No run, no problem - Plummer comes through

On a day when the Denver Broncos posted their lowest rushing total in 10 years, quarterback Jake Plummer had his best passing stats as a Bronco and the team pulled out a 23-13 win over the San Diego Chargers. Read all about the game in today's news reports.

Lelie's leap of faith - Denver Post - Bill Williamson
Monday, September 27, 2004 - With the suddenness and drama of one spectacular Ashley Lelie jump, the Broncos' offense took control. It was the play the Broncos had been waiting two weeks for. It was the type of play good teams make. It was the type of play the Broncos needed to stave off the pesky San Diego Chargers 23-13 at Invesco Filed at Mile High on Sunday afternoon and shake off last week's frustrating loss. Denver is 2-1 heading into Sunday's game at Tampa Bay.

Shanahan must face it: In backfield, Q won't do - Denver Post - Mark Kiszla
Monday, September 27, 2004 - The meek shall inherit the earth. But they humbly take a seat on the bench in the NFL. If the Broncos want to make a playoff run, coach Mike Shanahan must hand the football to a tailback who is not too shy to succeed. Quentin Griffin cannot carry the load, cannot hold onto the rock, cannot keep a grip on his nerves. Denver needs a new starting tailback. Pronto. Give the job to Garrison Hearst, Reuben Droughns or Tatum Bell. Anybody but Q will do.

Elway on map with another drive - Denver Post - Abigail Chin
Monday, September 27, 2004 - The man whose name is synonymous with "The Drive" is now connected to another. More than 150 fans and former Broncos players gathered at Gate 7 of Invesco Field at Mile High on Sunday to witness the unveiling of "John Elway Drive." Elway's latest drive comes courtesy of city officials who plan to rename the west half of the street around the stadium in honor of the Broncos legend.

The mild, mild AFC West - Denver Post - Jim Armstrong
Monday, September 27, 2004 - Same old Chargers, far as I could tell. OK, so there was one difference. Who knew LaDainian Tomlinson was their best passer? We've come to expect such performances by the Chargers. The troubling part was that the Broncos, playing at home a week after being thoroughly embarrassed at Jacksonville, weren't much better. "We couldn't put them away," Denver's Raylee Johnson said. "It felt like it was a fight for 60 minutes out there."

WR Lelie shows his flair for the spectacular - Denver Post - Joseph Sanchez
Monday, September 27, 2004 - If there's anything Broncos wide receiver Ashley Lelie knows, it's that one spectacular catch does not make a season - much less a career. Lelie made another spectacular catch Sunday, turning a broken play on fourth-and-9 into a 33-yard, third- quarter touchdown that the Broncos used to secure a 23-13 victory over AFC West rival San Diego.

Lynch, Kennedy create havoc for Chargers, Brees - Denver Post
Monday, September 27, 2004 - Broncos defensive coordinator Larry Coyer planned to blitz the Chargers a decent amount Sunday. However, after seeing the Chargers' aggressive game plan unfold, Coyer followed suit. He released the hounds: safeties John Lynch and Kenoy Kennedy. The result was a dominating Denver defensive performance. Brees, who threw for 121 yards, never was comfortable and appeared hurried. The Broncos sacked him four times.

Lynch, Kennedy create havoc for Chargers, Brees - Denver Post - Patrick Saunders
Monday, September 27, 2004 - If the Broncos gave out game balls to players' wives, Katrina Coleman would be in the running. In a roundabout way, the root of the Broncos' dominating defensive performance Sunday against San Diego can be traced to her. In June, her husband, 34-year-old defensive end Marco Coleman, said he was quitting football. After some contemplation and consultation with his wife, Coleman changed his mind.

Errors prove costly - Denver Post - Anthony Cotton
Monday, September 27, 2004 - There was a game for the taking for the San Diego Chargers on Sunday at Invesco Field at Mile High, a victory that could have been a major statement on any number of levels for the downtrodden franchise. But there's a reason browbeaten teams often stay that way. When push came to shove, and the crucial plays that would decide the outcome were made, it wasn't surprising they weren't made by the visitors.

