Broncos face Chiefs in opener

Is the Denver Broncos defense as good as believed to be? Will the offense wake up? Those are just a couple of questions that will be answered tonight as the Broncos take on the Kansas City Chiefs in a key AFC West divisional battle at Invesco at Mile High at 6:30 MDT.

Lofty goals for defense - Denver Posts - Patrick Saunders
Sunday, September 12, 2004 - Tonight, a new era of defensive football opens at Invesco Field at Mile High. Expectations are 5,280 feet tall. "Before this is over, this defense is going to need a nickname," Broncos safety Nick Ferguson predicted during the preseason. "We have one of the best defenses, if not the best, in the league," quarterback Jake Plummer said.

44 seasons, 44 memories of the Broncos - Denver Posts - Woody Paige
Sunday, September 12, 2004 - Another season, another opener, another game with Kansas City, another memory. Another night in paradise. Implausibly, the Broncos begin their 45th season tonight. And where have you gone, Steve Atwater and Christian Okoye? During a Monday night in a 1990 game between the Broncos and the Chiefs, Atwater, who was called "The Smiling Assassin," met up with Okoye, who was called "The Nigerian Nightmare." The Broncos safety was wired for sound. When he forced a collision with the 260-pound running back, there was a sonic boom. The air was sucked out of Mile High Stadium as Okoye and Atwater collapsed in a heap.

It's personal for Shanny vs. Chiefs - Denver Post - Jim Armstrong
Sunday, September 12, 2004 - Mike Shanahan on the state of the Broncos' offense heading into tonight's season opener: "I think, when you look at us overall, you'll be pleasantly surprised." Excuse me? We'll be pleasantly surprised? Whoa-whoa-whoa. That's a mouthful for Shanahan, who much prefers lying in weeds to basking in headlines. If the surprise isn't pleasant, it will be despite months, not weeks of preparation by Shanahan. What, you think he spent more than a coffee break game-planning during the exhibition season? Not a chance.

Broncos to retire mascot tonight - Denver Post
Sunday, September 12, 2004 - Another white Arabian stallion with the same name as his predecessor is scheduled to debut as the Broncos mascot at tonight's game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Invesco Field at Mile High. Sharon Magness Blake, who owns both horses named Thunder, said the retiring end zone-roaming stallion suffers from arthritis and would be replaced by her personal mount.

Way too early to judge on either side of ball - Denver Post - Bill Williamson
Sunday, September 12, 2004 - Has Denver turned into the latest version of Baltimore or Tampa Bay, with its potent defense and struggling offense? Or is it too early to start judging the offense?

Inside the game - Denver Post - Patrick Saunders
Sunday, September 12, 2004 - Despite Jake Plummer's spin on the matter, preseason does matter. It's a matter of fact. The past 10 Super Bowl champions were a combined 30-12 (.714) in the preseason. Last summer, the eventual Super Bowl teams - New England and Carolina - were a combined 8-0 in exhibition games.

Broncos team to beat in West - Denver Post - Bill Williamson
Sunday, September 12, 2004 - You know what's the worst part of the start of the NFL season? All those lame predictions that have no chance of coming true. Yet, all these blowhard pundits feel it's necessary to provide their precious thoughts. Enough with the predictions and let's get the season started. Oh, just one more thing before kickoff. Check out these predictions.

Broncos (0-0) vs. Chiefs (0-0) - Daily Camera
September 12, 2004 - KEY MATCHUP: Champ Bailey vs. Eddie Kennison The Broncos traded Clinton Portis, who shut Kennison's mouth with a five-touchdown performance in the last meeting, for Bailey. Now Denver's shutdown corner will have a chance to show off against the Chiefs' No. 1 receiver, who quit on Mike Shanahan three years ago.

Bronco offense tries to answer bell - Daily Camera - Ryan Thorburn
September 12, 2004 - It's time to meet the replacements. The Denver Broncos, coming off an up-and-down 10-6 season that ended with a humiliating playoff loss at Indianapolis, enter the 2004 campaign with some Hall of Fame players and personalities to replace. Clinton Portis, Shannon Sharpe, Ed McCaffrey and Ephraim Salaam are all gone from last year's starting lineup, which has many Jake Plummer critics calling Denver a defensive-oriented team.

Chiefs, Broncos to test defenses - Greeley Tribune - Matt Schuman
September 12, 2004 - Two teams. Two different approaches. Both the Kansas City Chiefs and the Denver Broncos decided this off-season that they needed to upgrade their defenses in order to improve on their first-round playoff losses of a year ago. They just took different routes to get there. While the Broncos decided that they needed a change of personnel to improve on a defense that finished fourth in the rankings last year, but struggled to stop the Indianapolis Colts in an AFC Wild Card playoff

Dwayne Carswell: Changing Houses - DenverBroncos.com - Doug Collins
Saturday, September 11, 2004 - It was the middle of training camp, and the locker room of the Broncos training facility at Dove Valley seemed small but animated, and it was down the stairs to this room that I went to try to catch someone for an interview. Immediately after I walked in I heard a loud voice shouting from across the locker room. "Hey, House!" came the cry. It was Rod Smith, trying to get someone's attention. The man that turned around to answer the call astounded me, and immediately I understood how Dwayne Carswell got the nickname "House."

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