Plummer non-productive in second loss

The Denver Broncos' starting defense played well in Sunday night's 16-6 loss to the Buffalo Bills. But the performance of the offense left many questions after the Broncos dropped their second preseason game in a row. Also - Terry Pierce joins the list of injured linebackers.

Plummer off to punchless start - Denver Post - Adam Schefter
Monday, August 16, 2004- Orchard Park, N.Y. - Had the 2.65 served as his earned run average, Broncos quarterback Jake Plummer would be celebrated across Colorado. But with the 2.65 representing Plummer's passer rating Sunday night against the Buffalo Bills, Broncos Nation will grow increasingly alarmed. Only the causes for concern do not stop with Plummer, whose decisions were as questionable as the TV executives back in Denver who pre-empted the climax of the PGA Championship so as not to miss a single play of preseason football. Denver's worries go on and on, unlike the drives the Broncos' first-team offense has been able to mount this summer.

Lelie cannot catch break or pass - Denver Post
Monday, August 16, 2004 - Orchard Park, N.Y. - The dropped passes and missed opportunities that haunted the Broncos in their first preseason game haunted them again Sunday night in their 16-6 loss to Buffalo. Wide receiver Ashley Lelie, who has yet to make a catch this summer, said it's a problem that needs to be fixed in a hurry. "We definitely need to improve," he said. "We didn't score a touchdown, so we definitely need to pick it up and put some points on the board."

More trouble for LBs - Denver Post - Bill Williamson
Monday, August 16, 2004 -Orchard Park, N.Y. - After two exhibition games, the Broncos had hoped their muddled linebacker situation would begin to clear. However, the position - one of the biggest question marks heading into training camp - is now as clouded as it was before camp. Not only does the Denver coaching staff not know who will surround rock-solid middle linebacker Al Wilson, it doesn't know if it will have enough healthy bodies to compete for the starting outside jobs after a 16-6 defeat at Buffalo on Sunday night, when Terry Pierce joined fellow strongside linebacker Jashon Sykes on the sideline with a medial collateral ligament injury.

Plummer claims 13.8 rating not unlucky number - Denver Post - Patrick Saunders
Monday, August 16, 2004 - Orchard Park, N.Y. - There had better be a cure for Jake Plummer's summertime blues. If not, the Broncos' offense is in big trouble. Despite leading a first-team offense that has scored just two field goals in two preseason outings, Plummer predicts a cure is on the horizon. After Sunday night's 16-6 loss to Buffalo, Plummer was asked if he was concerned the offense hasn't found its rhythm.

Playoff doesn't make TV cut - Denver Post - Eliza Marie Somers
Monday, August 16, 2004 - Even the general manager of Denver's CBS affiliate could not believe what he was watching, or better yet, did not watch Sunday. With the leaders at the PGA Championship putting for par on the 18th green, KCNC-4 cut away to go to the Broncos' pregame show at 5 p.m. "I was at home watching the PGA Championship and was certainly upset when they switched over to the game," KCNC general manager Walt DeHaven said. "I tried to call into the office, but the switchboard was jammed. Then I was trying to e-mail on my Blackberry, but by that time the damage was done.

Broncos 'O' still no-show - Rocky Mountain News - Jeff Legwold
August 16, 2004 - ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. - If the Denver Broncos offense doesn't pick up the pace before the regular-season opener Sept. 12, their defense won't ever get to rest. For the second consecutive week, the Broncos' first-team defense effectively pounded its way through another dress rehearsal, while the team's starting offense struggled to find its way, especially in the passing game.

Rookie corner Shoate on radar - Rocky Mountain News - Jeff Legwold
August 16, 2004 - Denver Broncos rookie cornerback Jeff Shoate is used to taking care of business. As a high school senior, he took care of himself and the household duties while his father was at sea with the Navy for six months. So it's really no surprise that the Broncos have discovered that kind of maturity in him. Shoate already has worked his way - with the injury to cornerback Lenny Walls - into some of the Broncos' specialty packages.

Limping linebacker list grows - Rocky Mountain News - Lee Rasizer
August 16, 2004 - ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. - Strong-side linebacker quickly is becoming the weak side for the Denver Broncos. For the second week in a row, the Broncos lost a player at the position to a second-degree sprain of the medial collateral ligament. Terry Pierce exited the game because of the knee injury early in the third quarter of Buffalo's 16-6 win after he was undercut by Bills running back Ken Simonton while chasing down a quarterback scramble. The prognosis for Pierce is he'll miss two to three weeks - pending further testing.

For starters, defense showed promise - Rocky Mountain News - Mike Harrington
August 16, 2004 - ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. - The starting offense might have fizzled, but the Broncos' first-team defense showed some sizzle in the early stages of Sunday's 16-6 loss at Buffalo. The defensive line, in particular, put plenty of pressure on Buffalo quarterback Drew Bledsoe in holding the Bills to 3 points after interceptions twice gave Buffalo opportunities to start drives in Denver territory. The Bills also were forced to punt after starting another drive at their 39. "The positive thing about (Sunday) was our first-team defense," coach Mike Shanahan said.

