Dominant D is huge in big win

Jake Plummer's superb performance on his return to the lineup and the play of TE Shannon Sharpe and WR Rod Smith highlighted Sunday's big win over San Diego, but it was the dominant defense that was singled out for praise by Broncos' coach Mike Shanahan. Read about it in today's reports.

Plummer takes charge - Denver Post - Adam Schefter
Monday, November 17, 2003 - With their position slipping, their confidence sagging, their team struggling, the Broncos did what anybody in a similar state of emergency would do. They dialed 911. Operator No. 16 answered.

Shanahan rules with evil eye - Denver Post - Mark Kiszla
Monday, November 17, 2003 - The Broncos had no choice but to win. Heck, they were too scared to do anything else. Why? Coach Mike Shanahan gave them all the evil eye, so piercing it can melt the stoutest heart. Ever notice how many unforgettable NFL coaches can be identified by a single characteristic that seemed to define them?

Record-setting Sharpe bowing out? - Denver Post
Monday, November 17, 2003 - Headliner that he is, Broncos tight end Shannon Sharpe made news on the field during the game Sunday, then off the field after it.

Plummer, hope return for Broncos - Denver Post - Woody Paige
Monday, November 17, 2003 - Jake's back in the house, and the Broncos are back from the outhouse. Jake Plummer and the Broncos did a Snake-and-bake on the Chargers on Sunday. "We're a different team when Jake's in the ballgame," Shannon Sharpe said of the Broncos' offense, which accumulated 448 yards and 26 first downs.

Swagger returns - Denver Post - Patrick Saunders
Monday, November 17, 2003 - The Broncos' defense was brash, brazen, bullying and boastful Sunday - on the field and in the locker room. On the field, they held the San Diego Chargers to 96 yards of total offense and five first downs en route to a 37-8 victory.

Smith says O'Neal can have return job - Denver Post - Jim Armstrong
Monday, November 17, 2003 - Memo to Deltha O'Neal from Rod Smith: If you ever make it out of Shanny's doghouse, the punt returner job is all yours. "It's not my job," said Smith, after his 65-yard touchdown return against the Chargers. "I do what I have to do. If they want me to return punts, I'll do it. But that's not what I want to do. That's not something where I say, 'You know what, I want to become a punt returner.' That's not something I wake up thinking about." ...

Swagger returns - Denver Post - Patrick Saunders
Monday, November 17, 2003 - The Broncos' defense was brash, brazen, bullying and boastful Sunday - on the field and in the locker room. On the field, they held the San Diego Chargers to 96 yards of total offense and five first downs en route to a 37-8 victory.

Mobley's spirit soars - Denver Post - Patrick Saunders
Monday, November 17, 2003 - Tyson Mobley still might get the chance to see his daddy play football. That didn't seem to be the case when Broncos linebacker John Mobley went down with a frightening neck injury Oct. 26 in Baltimore.

Quarterbacks facing frustrations - Denver Post - Joseph Sanchez
Monday, November 17, 2003 - At the next locker, the other quarterback suddenly realized the awkwardness of the situation. He was young and in the way. So Drew Brees politely moved across the room to let the older quarterback try to explain to a crowd of reporters what had happened.

Plummer, anyone? - Rocky Mountain News - Lee Rasizer
November 17, 2003 - Deeds, not words. It was coach Mike Shanahan's brief message to his Denver Broncos last week after three consecutive defeats. "Anybody can make the routine plays," Broncos linebacker Al Wilson said. "You become a great player when you make the plays that no one expects you to make - the plays that really count, that really matter."

Plummer eases into driver's seat - Rocky Mountain News - Lynn DeBruin
November 17, 2003 - Jake Plummer probably wishes he could play all of his games against San Diego. Two months ago, he jump-started his Denver Broncos career, with three touchdown passes in only 13 attempts in a 37-13 blowout win against the Chargers.

Flutie's magic turns tragic for hapless Chargers - Rocky Mountain News - Pat Rooney
November 17, 2003 - Flutie magic? Tragic was a better adjective for Sunday's performance by the San Diego Chargers, whose abundance of mistakes led to a 37-8 rout by the Broncos that left no room for miracles from diminutive Chargers quarterback Doug Flutie.

Krieger: Schottenheimer's demise no fun to see - Rocky Mountain News - Dave Krieger
November 17, 2003 - It's hard to watch a fierce, longtime rival stay too long. It happens all the time in basketball, where you're never done until you've coached the Clippers, but much more seldom in football, where you're generally only as good as your last season.

Lincicome: Broncos' bandwagon back in business - Rocky Mountain News - Bernie Lincicome
November 17, 2003 - Cleeeear! Zap! Zap! Remove the mirror from under the nose, disconnect the life support. I do believe the patient is going to live. The Broncos not only leapt from the gurney, they blew kisses, pounded their chests and balled up their obituaries and used them for spit balls. And that was just after first downs.

With surgery ruled out, Mobley is eager to return - Rocky Mountain News - Lee Rasizer and Lynn DeBruin
November 17, 2003 - When 2-year-old Tyson Mobley looks at his dad, John, he fixes on the neck brace. "He just says, 'Owie! Owie!' and pokes at my neck," John Mobley said with a smile Sunday.

After big day, the end is in sight - Rocky Mountain News - Brad Byler
November 17, 2003 - Denver Broncos tight end Shannon Sharpe gave his strongest indication yet that he will retire after this season. Following his three-touchdown performance Sunday against the San Diego Chargers, Sharpe was asked if the performance made him think he has three or four more seasons left.

