Sunday, October 24, 2004 - Broncos cornerback Willie Middlebrooks' remarkable journey from the injured list to the field continued Friday when he practiced for Monday night's game against the Cincinnati Bengals. Middlebrooks practiced for the third consecutive day and likely will play in nickel and dime packages. He injured his left hamstring Oct. 10 against the Carolina Panthers and was expected to be out four weeks. He missed the Oakland Raiders game but has made steady progress.
Broncos have stage to make statement - Denver Post - Woody Paige
Sunday, October 24, 2004 - The Broncos are so far below the ra(dio) d(etecting) a(nd) r(anging) system in the NFL, nobody is noticing. But everybody could become aware of Jake The Mistake and The Blue Stealth Squad on Monday night. Are they for real or surreal? There will be no World Series games or other football games or presidential debates or episodes of "Desperate Housewives" or fresh World Series of Poker tournaments to cause clutter in the country. The Broncos and the Cincinnati Bengals will have the TV screen virtually to themselves.
Again, the mastermind calls it right - Denver Post - Jim Armstrong
Sunday, October 24, 2004 - Mike Shanahan during the offseason, in the aftermath of losing Clinton Portis, Shannon Sharpe and Ed McCaffrey: "I still expect our offense to be among the top five in the league." So where do the Broncos rank in offense? Fifth. The Bronx lead the league in rushing. Baltimore is second, followed by Atlanta, where Dr. Alex Gibbs has opened a new practice.
Broncos learn their lesson - Cincinnati Enquirer - Mark Curnutte
Sunday, October 24, 2004 - Denver, scalded for 41 points by Peyton Manning and the Colts in a 2003 AFC wild-card playoff game, retooled its defense in the offseason. And the results have been immediately positive: After six weeks, the Broncos are ranked No. 1 in total defense, second against the pass and fourth against the run. A team known for its high-scoring offense is winning with defense, though the offense is still pretty good. Not since the days of the "Orange Crush" in the 1970s has a Denver team been built around its defense the way this one is. "The great thing about our defense right now is they're not satisfied," Denver coach Mike Shanahan said this past week. "They know that we have a ways to go. We can improve."
'MNF' recalls a simpler time - Cincinnati Enquirer - Paul Daugherty
Sunday, October 24, 2004 - Neighbors, friends used to gather and bond watching the NFL on TV. We were always ready for some football. Monday night was Guys Night In. We had a core group, 12 or 15 of us, all the same age, all with little kids, and wives we assumed we loved, all of us poised to become captains of industry. Or captains of something, so we thought. Monday night was our little breather from all that. It was a ritual gathering of the neighborhood tribe, a few hours for beer and chili and laughing at Dan Dierdorf. It was a chance, in Cincinnati in the 1990s, to see genuine NFL football.
John Madden Q&A - Cincinnati Enquirer - Mark Curnutte
Sunday, October 24, 2004 - John Madden is in his third season as color analyst for the ABC presentation of "Monday Night Football." He is in Cincinnati this weekend to prepare for the Bengals' game Monday night against Denver. He previously worked for 21 seasons as a color analyst for CBS and Fox NFL broadcasts. Madden compiled a 103-32-7 regular season record as coach of the Oakland Raiders from 1969-78. He had a 9-7 postseason record, including a 32-14 victory against Minnesota in Super Bowl XI. Madden, born April 10, 1936, also is known for the video football game that bears his name. He sat for 20 minutes with two reporters after an ABC production meeting Saturday night at Paul Brown Stadium.
Lewis wants a win, not a moral victory - Cincinnati Enquirer - Mark Curnutte
Sunday, October 24, 2004 - Rookie Caleb Miller will get another start at middle linebacker Monday night, Bengals coach Marvin Lewis said Saturday. Fellow third-rounder Landon Johnson started against the Browns but suffered a concussion. He is probable. Lewis said there probably would be no other lineup changes and also said there would be no moral victories for the Bengals. The Broncos are 5-1 and have the league's top-ranked defense and No. 1 rush offense. "Win the football game," Lewis said. "The idea is to win."
Broncos-Bengals Capsule and Notes - Denver Broncos.com
Sunday, October 24, 2004 - The Broncos (5-1) come into Week 7's game agains the Bengals (1-4) riding a new resurgence in their rushing game. For the past two weeks, the Broncos have rushed for over 200 yards as a team, including stellar performances from RB/FB Reuben Droughns. Against AFC-rival Oakland last Sunday, Droughns pounded the ball against the Raiders, gaining 146 rushing yards and a scoring run en route to Denver's 31-3 victory. This performance came just one week after Droughns exploded on to the scene in his first start at running back, a Week 5 appearance against Carolina in which the back pounded out 193 and caught a Jake Plummer shuffle pass for a touchdown. Droughns performance lately bodes well for the Broncos, who will face a Cincinatti team that is ranked thirty-second in the NFL in rush defense, allowing on average 160.4 yards rushing per game.
Broncology: The Meaning of 5-1 - DenverBroncos.com - Andrew Mason
Saturday, October 23, 2004 - Fast starts don't guarantee eventual success. But they don't hurt, either -- especially when it comes to the Broncos. This year's 5-1 opening marks the 10th time the Broncos have opened at 5-1 or better since joining the NFL in 1970. And while the Broncos have not always maintained the pace of their quick start, it has almost always propelled them to a successful season, with only one of those nine years ending short of the postseason.
Bengals At a Glance - DenverBroncos.com - Tucker Gilmore
Saturday, October 23, 2004 - This week's game will mark the first time the Bengals have hosted a Monday Night Football game since 1989. Overall the Bengals are 7-16 on Monday night, their most recent appearance coming in a 20-0 defeat at Pittsburgh in 1992. The Monday night setting is also the first and only for the Broncos this season. Of course, the Broncos are no stranger to the Monday night lights. Last season the Broncos played twice on Monday night, both games at INVESCO Field at Mile High. On September 22 the Broncos defeated Oakland 31-10. The Broncos, however, were not as successful the second time around, losing to New England 30-26.
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