Air-raising experience - Rocky Mountain News - Jeff Legwold
September 27, 2004 - No running game, no Pro Bowl defensive lineman and no worries. The Denver Broncos picked themselves up from all of that and dusted off the San Diego Chargers 23-13 on Sunday in front of an announced crowd of 74,533 at Invesco Field at Mile High. "It doesn't matter how you get a win, you always want a win," Broncos cornerback Champ Bailey said. "Close, regular, whatever. You always want that win, and we did what we needed to do." What the Broncos did was get arguably quarterback Jake Plummer's best all-around effort in a Denver uniform as well as another hard-charging effort from their defense that limited San Diego's do-it-all running back LaDainian Tomlinson to 60 rushing yards and 70 overall.

Mile High honor: Stadium street now Elway Drive - Rocky Mountain News - Hector Gutierrez
September 27, 2004 - Former Denver Broncos quarterback John Elway already has two Super Bowl rings, membership in the Pro Football Hall of Fame and an indoor football team. On Sunday, he got a street named after him. Hard-core Broncos fan Cathy Shea, who travels to home games from Pueblo, watched the ceremony with about 100 other fans outside Invesco Field at Mile High's Gate 7 and tossed out another suggestion.

Krieger: Best in the West? Beware of the rest - Rocky Mountain News - Dave Krieger
September 27, 2004 - They're not concerned. Or, if they are, they're not admitting it. After all, they won. They're in first place. Yee-haw. It falls to the spoilsports to point out they are in first place in perhaps the worst division in football. While this will get you into the playoffs, it won't keep you there for long. Especially if you can't run the ball.

Lincicome: Without an able QB, bad things happen - Rocky Mountain News - Bernie Lincicome
September 27, 2004 - On a three-parachute, four-fighter flyover for John Elway kind of day, the Broncos needed only the slightest bit of Elwayish daring to whip San Diego, that and a Pryce-less defense grateful to have Chargers quarterback Drew Brees to whack around. And when it was over, the Broncos learned nothing new about themselves, only that they are better than San Diego, not a revelation as much as an assumption.

Lelie's alternate route provides road map to win for Broncos - Rocky Mountain News - Lee Rasizer
September 27, 2004 - It was a broken play. On Ashley Lelie's game-altering, 33-yard touchdown reception in the third quarter Sunday, the Denver Broncos wide receiver was supposed to run a post pattern but was prevented from doing so by the aptly named Quentin Jammer, the San Diego Chargers cornerback who provided a hard chuck on Lelie at the line. AdvertisementSo Lelie altered his route and simply took off as quarterback Jake Plummer began to roll to his right. The receiver threw his hand in the air to signal for the ball. Up the pigskin went.

Containing Tomlinson vital - Rocky Mountain News - Lee Rasizer
September 27, 2004 - The Denver Broncos game plan was simple Sunday: Contain Chargers star runner LaDainian Tomlinson on the first two downs, then apply the pressure as much as possible to second-year quarterback Drew Brees. "On third down, we locked up man-to-man, no safety help and sent the house," said Broncos strong safety Kenoy Kennedy, who was called for a roughing penalty and forced a fumble hitting Brees. "We were going to make this quarterback beat us."

Success again elusive for Tomlinson as Invesco Field frustration mounts - Rocky Mountain News - Brad Byler
September 27, 2004 - When Denver Broncos coach Mike Shanahan described San Diego running back LaDainian Tomlinson as the best running back in the NFL earlier in the week, the Chargers' fourth-year star had to know he was in for a tough game Sunday at Invesco Field at Mile High. The Broncos were ready for Tomlinson, who many agree is the top running back in the league despite playing on a perennially rebuilding team. They bottled up the Chargers' top weapon, holding him to just 60 yards on 22 carries, and continued Tomlinson's string of frustrating experiences at Invesco Field.

