November 7, 2004 - It hasn't been easy for the Denver Broncos defense lately, and it isn't about to get any easier. After ranking as one of the NFL's top two defenses for most of the season, the Denver Broncos defense, after poor performances the last two weeks, has slipped to fourth overall and seem headed in the wrong direction as they take on the Houston Texans in a 2:15 p.m. matchup today at Invesco Field at Mile High. It couldn't have come at a worse time for Denver, which is poised to face one of the hottest quarterbacks in the NFL and receiving corps that may be one of the best young groups in the game. Houston's David Carr is finally maturing into the quarterback that the Texans thought he could be when they drafted him No. 1 overall in their first season as an expansion franchise back in 2002.
Good byes - Denver Post - Anthony Cotton
Sunday, November 07, 2004 - The Atlanta Falcons went into their bye week this weekend with winning on their minds ó a 41-28 victory over the Broncos.Sometime later this week, somewhere in a hunting blind in Texas, despite having doused himself in urine to mask his presence from his prey, Atlanta Falcons linebacker Keith Brooking will be smiling, recalling last Sunday's 41-28 win over the Broncos and anticipating what lies ahead for his first-place team. Sometime next week, Denver players will be using their bye-week break to make similar excursions. The level of happiness they will derive from their time away may depend on the outcome of today's game against the Houston Texans. Most teams use their seasonal break as a chance to heal physical injuries. For the Broncos, the game against the Texans is an opportunity to begin repairing their bruised psyches.
Smith on verge of grabbing record - Rocky Mountain News - Jeff Legwold
November 6, 2004 - Two more receptions, and Rod Smith will have made the longest of trips into Denver Broncos history. With two catches, he will have gone from an undrafted player simply hoping to hold on to his practice-squad spot to the Broncos' all-time leading receiver. "He's such a pro," Broncos coach Mike Shanahan said. "He's been everything you'd ever want as a coach, and then some." Smith, now in his 10th season, has 674 career receptions and needs one to tie former tight end Shannon Sharpe as the franchise's all-time leading receiver and two catches to set the mark.
Palepoi: gem from scrapheap - Denver Post - Bill Williamson
Sunday, November 07, 2004 - In the middle of September, Anton Palepoi was sitting at home, wondering if he would get another chance to play in the NFL or if his career was over. Palepoi was on the outside looking in. The pass-rushing defensive end - a second-round draft pick in 2002 - suddenly was on the NFL scrapheap, an unforgiving place where the pile is deep and hopes are slim. "You never know what's going to happen when you get cut," Palepoi said. "You wonder if you're going to get another chance." That's where the Broncos came in.
Expansion teams free to win faster - Denver Post - Patrick Saunders
Sunday, November 07, 2004 - Go ahead and clip off that expansion-team tag from the 4-3 Houston Texans. Three years into their existence, the label doesn't fit anymore. In truth, it didn't fit last year when the Texans finished their second season 5-11, but were just a few plays from being a .500 team. Which is why a river of optimism runs through Houston this season. "If we stay healthy, I don't see any reason why we shouldn't be in the playoffs," Texans quarterback David Carr said during training camp. "People are scared to say 'playoffs,' but why not? Everyone who plays the game wants to win the Super Bowl, and we shouldn't be any different."
Week off comes at excellent time - Denver Post - Anthony Cotton
Sunday, November 07, 2004 - Four of the past five seasons, the Broncos' bye has come after the eighth or ninth week of play, a point most players said is the perfect time to get their week-long break. "If you have it too early, mentally, the thought of playing 14 or 15 games straight is tough," Denver linebacker Al Wilson said. "If you (get the bye) halfway through the season and you finish with seven or eight games, it gives you a little burst of energy going into the last half of the year." Now in their 15th season of existence, byes came about for two reasons. One was to give teams a break over the course of long, demanding seasons. The other was to "expand" the NFL's share of the sports calendar, keeping the game in the forefront of the public for a longer period of time.
Quiet time valuable for numerous players - Denver Post - Anthony Cotton
Sunday, November 07, 2004 - While it's tempting to try to cram an entire offseason of fun into a one-week bye, most NFL players realize the most prudent thing to do during their time off is as little as possible. "You've got to be smart with it," Atlanta Falcons linebacker Keith Brooking said. "You've got to stay off your feet, get the rest you need to get. When I think of the bye week, I think of trying to get my body back right." While quick trips to Las Vegas have become popular with Broncos players in recent seasons, many opt for a more subdued break. Linebacker Al Wilson, for example, traditionally spends his time off visiting his 9-year-old son, Carrington.
Parity makes for fun as fans - Denver Post - Bill Williamson
Sunday, November 07, 2004 - Q: I know everyone talks about parity in the league, but I just don't understand how the Broncos can get pasted by a team that just got pounded - by the Chiefs, of all teams! What gives?
CBs talk man-to-man about coverage - Houston Chronicle - Carlton Thompson
Nov. 7, 2004 - Your first move is always backward. You're playing against guys who are big, fast, strong and physical, and the rules are on their side. Even worse, they know where they're going; you're mostly guessing as you rely on pure instinct. You're an NFL cornerback. Good luck. Two of the best will be on display today when the Texans play the Denver Broncos at Invesco Field at Mile High. Also on hand will be an up-and-comer who hopes to someday be considered among the best. Denver's Champ Bailey and the Texans' Aaron Glenn are among a handful of players who have earned the right to be called shutdown corners, and Texans rookie Dunta Robinson intends to join them.
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