Report Card: Broncos v. Chargers

Jake Plummer spread the ball out among his receivers, didn't make any major mistakes and took the offense on his shoulders in Sunday's win. Check out the offense's grade in this week's report card.

PASSING OFFENSE
B-plus
-- Jake Plummer spread the ball out among his receivers, didn't make any major mistakes and took the offense on his shoulders in Sunday's win. Plummer once again showed off his ability to make plays out of the pocket, scrambling around before hitting Ashley Lelie on a 33-yard touchdown pass on a fourth-down play.

RUSHING OFFENSE
F
-- The Broncos have never rushed for fewer yards in a game under Mike Shanahan than they did on Sunday. Quentin Griffin's 12-carry, 7-yard performance was the lowlight of Denver's 37-yard rushing performance. Griffin also lost a third fumble in three weeks, and looked tentative running the ball.

PASS DEFENSE
B-plus
-- The Broncos blitzed Drew Brees often because they knew cornerbacks Champ Bailey and Kelly Herndon could hold up in man-to-man coverage. The Broncos were fooled once on a pass by LaDainian Tomlinson to Brees, but when Brees was throwing the ball Denver didn't allow a pass of more than 17 yards.

RUSH DEFENSE
B
-- Holding LaDainian Tomlinson under three yards a carry, as the Broncos did on Sunday, is commendable. They were rarely caught out of position, which Tomlinson thrives on because of his vision and ability to make plays in the open field. The Broncos also missed few tackles against the Chargers.

SPECIAL TEAMS
B
-- The Broncos were much improved on special teams after a poor showing at Jacksonville. Reuben Droughns had a solid day returning kickoffs, which gave the Broncos good field position. Tim Dwight had some decent returns against Denver, but nothing that ended up hurting the Broncos.

COACHING
B
-- The Broncos confused the Chargers early by spreading out the field and getting big gains with crossing patterns by their receivers. When it was apparent the Broncos couldn't run the ball, they put Plummer in position to make plays in the passing game. Mike Shanahan admitted he was bailed out when the Broncos went for it on fourth down and nine instead of trying a 50-yard field goal, because that play resulted in Lelie's touchdown.

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