Knorr pays rough price on key play - Rocky Mountain News - Pat Rooney
September 27, 2004 - Two weeks ago, punter and kickoff specialist Micah Knorr helped neutralize Kansas City kick returner Dante Hall by blasting nearly all his kickoffs into the end zone for touchbacks. On Sunday, Knorr tried a different approach with San Diego's speedy Tim Dwight, with less impressive results. Yet Knorr and Broncos kick returner Reuben Droughns still were involved in a couple of key special-teams plays that helped secure the Broncos' 23-13 victory.

Pryce-less pass rush is effective - Rocky Mountain News - Pat Rooney
September 27, 2004 - The defensive front of the Denver Broncos was trying to work its way through two different types of pressure Sunday against the San Diego Chargers. First, there was the group's obvious desire to harass Chargers quarterback Drew Brees as much as possible. Yet the Broncos also were trying to overcome the pressure of losing their top pass rusher in Trevor Pryce, who missed his second game because of a back injury that will keep him out of the lineup for at least another five weeks.

Lackluster day ends in another fumble for Griffin - Rocky Mountain News - Lee Rasizer
September 27, 2004 - The debate last week focusing on whether Quentin Griffin had a fumbling problem only figures to intensify after the Denver Broncos running back coughed up the ball for a third consecutive week Sunday. The Broncos were leading 13-3 when Griffin ran a delayed pattern out of the backfield and caught the ball over the middle on Denver's first offensive series of the second half against San Diego. Chargers linebacker Randall Godfrey fell on the ball after punching it loose with his left hand as Griffin turned to head upfield.

Plummer, Lelie freelance for TD strike - Daily Camera - Ryan Thorburn
September 27, 2004 - Ashley Lelie wasn't the first option on the play of the game, he didn't run the right route, and the cornerback had textbook inside position as the pass floated toward the end zone. But on the critical fourth-and-9 at the San Diego 33, with Denver clinging to a 13-10 lead late in the third quarter, Lelie stole the ball from Quentin Jammer and scored the decisive touchdown in the Broncos' 23-13 victory on Sunday at Invesco Field.

Defense still right without Pryce - Daily Camera - Zak Brown
September 27, 2004 - If the Denver Broncos could have picked an opponent to begin their time without Trevor Pryce, it probably wouldn't have been San Diego. The Chargers have one of the best backs in the league in LaDainian Tomlinson, who had 208 yards in his first two games this season. He came into Sunday's game at Invesco Field as the No. 7 rusher in the NFL, and it would have been nice to have Pryce on the line.

Thorburn: Suddenly, Broncos may be West's best - Daily Camera - Ryan Thorburn
September 27, 2004 - After watching Drew Brees live, Trent Green via replay and Rich Gannon/Kerry Collins on TV out of the corner of my eye, I feel concussed. The AFC West is painful to watch right now. Chargers and Chiefs and Raiders, oh my (mercy). It's early, but it looks like the Denver Broncos are going to win their first division title since John Elway was the name of a signal-caller inside the stadium instead of a street outside of it. There are some obvious glitches in the ground game that need to be worked out, but on Sunday at Invesco Field, Jake Plummer was terrific.

Broncos go fourth, top Chargers - Daily Camera - Zak Brown
September 27, 2004 - Bronco head coach Mike Shanahan could have easily sent Jason Elam out with Denver facing a fourth-and-9 at the 33-yard line against the San Diego Chargers. He had already done it twice Sunday. This time when Shanahan's offense failed in the third quarter, he decided to give it one more chance. He was going to rely on the only productive aspect of his team. He let Jake Plummer let it go with 4:08 left in the quarter. Advertisement

Opportunity mocks - San Diego Union-Tribune - Jim Trotter
September 27, 2004 – Wide receiver Reche Caldwell spoke for a lot of Chargers yesterday after their 23-13 loss to the Broncos at INVESCO Field at Mile High. "There were tons of opportunities out there and we didn't capitalize," he said. Tons might be an exaggeration. But a ton would be applicable. The Broncos (2-1) were so intent on stopping running back LaDainian Tomlinson that they dared quarterback Drew Brees to beat them with the pass. They regularly put eight or nine defenders near the line of scrimmage and all but demanded that Brees take his best aerial shot.

