Season Report Card

From the second week to the fourth week, the Broncos looked incapable of running the ball with Quentin Griffin as the lead back. Griffin sprained an ankle, opening the door for Reuben Droughns to start at tailback. Droughns has been fantastic since then and the Broncos are back to their usual selves running the ball.

REPORT CARD AFTER 9 GAMES

PASSING OFFENSE
B
-- The Broncos passing game is either fantastic or has Broncos fans pulling out their hair, depending on the day. When Jake Plummer plays under control, he has been fantastic -- he's on pace to break Broncos single-season records in passing yards and touchdowns. But when he starts forcing plays, the Broncos aren't the same team.

RUSHING OFFENSE
B
-- From the second week to the fourth week, the Broncos looked incapable of running the ball with Quentin Griffin as the lead back. Griffin sprained an ankle, opening the door for Reuben Droughns to start at tailback. Droughns has been fantastic since then and the Broncos are back to their usual selves running the ball.

PASS DEFENSE
B-plus
-- The addition of Champ Bailey and the overall improvement of the secondary has made a big difference. Denver gave up big plays against Cincinnati and Atlanta, but overall the Broncos have been very good against the pass. The only black mark is a miserable three interceptions in nine games.

RUSH DEFENSE
B-plus
-- Even without Trevor Pryce on the line, the Broncos have played the run well. The linebackers, led by Al Wilson and rookie sensation D.J. Williams get to the ball and safeties John Lynch and Kenoy Kennedy are very good in run support.

SPECIAL TEAMS
C-minus
-- Jason Elam has been a bright spot, with only two misses on field-goal attempts all season. But the Broncos kick coverage has been average and their return game is punchless. The Broncos are hoping rookies Triandos Luke and Roc Alexander bring some life to the return game in the second part of the season.

COACHING
B
-- The Broncos made some good moves in the offseason, most importantly acquiring cornerback Champ Bailey and drafting linebacker D.J. Williams. They have done a good job masking the loss of Trevor Pryce from the defensive line by plugging in other players and blitzing often. Offensively, the Broncos took some time to find their tailback, but eventually trying Reuben Droughns there was their smartest move.

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