denver Broncos' Monday Night Football party. O'Neal, who had taken up residence in the basement of Bronco head coach Mike Shanahan's doghouse, emerged out of that purgatory with a 57-yard punt return for a touchdown to put the Broncos ahead 24-20 at the end of the third quarter.

Gone in 30 Seconds - - James Merilatt
Monday, November 3, 2003 - At the end of the NFL Films highlight video chronicling Super Bowl XXIII, there's a famous scene that features Sam Wyche, the head coach of the Cincinnati Bengals, mumbling to himself in utter disbelief. His team had just given up a 92-yard drive to Joe Montana and the San Francisco 49ers, watching their three-point lead turn into a 20-16 deficit in the process. He looks up at the scoreboard, knowing that his chance to win a World Championship just vanished in front of his eyes, and can only repeat two words over and over, "Sixteen seconds. Sixteen seconds."

Defense Laments One That Got Away - - Andrew Mason
Monday, November 3, 2003 - The No. 2-ranked defense in the league had precisely the situation teams at such lofty positions envision -- a three-point lead, just over two minutes on the clock and a chance to stop the opposing offense once and for all, ensuring a victory in front of a national audience.

Broncos-Patriots Notebook: Elam Strains His Groin - - Andrew Mason
Monday, November 3, 2003 - The injury hits kept on coming for the Broncos on Monday night -- and did so at perhaps the most unlikely position. As he followed through on his 44-yard field goal attempt in the first quarter, kicker Jason Elam strained his groin, forcing Micah Knorr to assume the placekicking duties.

Broncos Hope Bye Helps Dissipate Fog of Defeat - - Andrew Mason
Monday, November 3, 2003 - A full 15 minutes after the crushing 30-26 loss to the New England Patriots had concluded, some Broncos players still hadn't removed a stitch of clothing, sitting in front of their lockers, unable to move in the wake of the defeat. Others had already dressed and were on their way out.

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