Broncos News Briefs - Monday, October 4

The Broncos defeat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 16-13 to go 3-1 for the season and the lead in the AFC West. Read all the follow-ups on Sunday's game in Tampa in today's news reports.

Finishing touch - Denver Post - Bill Williamson
Monday, October 04, 2004 - Two weeks ago, in the Broncos' first Florida getaway of the season, Jason Elam never got to attempt a game-winning field goal. Sunday, the Broncos' offense allowed Elam a chance to be a fourth-quarter factor in Florida, Take Two, the difference in a similar game with a different outcome. "We won the game," Denver cornerback Champ Bailey said. "Other than that, it was very similar. Same type of game. But this time we got it done." Learning from the ineptitude of their first road foray of the season - a frustrating one-point loss at Jacksonville in a game the Broncos dominated - Denver was able to survive a defense-first game with a 16-13 victory over the still-winless Buccaneers.

What's love got to do with Lynch? - Denver Post - Mark Kiszla
Monday, October 04, 2004 - Tradition is the way a human heart remembers what love means. Of course, macho football players don't talk about love. They crank up the car radio, crack crude jokes and sing bad disco tunes at the top of their lungs. For the first time in almost four years, safety John Lynch and quarterback Brad Johnson did not hitch a ride together to an NFL game at Raymond James Stadium. The Broncos beat Tampa Bay 16-13 on Sunday. Lynch won. Johnson lost. So why did I see Lynch choking back tears when the Denver safety jogged off the field?

Place-kicker Elam proving to be vital offensive player - Denver Post
Monday, October 04, 2004 - The Broncos offense is struggling to find the end zone. However, place-kicker Jason Elam is having no problem finding the middle of the goalposts. Elam has been as important as any Denver offensive player in the first quarter of the season. Elam had three field goals in the Broncos' 16-13 victory over Tampa Bay on Sunday, including a 23-yard game-winner with 9:07 remaining in the game.

Getting by with help from enemies - Denver Post - Jim Armstrong
Monday, October 04, 2004 - So, Ashley Lelie was asked, what about the big play? "What big play?" Lelie said. Exactly. The Broncos' playmakers, especially after a healthy dose of pillow mints, don't make many big plays anymore. But luckily, the Tampa Bay Bucs' defense made enough for them Sunday. It was no coincidence the biggest play of the Broncos' day was a pass-interference penalty against Tampa Bay cornerback Dwight Smith on the first play of the fourth quarter. Four other times, Bucs defenders drew flags to keep Broncos drives alive.

Getting well grounded - Denver Post - Patrick Saunders
Monday, October 04, 2004 - The Broncos' running game used to hit 65-yard homers. Not anymore. Now it's grinding out 3- and 4-yarders in a cloud of dust. But it was enough to help the Broncos control the clock Sunday and beat the Buccaneers 16-13. A week after the team rushed for 37 yards and averaged a meager 1.8 yards a carry against San Diego - the worst rushing performance in Mike Shanahan's 10-year tenure as Broncos head coach - the Broncos gained 111 yards and averaged 3.2 per carry against the Bucs. Hardly the stuff of fall classics, but a baby step in the right direction.

Lynch, Kennedy create havoc for Chargers, Brees - Denver Post - Chris Carlson
Monday, October 04, 2004 - Denver was impressed enough with Tampa Bay wide receiver Michael Clayton to target him during the 2004 draft. After making his first career start Sunday against Denver, Clayton may leave the game with an even bigger target on his back. The rookie wide receiver, Tampa Bay's 15th selection in the draft, caught four passes for 91 yards, his first career touchdown and two grabs that will make his personal highlight reel.

Win a grind, yet it carries a perk - Rocky Mountain News - Jeff Legwold
October 4, 2004 - No, it wasn't much to look at, but the Denver Broncos believe their win against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday shows they have a great personality. "Hey, it means a lot, because you're going to play games like that," Broncos cornerback Champ Bailey said. "We lost it this way in Jacksonville, but we won this one. We know what we're capable of.

