September 26, 2004 - After already facing two of the best running backs in the NFL in Kansas City's Priest Holmes and Jacksonville's Fred Taylor, you might think the Denver Broncos defense would finally catch a break in Week 3. Not so. In fact, the Broncos' defense may face the best of them all today as it takes on the San Diego Chargers in a 2:05 p.m. AFC West clash at Invesco Field at Mile High. San Diego running back LaDainian Tomlinson has established himself as the premier running back in the league, having rushed for more than 1,200 yards in each of his three seasons in the NFL.
Outcome could define team's path for season - San Diego Union-Tribune - Jim Trotter
September 26, 2004 – In most football seasons, there is a defining game for every team. Sometimes it can be identified during the course of the year, and other times it becomes obvious after the season. Today's game against the Denver Broncos could be that moment for the Chargers, who felt they were being unfairly attacked from near and far this week. They were irritated not only because the national media continue to rank them as one of the worst teams in the NFL, if not the worst, but also because some local media and fans refuse to show confidence in them. After an offseason of absorbing written jabs and verbal barbs, some players clearly had had enough.
Broncos can overcome lost picks - Denver Post - Bill Williamson
Sunday, September 26, 2004 - In less than a week, the Broncos' 2005 draft class shrunk significantly. In an NFL era when most teams build their rosters via the draft, the loss of two picks could be risky and hurt the Broncos down the road. However, the recent loss of picks isn't paralyzing, nor does it threaten the future of the franchise. It just needs to be carefully addressed by management. Essentially, the Broncos have to circumvent the lack of draft picks with three steps: Win now, use free agency well and score on their remaining five picks next year.
On-job training vs. passing time - Denver Post - Anthony Cotton
Sunday, September 26, 2004 - Although his numbers so far this season - 26-of-52 for 267 yards passing and two touchdowns - would not suggest it, today Byron Leftwich sees being an NFL quarterback with a clarity borne of the benefits derived from participating in the action, rather than being a witness to it.
Confusion part of controlling any QB - Denver Post - Anthony Cotton
Sunday, September 26, 2004 - Whether it's the greenest of rookies or the wiliest of veterans, whoever lines up under center in today's NFL will be playing against defenses designed to not only rattle his frame, but shake up his brain as well. "It's not young quarterbacks - it's all quarterbacks," Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Byron Leftwich said. "Defenses today are doing all that they can to disrupt the quarterback. You talk to any defensive coordinator, and I think the first thing they want to do is confuse the quarterback of the opposing team."
CU's Plati hit pay dirt when he saw red zone - Denver Post - Patrick Saunders
Sunday, September 26, 2004 - Stephen King gave horror fans "The Dead Zone." The University of Colorado's Dave Plati gave football fans the red zone. The zone in question is the area between the 20-yard line and the goal line. Offenses strive to be efficient and score points - preferably touchdowns - once inside the opponent's 20. Defenses strive to be stingy inside the 20, limiting their opponents to a field goal, or best of all, shutting out offenses entirely.
Don't expect to see WR Smith playing defense any time soon - Denver Post - Bill Williamson
Sunday, September 26, 2004 - It seems somewhat common for top cornerbacks to play receiver once in a while, but does it ever go the other way around? Will we ever see a Rod Smith on the other side of the ball?
At issue - Denver Post - Bill Williamson
Sunday, September 26, 2004 - The Broncos aren't likely to dominate San Diego today even though the Chargers have had monumental trouble in Denver in recent years. After a preventable loss at Jacksonville last week, the Broncos learned a game can be controlled and still lost. The Broncos had 356 total yards to Jacksonville's 176 and 20 first downs to the host's eight. Yet, a fumble by Quentin Griffin at the Jaguars' 21-yard line with 37 seconds left turned a dominating statistical performance into a baffling 7-6 loss to even the Broncos' record at 1-1.
Broncos (1-1) vs. Chargers (1-1) Rundown - Daily Camera
September 26, 2004 - KEY MATCHUP: Quentin Griffin vs. Wade Phillips. Griffin will try to respond after a costly fumble at Jacksonville that prevented the Broncos from attempting a potential game-winning field goal in the final seconds. Phillips, the former Denver head coach, is still trying to implement a 3-4 defense in San Diego ranked 24th through two games.
Chargers stuck in neutral in Denver - Daily Camera - Ryan Thorburn
September 26, 2004 - John Elway will receive his ring from the Pro Football Hall of Fame during a halftime ceremony today at Invesco Field. During Elway's brief speech he should thank the head coach in the visiting locker room. "I feel like I made some contribution to that, didn't I?" Marty Shottenheimer said earlier in the week as his San Diego Chargers prepared for their annual trip to Denver. Some of Elway's greatest moments — from The Drive in Cleveland to the 1997 wild-card game in Kansas City — were among Schottenheimer's most painful.
Broncos-Chargers Capsule and Notes - DenverBroncos.com - Doug Collins
Saturday, September 25, 2004 - The Broncos dropped hard to the Jacksonville Jaguars, losing a heartbreaker of a 7-6 game last week. Though the team fell to 1-1 on the season, they're still in a three-way tie for the top spot in the AFC West, and Sunday's showdown against division rival San Diego (1-1) could help keep the Broncos in the top spot of the AFC West.
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