Kickers may make a difference

If the playoff game Sunday comes down to a game winning kick Sunday, either the Broncos or Colts will depend on two of the best in the business. Read about Denver's Jason Elam and Indianapolis' Mike Vanderjagt in today's news reports.

Givin' boot - Rocky Mountain News - Clay Latimer
January 3, 2004 - In the little farming community of Kilbride in Southern Ontario, it's easy to find Mike Vanderjagt. Towering above his home are 40-foot, fluorescent yellow uprights, which stand out like a neon billboard to neighbors. A metaphor? Always.

Lincicome: Broncos should beat Colts unless . . . - Rocky Mountain News - Bernie Lincicome
January 3, 2004 - There must be at least 100 reasons why the Broncos could lose to the Colts on Sunday. The Broncos could lose if nobody up there likes Ed McCaffrey. If Trevor Pryce cheers up. Quentin Griffin wears elevator shoes. Jake Plummer makes sense. Ol' Thunder is allowed to gallop alone upon the visiting carpet (Colts and Broncos aside, Indianapolis is a one-horse town).

Beware: James feelin' no pain - Rocky Mountain News - Lynn DeBruin
January 3, 2004 - Edgerrin James has had plenty of memorable days on the football field. His most recent playoff game, though, wasn't one of them.

Elam envisions goal - Rocky Mountain News - Lee Rasizer
January 3, 2004 - The pressure's on. It's the playoffs. The game could come down to the very last second. At least the scenario Jason Elam envisions when he stops and considers his job this weekend and, possibly, beyond.

Dark-horse Broncos? Lighten up - Rocky Mountain News - Lynn DeBruin
January 3, 2004 - Al Wilson and Trevor Pryce were practically yawning as they talked about their boring New Year's Eve, which saw them either at home or in bed asleep when the big ball dropped. Of course, they knew Jan. 1 wasn't the time to party. Feb. 1 would be more like it, "especially with Al Wilson hosting," the Denver Broncos defensive captain said with a smile.

Manning, McNair tie for MVP honor - Daily Camera - Associated Press
January 3, 2004 - It seems fitting Peyton Manning and Steve McNair shared The Associated Press NFL Most Valuable Player award Friday. After all, their teams finished with the same record and tied atop the AFC South. In just the third tie since the award began in 1957, the premier passers each received 16 votes Friday from a nationwide panel of 50 sports writers and broadcasters who cover the NFL.

Pats, Eagles Super Bowl-bound? - Daily Camera - Ken Murray, Baltimore Sun
January 3, 2004 - There was not a better team in the NFL than the Kansas City Chiefs in the first half of the season. They won their first nine games and threatened to run the table before a shaky defense caught up with them. Likewise, no team finished stronger than the New England Patriots, who won their last 12, overcoming an assortment of injuries and lineup switches that served to underscore a bottomless roster.

Wilson back to his old self - Daily Camera - Ryan Thorburn
January 3, 2004 - On Monday, Nov. 24, the Broncos woke up with a 6-5 record after a home loss to Chicago. Even more depressing for Denver fans, the defense's leader — middle linebacker Al Wilson — questioned his future due to intense pain from a neck stinger that wouldn't go away.

Broncos try to keep Colts off balance - Daily Camera - Ryan Thorburn
January 3, 2004 - Mike Shanahan expects two things from his wide receivers: 1. They must block.

Manning shares MVP with McNair - Indianapolis Star - Mike Chappell
January 3, 2004 - The challenge was placed at Peyton Manning's feet on April 18, 1998. That's when the Indianapolis Colts made the University of Tennessee quarterback the first overall pick in the NFL draft, and their catalyst to a possible championship.

Fans and city riding high - Indianapolis Star - John Tuohy
January 3, 2004 - From gallons of aqua dye being poured into the Downtown Canal to fans donning the jerseys of their favorite players, city officials and Indianapolis Colts fans did their best to paint the town blue Friday.

Colts find relief in Strickland - Indianapolis Star - John Tuohy
January 3, 2004 - Donald Strickland missed all of training camp and was inactive the first five games of the season with a groin injury, but he was ready when the Indianapolis Colts called upon him Oct. 26.

Former Colt Berry plays big for Denver - Indianapolis Star - Phillip B. Wilson
January 3, 2004 - Bertrand Berry is still good friends with Marcus Pollard from their days together on the Indianapolis Colts. Pollard is a mainstay at tight end for the Colts. Berry, a former Notre Dame star, was out of football in 2000 after three seasons in Indianapolis and didn't emerge as a regular until this season, when the defensive end led Denver with 111/2 sacks.

Ed McCaffrey Answers Your Wild-Card Week Questions - DenverBroncos.com
Friday, January 2, 2004 - In his 13th season, Broncos receiver Ed McCaffrey has earned himself a reputation for being one of the toughest receivers in the game as he has taken a number of ferocious hits during the heat of action.

Wild Card Playoff Preview: Beuerlein and Gold Break Down the Games - DenverBroncos.com
Friday, January 2, 2004 - When taking a look at the playoffs, it's advisable to consult the experts - especially when they're available in-house as they are with the Broncos. Steve Beuerlein sports a Super Bowl ring and three playoff appearances, two with the Dallas Cowboys and one with the Carolina Panthers, while Ian Gold was a part of the Broncos postseason appearance in 2000. Together, they'll offer their perspective on this year&rsquos NFL Playoffs, with Beuerlein analyzing the NFC match-ups and Gold breaking down the slate in the AFC.

Broncology: Third Downs Crucial for Broncos, Colts - DenverBroncos.com - Andrew Mason
Friday, January 2, 2004 - It's clichéd to say that a game will be decided on third downs. Yet throughout the season, that has been the crucial juncture for both the Denver Broncos and Indianapolis Colts, with their first game on Dec. 21 serving as a three-hour example of how third downs can make or break a team's chances.

Broncos-Colts AFC Wild Card Capsule and Notes - DenverBroncos.com
Friday, January 2, 2004 - It was just two weeks ago when these clubs met and the Broncos outgained the Colts 465-183 (a season-low for Indianapolis), built a time of possession of 44:58 compared to Indy's 15:02, and shut them out in the second half. Final score: Denver 31, Indianapolis 17.

Friday Notebook: Focus Narrows to One Game - DenverBroncos.com - Andrew Mason
Friday, January 2, 2004 - The goal heading into a season is the same each year -- to qualify for and win the Super Bowl. "If you don't get that ring at the end of the season, you pretty much have failed," safety Kenoy Kennedy said. "You played the season for nothing. It's all about getting to the Super Bowl, and not just getting there, but winning." But to do make it to the final game, Denver must traverse a road that only one team has ever successfully navigated.

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