An emotional visit for Broncos' Lynch - Rocky Mountain News - Lee Rasizer And Jeff Legwold
October 4, 2004 - The fans were going nuts, as they had any time John Lynch was involved Sunday. Lynch tried to remain stoic as he headed toward the tunnel after Denver's 16-13 victory. But as the Broncos safety, and Tampa legend after 11 seasons with the Buccaneers, made his way into the darkness, his eyes began to well up.

An up-and-down ride for Broncos - Rocky Mountain News - Lee Rasizer
October 4, 2004 - Stuffed or not at the line of scrimmage, the Denver Broncos were stubbornly going to stick with their running game Sunday. The first three quarters produced only 40 yards on 16 carries - 10 for 1 yard or less - against an aggressive, hard-hitting Tampa Bay defense. But in the fourth quarter, the Broncos methodically wore down the Buccaneers, holding the ball for 13 minutes, 55 seconds while rushing on 19 of 26 offensive snaps to secure Denver's 16-13 victory.

Lincicome: Tampa Bay sees what it lost in Lynch - Rocky Mountain News - Bernie Lincicome
October 4, 2004 - And, incidentally, the Broncos survived a gripping seat-squirmer of a football game. Otherwise, this was John Lynch Comes Home Day here in the greater hurricane latitudes. The only cheerful sight in recent weeks came from the appearance of old No. 47 in Raymond James Stadium. Lynch was colliding with people again, or not, which gave the Tampa Bay Bucs their play of the game.

Defense lets Broncos grind it out - Rocky Mountain News - Steve Trivett
October 4, 2004 - The Denver Broncos arrived at Raymond James Stadium on Sunday with the best defense in the NFL. Since giving up 167 yards rushing in the season-opening win against Kansas City, the Broncos run defense had shut down Jacksonville (67 yards) and San Diego (85 yards). AdvertisementMuch to the surprise of many, Tampa Bay came in with a game plan that included running the ball - lots of running the ball.

Instant replay rescues Smith - Rocky Mountain News - Lee Rasizer
October 4, 2004 - Rod Smith couldn't have been any more down and out, until instant replay swayed his emotions. The Broncos receiver was down when the ball came out, lightening Smith's mood. The overruling of the on-field call negated an apparent second-quarter fumble by Smith and a subsequent 56-yard touchdown return with the loose ball by Tampa Bay cornerback Ronde Barber on Sunday. It proved to be a significant turnaround in a tight, defensive struggle.

Elam's unerring foot biggest factor in rubbing out Buccaneers - Rocky Mountain News - Steve Trivett
October 4, 2004 - Jason Elam gave himself a little present after the Denver Broncos' 16-13 win against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers before a Raymond James Stadium crowd of 65,341 Sunday afternoon. Amid the clamor of the winning locker room, the veteran kicker found a little solitude on a rubdown table while a member of the Broncos training staff massaged soreness out of his body.

Broncos hold on to halt Bucs - Daily Camera - Ryan Thorburn
October 4, 2004 - It was Deja Q. Except this time the Denver Broncos did just enough to leave the Sunshine State with a happy ending. On Sunday at Raymond James Stadium, where it was hot (86 degrees at kickoff) and humid (61 percent), Quentin Griffin rushed for 66 yards at 3.1 per attempt. But perhaps the key stat was the number of fumbles the starting running back had — zero. In fact, Denver didn't turn the ball over at all, which is why Mike Shanahan's squad held on for a 16-13 victory over Tampa Bay. The Broncos aren't pretty, but thanks to a consistently solid defense, they are atop the AFC West at 3-1.