Plummer's play uneven again - Rocky Mountain News - Lee Rasizer
August 16, 2004 - ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. - The questions about the Denver Broncos offense this preseason were supposed to revolve around the development at wide receiver, on their line, tight end and at running back - everything but quarterback. Jake Plummer figured to be the one constant, providing the calming influence among all the uncertainty in his second season at the helm. It hasn't exactly happened that way so far.

Broncos' offensive woes continue in loss to Bills - Daily Camera
August 16, 2004 - ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — Sooner or later Al Wilson is going to need a wingman to avoid being wounded. Last year the Broncos middle linebacker watched John Mobley and Ian Gold suffer serious season-ending injuries. This year the bad karma continues. Six days after Jashon Sykes sustained a sprained MCL in the Hall of Fame Game in Canton, Ohio, the former Colorado stadout's backup - Terry Pierce - sprained his right knee here in the third quarter of Denver's 16-6 loss to Buffalo at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Pierce did not return to the game and will have an MRI today.

Thorburn: Plummer's preseason preview not looking good - Daily Camera - Ryan Thorburn
August 16, 2004 - Pick. Punt. Pick. Placekicker. Perhaps Jake Plummer — who led four disappointing drives during Denver's 16-6 loss in Buffalo on Sunday night — was thinking about what might be going on at the PGA Championship, too? The Broncos starting quarterback shrugged the performance off as nothing but preseason practice. There is still plenty of time to get Mike Shanahan's offense running like a well-oiled scoring machine before the wins and losses count. Right? Or maybe Channel 4 pulled the plug on golf's final major so we could see early on that this is going to be a long season for Plummer. Does the Snake stink? It smells that way from a distance as he played Game No. 2 without the powerful protection and fresh-scented statistical deodorant that was Clinton Portis and Shannon Sharpe.

Broncos-Bills Notebook: First-Rate for the First-Team Defense - - Andrew Mason
Monday, August 16, 2004 - ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- It took Broncos Head Coach Mike Shanahan less than two seconds to begin lavishing praise upon Denver's first-string defensive unit at his post-game press conference, and with good reason. Denver's defense held the opponent without a touchdown for a second consecutive game, and did so despite the Bills boasting an average drive-start position at the Denver 41-yard-line, thanks to a pair of interceptions and a three-and-out series. "I thought the positive thing about today was our first-team defense. It got put in a tough situation three times in a row and I thought we stepped up on defense very similar to what we did last week and played well."

Broncos-Bills Notebook: Rough Going for Plummer - - Andrew Mason
Sunday, August 15, 2004 - ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- T.S. Eliot wrote that April is the cruelest month. But with three interceptions in the first two games of the preseason -- including one that bounced out of Ashley Lelie's left hand before finding its way to Bills cornerback Terrence McGee -- Broncos quarterback Jake Plummer might beg to differ. Sunday night's game against the Buffalo Bills marked the continuation of Plummer's most difficult on-field stretch in a Denver uniform since throwing three interceptions in the regular-season opener at Cincinnati last September. Each of Plummer's first six passes at Ralph Wilson Stadium failed to end the arms of a Broncos receiver.

Griffin Revives Broncos' Offense Against Bills - - Andrew Mason
Sunday, August 15, 2004 - ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- With two interceptions in the first seven minutes and 24 seconds, along with no completions in Jake Plummer's first six attempts, the Denver offense was on life support during the early moments of Sunday night's preseason contest with the Buffalo Bills. It took running back Quentin Griffin to resuscitate it, giving the Broncos' offense new life late in the first quarter and pushing the first unit to its only points of the night.

Denver Broncos at Buffalo Bills -
Sunday, August 15, 2004, 07:00 PM - Before kickoff to tonight's preseason game, it was announced that Raylee Johnson would start in place of Trevor Pryce at left defensive end, Darius Holland would start in place of Mario Fatafehi at left defensive tackle and rookie D.J. Williams was to start at weak-side linebacker while Donnie Spragan slid over to strong-side to start in place of Jashon Sykes who sprained his left knee last week against Washington. In addition to Sykes, Lenny Walls and Brandon Miree did not dress for the game.

Make that 0-2 for the Broncos - Mercury News - Frank Schwab
Mon, Aug. 16, 2004 - Denver Broncos quarterback Jake Plummer spent most of the first quarter Sunday night either throwing the ball to a Buffalo Bills defender or watching his receivers drop passes in a 16-6 loss. The Broncos aren't panicking after their offense struggled for the second straight exhibition game, but there haven't been many signs of life from that unit. Denver's starting offense salvaged a field goal on its fourth offensive series after three abysmal possessions, which included two Plummer interceptions, in front of 49,645 fans at Ralph Wilson Stadium.

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