Smith shines in new role as teammates praise his ability - Rocky Mountain News - Lynn DeBruin
November 17, 2003 - Wide receiver Rod Smith used to joke that he wanted hazard pay when filling in as Denver's third-string quarterback. Sunday he earned it, only for a different reason.

Broncos report, November 17 - Rocky Mountain News - Lynn DeBruin
November 17, 2003 - Key play: The Broncos led 13-0 early in the second quarter, having been stopped after driving to the Chargers' 3-yard line and forced into a 22-yard Jason Elam field goal. But they blew the game open after San Diego went three-and-out. Rod Smith fielded a Darren Bennett punt at the Broncos' 35, juked to his right and raced past Jesse Chatman for a 65-yard touchdown run. In his NFL career, Smith has scored on a fumble return, punt return, rushing and receiving.

Sharpe day: Broncos jolt Chargers - Daily Camera - Ryan Thorburn
November 17, 2003 - Shannon Sharpe holds all of the important statistical records for NFL tight ends, but will always be remembered for the things he said during his playing days. From calling the National Guard to help the New England Patriots, to asking Dan Marino — through the media — if John Elway could use his house in Miami for the Super Bowl, to defending accused murderer Ray Lewis during another of Sharpe's three championship runs, to explaining the good, bad and ugly that is former teammate-turned-rival Bill Romanowski.

Smith adds another weapon to arsenal - Daily Camera - Barney Hutchinson
November 17, 2003 - Rod Smith found the end zone for the 53rd time in his career Sunday, using an entirely new method for this touchdown. Smith, the Denver Broncos Pro Bowl receiver who was undrafted out of college, returned a punt 65 yards for a score in the 37-8 rout of the San Diego Chargers at Invesco Field.

Hutchinson: Plummer's health key to success - Daily Camera - Barney Hutchinson
November 17, 2003 - No, Jake Plummer is not a savior of the Denver Broncos. Based on his six starts with the team, it is hard to tell if he is a good quarterback. It's impossible to tell if he is a playoff-ready quarterback.

Defense dominates San Diego - Daily Camera - Ryan Thorburn
November 17, 2003 - Jake Plummer returned, and so did the winning. Shannon Sharpe, in case there was any doubt left, proved again he is the greatest pass-catching tight end of all time. And Clinton Portis and Rod Smith out-classed LaDainian Tomlinson and David Boston. And the defense? Well, they were perhaps even more dominant during Denver's 37-8 victory over San Diego on Sunday at Invesco Field.

Broncos report card - Nov. 17 - Daily Camera
November 17, 2003 - PASSING OFFENSE : A - Jake Plummer made Mike Shanahan look smart again, throwing for three touchdowns and 253 yards in his return from a broken foot.

Rocky Horror - San Diego Union-Tribune - Jim Trotter
November 17, 2003 - Doug Flutie tried to push his verbal brakes and stop the words from rolling off his tongue. He wanted to be the good team player and fall back on a cliché that would carry less impact than a leaf falling from a tree. But his frustration and anger got the better of him. "Today," he declared, "there was a point where I started questioning some guys in my mind."

Friday Notebook: Elam Gets Some Kicking In - DenverBroncos.com - Andrew Mason

Smith Shows Another Side To His Talent - DenverBroncos.com - Andrew Mason
Sunday, November 16, 2003 - What more can you ask of the man who has seemingly done everything for the Broncos over a decade-long career? You ask him to reassume punt-return duty, a task he handled against the Baltimore Ravens last month, but hadn't done prior to that game since 1997. And not only did Rod Smith do that, but he does so with aplomb, returning a second-quarter punt 65 yards for the touchdown that broke open the Broncos' eventual 37-8 mauling of the San Diego Chargers.

Broncos' Domination All About the 'D' - DenverBroncos.com - Andrew Mason
Sunday, November 16, 2003 - By finding a form unseen for a Broncos defense in the past 24 years, the Broncos scared the Chargers all the way back to last week. But the scariest moment of all for the Broncos' defense took place during the third quarter, when linebacker Al Wilson fell to the ground and didn't get up.

Back in the saddle - DenverBroncos.com - James Merilatt
Sunday, November 16, 2003 - When the Denver Broncos signed Jake Plummer as a free agent during the offseason, they cited two major reasons why they felt the quarterback was the right man for the most prominent job in the Mile High City. The team was impressed by his ability to make plays; to create something out of nothing, to turn a negative into a positive. And they were intrigued by his leadership skills; his ability to inspire teammates and encourage others to reach new heights. On Sunday, Plummer demonstrated both of these traits; and then some.

Broncos-Chargers Notebook: Answering All Questions - DenverBroncos.com - Andrew Mason
Sunday, November 16, 2003 - One by one, Jake Plummer answered the lingering questions from his four-game absence. Question 1: Would his right shoulder -- tender for three weeks before he fractured a metatarsal bone in his foot -- be in appreciably better shape after having nearly a month to heal? That query was answered with his first four throws, which included a swiftly-flung, 11-yard touchdown pass to Shannon Sharpe that opened the scoring just 1:54 into the contest.

Once More, A Sharpe Shooter - DenverBroncos.com - Andrew Mason
Sunday, November 16, 2003 - On a day where he became the first tight end in NFL history to catch 60 touchdown passes in his career and posted the first three-touchdown day in seven years, one month and 10 days, Shannon Sharpe wasn't done with firsts, even after the game had ended.

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