Broncos face the Bengals on MNF

The Cincinnati Bengals haven't hosted in a Monday Night Football game in 15 years while the Denver Broncos have played in 22 during the same time. <br><br> On paper, it looks like a mismatch as the Broncos' league leading running game faces the league's worst run defense. But the Broncos need to pull out a win to keep their division leading momentum going.

Droughns shifting gears - Denver Post - Patrick Saunders
Monday, October 25, 2004 - In his heart, Reuben Droughns always knew he was a thoroughbred. He knew it when he ran for 1,234 yards his senior season at Oregon. He believed it in 2001 when he was cut, then re- signed by the Detroit Lions. He kept the faith the past two seasons while playing a supporting role as the Broncos' part-time fullback and special-teams workhorse.

With right players, System excels - Denver Post - Terry Frei
Monday, October 25, 2004 - A few weeks ago, Detroit reject Reuben Droughns was considered a journeyman, primarily a lead blocker in two-back sets and a special-teams stalwart. Now, to judge from the furor heading into "Monday Night Football" at Cincinnati, Droughns' emergence as the Broncos' go-to running back should be as embarrassing for the Lions' ownership - the Ford family - as the Edsel and Pinto.

Hoping to be guest stars - Rocky Mountain News - Jeff Legwold
October 25, 2004 - The glare of Monday Night Football has settled upon this city for the first time in 15 years. The trucks have rolled in, the cables have been strung throughout Paul Brown Stadium and football America will get a long-lost look at the Queen City. And yet it is the Denver Broncos who have an opportunity to be the stars of the show. "If you play on Monday night, it's a lot of fun," Broncos quarterback Jake Plummer said. "It's a long week waiting for the game, but once it comes, everyone's watching. It's a national audience and you've got to go out there ready to play." Players quietly have believed Pro Bowl votes can be won and reputations made on MNF because it is the only game of the week all their peers can see.

Palepoi hoping he bagged playing time with effort in Oakland - Rocky Mountain News - Jeff Legwold
October 25, 2004 - Broncos defensive end Anton Palepoi waited three weeks to get on the field with the Denver Broncos and he's hoping what he did last week against the Oakland Raiders will keep him there a little more. In the unofficial statistics kept by Broncos coaches, Palepoi is credited with two sacks against the Raiders, one more sack than he had in two seasons with the Seattle Seahawks. Palepoi was a second-round pick by Seattle in the 2002 draft, but was released Sept. 14 because the Seahawks believed he would not fulfill his potential.

Broncos scouting report, October 25 - Rocky Mountain News - Jeff Legwold
October 25, 2004 - The Bengals are last in the league defending the run. The Broncos are first in the league running the ball. Do the math. This is where the game will be decided. The Bengals are undersized across the defensive front and have played two rookies, Caleb Miller and Landon Johnson, at middle linebacker. Opponents are averaging 160.4 yards rushing a game.

Plummer no fan of paralysis by analysis in Broncos' case - Daily Camera - Ryan Thorburn
October 24, 2004 - Jake Plummer hasn't been the quarterback of a team off to this kind of start since leading Arizona State to an undefeated season and a Rose Bowl appearance in 1996. The Denver Broncos, just like in 2003, are 5-1. But this time Plummer — who missed four games due to injury last year as Denver dropped to 5-4 en route to 10-6 — is healthy and determined to keep winning. The AFC West-leading Broncos play 1-4 Cincinnati on Monday night at Paul Brown Stadium (7 p.m., Channel 7). Plummer threw three interceptions against the Bengals last season but still won his debut as Denver's new quarterback, 30-10. It was a sign of things to come.

NFL Report - Oct. 25 - Daily Camera
October 25, 2004 - Monday Night Football - Denver (5-1) at Cincinnati (1-4) (7 p.m., ABC). The Bengals make their first Monday night appearance in 12 years, facing Denver's dangerous running attack.

Broncos bring strong running game - Cincinnati Enquirer - Mark Curnutte
Monday, October 25, 2004 - From a pure football perspective, prime time hype aside, the Bengals' matchup tonight against Denver could not be much less promising. Twelve years in the making, and the Bengals draw red-hot, 5-1 Denver in their first Monday night game since 1992. Name a Bengals' weakness, and there is a Broncos' strength ready to exploit it. Denver is first in the NFL in rush offense at 151.7 yards a game and fifth in total offense at 370.7 yards a game. The Broncos are 12th in scoring at 26 points a game. The Bengals are last in run defense at 160.4 yards. Denver coach Mike Shanahan will run the ball repeatedly, and when Bengals safeties creep toward the line, look for the Broncos to throw deep in the direction of wide receiver Rod Smith.

Broncos-Bengals: The Edge - Cincinnati Enquirer - Mark Curnutte
Monday, October 25, 2004 - It would be difficult to believe that Mike Shanahan didn't show his team film of the Broncos' visit to Cincinnati four years ago this weekend. Coming in a heavy favorite, with one of the NFL's best run defenses, Denver yielded 407 rushing yards, a then-record 278 to Corey Dillon, in a 31-21 Bengals upset. They did hold Dillon - off to a fast start this year in New England - to 34 yards on 14 carries in the 2003 opener in Cincinnati. The Broncos are again a heavy favorite tonight, the Bengals' first Monday night appearance in 12 years and first in 15 years at home.

Daugherty: Please, Bengals, don't embarrass us - Cincinnati Enquirer - Paul Daugherty
Monday, October 25, 2004 - Marvin Lewis is wearing a mouthpiece to bed, because he's grinding his teeth in his sleep. It's not a big problem, the coach says; he only sleeps four hours a night. See, Bengal Fan? There is always someone out there who has it worse than you do. After tonight, Marvin might be pounding creamed corn. The Bengals are on "Monday Night Football" for the first time since 1992. You wouldn't call the local mood celebratory. It's more like God-I-hope-they-don't-get-killed. Not to paint too rosy a picture. But it seems the Perfect Storm: Denver has the NFL's best-known running game and hottest running back. Cincinnati plays the run like a fish plays the piano. Are we ready for some football? Do we have a choice?

A 'MNF' future on the line - Cincinnati Enquirer - Mark Curnutte
Monday, October 25, 2004 - The second longest drought in "Monday Night Football" history will end tonight in Cincinnati. But if the disappointing Bengals don't put on a good show on national television, the clock easily could start ticking on another extended absence. ABC executives tell the NFL which teams they want on Monday night. League officials consider their wishes but make the final decisions on the schedule. "This is my opinion. I speak for no one but myself, but since 1990 it is rare that a team with a losing record is on the following season," said "MNF" producer Fred Gaudelli.

Monday Notebook: Facing O'Neal - - Andrew Mason
Monday, October 25, 2004 - It's one thing for a wide receiver to line up across from a cornerback with whom he is innately familiar. It's another matter entirely when that cornerback also played at receiver. Monday night, the Broncos reunite with Deltha O'Neal, the team's 2000 first-round pick who now practices his trade with the Cincinnati Bengals following an April trade that saw the Broncos move up to the No. 17 slot in the first round, allowing them to select starting weakside linebacker D.J. Williams. This a matchup unseen in recent NFL annals -- a cornerback going against a group of wide receivers that he not only faced in practice, but with whom he worked alongside at the same position, as O'Neal did after shifting from defense to offense prior to the tenth game of the 2003 season. Who has the advantage?

Broncos-Bengals Capsule and Notes -
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 - - 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 - - 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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