Broncos Notes - Oct. 4 - Daily Camera - Ryan Thorburn
October 4, 2004 - Larry Coyer's offseason nightmare was as follows: Marvin Harrison catches an innocent pass over the middle and falls down. A group of Denver defenders huddle around the star receiver and start pointing fingers at one another. Harrison gets up, untouched, and runs into the end zone for a touchdown en route to Indianapolis' playoff victory over the Broncos last January. At this point the defensive coordinator wakes up in a cold sweat and his wife reminds him that the team has traded for Champ Bailey and signed John Lynch, so nothing like that will happen again. Well, at least nothing like that will happen again in January?

Return to Tampa emotional for Lynch - Daily Camera - Ryan Thorburn
October 4, 2004 - There is crying in football. Not very often, of course, but it does happen on special occassions. John Elway's retirement press conference and any press conference involving Dick Vermeil are examples. John Lynch has hit plenty of receivers hard enough to make them want to shed a few tears. But on Sunday, an appreciative crowd at Raymond James Stadium tackled the tough safety for a loss of words.

Thorburn: More questions than answers with offense - Daily Camera - Ryan Thorburn
October 4, 2004 - Jake Plummer was, as usual, annoyed with the postgame questions. The quarterback's tone after a 16-13 win here on Sunday was just as terse as it was two weeks earlier following a 7-6 loss in Jacksonville. It's not so much the Florida heat as the stupidity. Plummer doesn't like answering the same questions over and over again. I can't say I really blame him. But the fact is, for three weeks now the Denver Broncos haven't been providing many answers on offense.

Broncos-Bucs Notebook: Lelie Still Finds Way to Big Play - DenverBroncos.com - Andrew Mason
Monday, October 4, 2004 - Denver's longest yardage gain of its 16-13 win at Tampa Bay on Sunday came with a long pass in the direction of Ashley Lelie, as it did during four of Denver's previous five regular-season games. The only difference was that on this day, Lelie didn't catch the pass. Buccaneers safety Dwight Smith assured that Lelie wouldn't have the opportunity, flying into him before Jake Plummer's pass came down at around the 50-yard-line. But penalty flags quickly flew, giving the Broncos a 37-yard pass-interference-aided gain -- the longest single play of the afternoon.

Broncos Seal Win With Clock-Draining Final Quarter - DenverBroncos.com - Andrew Mason
Monday, October 4, 2004 - A temperature gauge on the field read 101 degrees, as Tampa Bay Buccaneers radio announcer Gene Deckerhoff repeatedly intoned to his listeners. Hordes of usually hardy fans scattered from the east stands for the shade of the concourse, unable to handle the combination of sunshine and humidity that provided an oppressive environment, fit for neither man nor machine. One team was used to these conditions; the other was not. But in the sweltering heat and stifling umidity of Raymond James Stadium, it was the visitors from the dry mountain climate who ultimately wore down the acclimated Buccaneers, controlling the final 15 minutes of a 16-13 win that pushed the Broncos to 3-1.

Denver Broncos at Tampa Bay Buccaneers - DenverBroncos.com
Sunday, October 03, 2004 - Before the start of the game Head Coach Mike Shanahan deactivated Garrison Hearst, Lenny Walls, Sam Brandon, Jashon Sykes, Cornell Green, Darius Holland, Trevor Pryce and Anton Palepoi. Monsanto Pope earned the start at right defensive tackle in place of Luther Elliss. On Saturday, the team signed Ellis Johnson to the active roster from the Exempt/Commissioner's Permission list and waived Charlie Adams to make room for the defensive tackle.

An Emotional Return - DenverBroncos.com - Andrew Mason
Sunday, October 3, 2004 - The corner of the field from which John Lynch entered the familiar confines of Raymond James Stadium was different -- the northwest instead of the southwest. The color of the vestments he donned were different, too -- blue and orange instead of pewter, red and white. But the roar from the crowd was just the same -- as loud and appreciative Sunday as it was for the five seasons at Tampa/Houlihan's Stadium and for the six that followed at Raymond James Stadium, the Buccaneers' home stadium built in 1998.

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