Wednesday, October 20, 2004 - Defense has played a big role in the Broncos' 5-1 start, including a 31-3 rout Sunday at Oakland in which the Raiders felt surrounded while gaining just 145 yards on 51 plays, a 2.8 average. Sometimes statistics lie. Sometimes they don't. In the case of the Broncos' top-ranked defense, the numbers tell the truth. Through six games, the 5-1 Broncos have allowed fewer yards than any other team in the NFL, have allowed the second-fewest points, are tied for second in yards allowed per play and rank fifth in yards allowed per rush. Translation: This new version of the Orange Crush looks like the real deal.
Putzier gets bigger role - Denver Post - Bill Williamson
Wednesday, October 20, 2004 - With Dwayne Carswell sitting out Monday's night game in Cincinnati because of an NFL suspension, the Broncos will be leaning more heavily on Jeb Putzier. Putzier has improved steadily this season, coming up big in Denver's 31-3 victory at Oakland on Sunday with three catches for 52 yards, including his first NFL touchdown catch.
Bengals steel for spotlight's glare - Denver Post
Wednesday, October 20, 2004 - They've waited a dozen years for the chance to look into the camera, recite their name and alma mater, then strut their stuff for a national audience Monday night. Now that the opportunity is here, the Bengals would rather hide in a hole. A 1-4 start has left the NFL's most forlorn franchise on familiar ground. Fans feel betrayed and players feel besieged heading into that long-awaited night in the national spotlight against the Broncos (5-1).
Patriots take simple route to superiority - Denver Post - Anthony Cotton
Wednesday, October 20, 2004 - Every week, each NFL team takes the field thinking it has some overriding reason it will emerge triumphant. Getting a leg up over a division rival. Staking a claim to a playoff spot. Perhaps trying to avoid the embarrassment of yet another loss. Every week half those teams are wrong. Except for New England. For more than a year, the Patriots have taken the field devoid of any agenda, save one - winning for the sake of being the better team that day.
'Different' team eyes new result - Rocky Mountain News - Jeff Legwold
October 20, 2004 - This is not the road less traveled for the Denver Broncos. Nope, they have been this way before. They jumped to a 5-1 start as recently as, well, last season. "But every year is different," Broncos linebacker Al Wilson said. "This isn't the same team . . . and this isn't last season. This is a situation where we need to worry about here and now, nothing else." In the little picture, another 10-6 finish, as the Broncos manufactured in 2003, would be nice. But in the big picture all that meant was they were on the road for the first round of the playoffs.
Plummer goes to head of the class - Rocky Mountain News - Pat Rooney
October 20, 2004 - Twelve-year-old Jacob Stoller brought a friend to class Tuesday and immediately became the most popular kid at York Middle School. But not because he began the school day by stepping out of a long black limousine. Stoller drew the envy and admiration of his classmates after surviving the luck of the draw in a "Take a Player to School" contest conducted by J.C. Penney. Stoller's prize? Sharing a limo ride to school with Denver Broncos quarterback Jake Plummer.
Lincicome: Broncos' nameless 'D' delivers - Rocky Mountain News - Bernie Lincicome
October 20, 2004 - Let's call it the Stealth Defense. Why not? It's as good a name as any. Don't see it coming. Don't know it has been there until you check for damage. Better than Pryceless Defense, which it is, of course, whichever spelling is used. Or, to thoroughly mix a metaphor, you think the Broncos are wearing slippers until you wake up with footprints on your face. Big Foot Defense? Might work. It's another case of never actually seeing the menace, only the traces later.
Thorburn: Good-guy Droughns deserves recent success - Daily Camera - Ryan Thorburn
October 20, 2004 - Reporters in the Bay Area were wondering if it was the happiest moment of Reuben Droughns' life. He had just run through the Raiders for 176 yards and a touchdown in a 31-3 victory in Oakland and was flashing the pearly whites in the jail cell of a visiting locker room at Network Associates Coliseum. "I'm always smiling, man," Droughns said.
Bengals light up stadium Monday - Cincinnati Enquirer - Kevin Kelly
Wednesday, October 20, 2004 - Three days from now - well before Hank Williams Jr. harmonizes his rhetorical question to a football-mad network audience - Paul Brown Stadium will be abuzz. "Monday Night Football" is returning to Cincinnati after a 15-year absence, and there is work to do. The weekly undertaking, in its 35th season on ABC, is a production in every sense for the network and the participants. "It's what every team wants," Bengals business manager Bill Connelly said. "You want these broadcasts. And you want to make them go as smoothly for all parties as can be."
Tuesday Notebook: Depth Charged - DenverBroncos.com - Andrew Mason
Tuesday, October 19, 2004 - In 2003, a 5-1 start skidded into a 5-4 bye-week record as the Broncos absorbed injuries to quarterbacks Jake Plummer and Steve Beuerlein, then were forced to start a flu-addled Danny Kanell for a 26-6 loss at Baltimore. The Broncos recovered to make the playoffs, but the lesson of last season -- and the year before, when the Broncos were 6-2 at a midseason bye -- is unavoidable and inexorable: In the NFL, flying starts can becoming crashing halts in as long as it takes for a pass to zip from quarterback to receiver. Avoiding a change in results requires factors in one's control -- diligence, effort, skill -- and some that are not.
Fantasy Review: Week 6 - DenverBroncos.com - Andrew Mason
Tuesday, October 19, 2004 - Reuben Droughns is officially the starter at Denver's running back slot. So if he's unclaimed, sign him now. From a fantasy perspective, this might have been the best overall game. Aside from Droughns' day, we saw Jake Plummer's three touchdowns, Jeb Putzier's first career touchdown and a defense that forced two turnovers, tallied four sacks and allowed only three points and 145 yards. One fellow fantasy player and Broncos fan noted that his margin of defeat was due to Denver's defense, but as he put it, "I'll take the real win over the fantasy win." Well put.
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