No matter how bad it looks, Denver fanatics love a victory - Greeley Tribune - Matt Schuman
September 27, 2004 - U-G-L-Y, the Denver Broncos have no alibi. This year's Denver Broncos are similar to a spouse when they get older. They may not be as pretty, but you still love them just as much. To love the 2004 Denver Broncos, it appears you're going to have to accept them for what they are. They don't get it done with the beauty that they once did. Still, it doesn't matter as long as they get the W. This season, the Broncos may have to win ugly if they are to have any success and make a run at the playoffs. That was evident Sunday as the Broncos didn't exactly look like world beaters, but they did pull out a 23-13 victory in a key AFC matchup with the San Diego Chargers at Invesco Field at Mile High.

Denver Broncos vs. San Diego Chargers -
Sunday, September 26, 2004 - The Broncos played their first Sunday afternoon home game of the 2004 season in beautiful conditions with a temperature of 73 degrees at kickoff with 26 percent humidity. Head Coach Mike Shanahan deactivated the following players before the contest: Triandos Luke, Tatum Bell, Sam Brandon, Jashon Sykes, Cornell Green, Charlie Adams, Trevor Pryce and Anton Palepoi. There was one announced lineup change for the team with Monsanto Pope starting at right defensive tackle in place of Luther Elliss. The Broncos won the coin toss and received the opening kickoff.

Broncos-Chargers Notebook - - Andrew Mason
Sunday, September 26, 2004 - Just because it's the early season doesn't mean the Broncos aren't paying occasional notice to the performances of their division rivals -- particularly when they involve unexpectedly bad starts, as Kansas City has endured. So when Kris Brown's game-winning field goal for the Houston Texans dropped the Chiefs to 0-3, the Broncos couldn't help but notice, even though their game against San Diego was well underway.

The Man Who Made Denver - - James Merilatt
Sunday, September 26, 2004 - From the Day He Arrived in the Mile High City through His Enshrinement in Canton, John Elway Transformed the Broncos – and the Town.

Calling On Plummer - - James Merilatt
Sunday, September 26, 2004 - On a day when the Denver Broncos honored the greatest quarterback in franchise history – John Elway received his ring from the Pro Football Hall of Fame during a halftime ceremony – the team's current quarterback rose to the occasion and led the orange and blue to an important victory over one of the teams they were tied with atop to the AFC West, the San Diego Chargers. With Denver's typically potent rushing attack stymied by the Chargers it was up to Jake Plummer to beat San Diego through the air. And the quarterback did just that.

No Pryce, No Problem: D-Line Shuts Down Chargers - - Andrew Mason
Sunday, September 26, 2004 - Heading into Sunday's game against the San Diego Chargers, questions abounded about whether the Broncos' defensive line could play well while knowing that Trevor Pryce would be lost for the next four to six weeks. Those questions took on added urgency based upon the presence of LaDainian Tomlinson on the opposite side of the line of scrimmage on Sunday afternoon. Consider those questions answered.

Grounded - - Andrew Mason
Sunday, September 26, 2004 - It's been over 10 years since Denver rushed for as few yards as they did during Sunday's game against the San Diego Chargers. San Diego short-circuited the Broncos' typically electric running game, holding them to just 37 yards on 21 carries -- an average of 1.8 yards per rush. But the Broncos still won.

Lelie's Grab Revives Offense - - Andrew Mason
Sunday, September 26, 2004 - This time, the protégé bailed out the mentor. When Ashley Lelie snagged a 33-yard touchdown reception with 3:29 left in the third quarter to give the Broncos a 20-10 lead over the San Diego Chargers, it not only allowed the Broncos to regain control of what had suddenly become a tight game. It allowed Lelie to do a favor for Rod Smith. Three plays earlier, Smith drew a false-start penalty that forced the Broncos into a first-and-15. Denver gained just six yards on the next three plays before Lelie's fourth-down theatrics.

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