Broncos face new, improved Brees

Last time the Denver Broncos faced the San Diego Chargers, they challenged quarterback Drew Brees to throw the ball and won the game 23-13. But since that game, Brees has been the most improved player in the NFL. Read about Brees and other news from the Broncos in today's reports.

Different Brees to face off against Broncos - San Diego Union-Tribune - Jim Trotter
December 2, 2004 - "We wanted to force the Chargers to put the ball in Drew Brees' hands." – Broncos linebacker Al Wilson, after Denver beat the Chargers 23-13 on Sept. 26. With the Broncos coming to town Sunday for a rematch that could ultimately decide the AFC West title, Drew Brees insisted yesterday he wasn't offended by Al Wilson's remark. He also said he wasn't bothered by similar remarks from other Broncos after that game. With the Broncos coming to town Sunday for a rematch that could ultimately decide the AFC West title, Drew Brees insisted yesterday he wasn't offended by Al Wilson's remark. He also said he wasn't bothered by similar remarks from other Broncos after that game.

Broncos to face a different Brees - Denver Post - Bill Williamson
Thursday, December 02, 2004 When the Broncos last faced the Chargers, Drew Brees caught the best pass thrown all game by San Diego: a perfect toss from running back LaDainian Tomlinson for a 38-yard gain. The Broncos blitzed and harried Brees and held him to 121 yards passing in Denver's 23-13 victory. Don't expect the Broncos to have it so easy Sunday in San Diego. Brees likely will do his damage throwing the ball - not catching it.

Broncos' Moses honored - Denver Post - Irv Moss
Thursday, December 02, 2004 - The presentation of a lifetime achievement award to Haven Moses of the Broncos was a highlight of Wednesday night's Denver Sports Fans Choice Award banquet at the Brown Palace Hotel, recalling one of the proudest times in Denver sports history. The receiving part of the Broncos' famed M&M connection - with quarterback Craig Morton - drew acclaim from the 1977 NFL season, when the Broncos won the AFC title and advanced to the Super Bowl against the Dallas Cowboys. Just the mention of that special time drew the audience's attention.

Broncos' fan woes growing old - Denver Post - Bill Williamson
Thursday, December 02, 2004 - Reuben Droughns is not shying away from the pressure in what he is calling the biggest regular-season game of his career. He knows he can be a major factor Sunday as the Broncos attempt to take control of the AFC West from San Diego. With a win the Broncos will be tied with the Chargers for the division lead at 8-4. "A lot of it depends on me," Droughns said. "I have to have a big game. We have to control the game, and I have to have a big game." The Chargers have the No. 2 run defense in the NFL and are allowing just 79.1 yards per game.

100? Droughns has no doubt - Rocky Mountain News - Lee Rasizer
December 2, 2004 - Broncos running back Reuben Droughns on Wednesday guaranteed he will have 100 Sunday when he faces San Diego's second-ranked rush defense. That's how many family members and friends will make the trek down from Droughns' hometown of Anaheim, Calif., for the Broncos-Chargers AFC West showdown at Qualcomm Stadium. What, you thought he meant something else? "It's the first time they're going to get a chance to see me live," he said. In some respects, the same could be said for the Chargers, who are allowing a meager 79.1 rushing yards, 3.6 per attempt.

Brees now a full-blown hurricane - Rocky Mountain News - Jeff Legwold
December 2, 2004 - When Chargers quarterback Drew Brees left Denver on Sept. 26, he was 1-2 as a starter. He had completed 54 percent of his passes in the season's first three games to go with three touchdowns and two interceptions. But when the Broncos go to San Diego for Sunday's game, they will find the cool Brees is gone and one of the hottest players in the league is now waiting for them. "He's playing better football than he was at that point and he's just hot," Broncos safety John Lynch said. "He's not turning the football over. It's our job to get pressure on him."

Tomlinson still is the one - to contain - Rocky Mountain News - Jeff Legwold
December 2, 2004 - San Diego quarterback Drew Brees is ringing the cash register of his impending free agency as well as being the face of the Chargers' playoff run. Tight end Antonio Gates is riding the wave of impending football celebrity. Coach Marty Schottenheimer has gone from being on the hot seat to being just plain hot. Whatever. "LaDainian Tomlinson, man. Of course, he's still the guy with that team, nothing's changed," Broncos safety Nick Ferguson said. "They've just got another guy or two making plays. That's all it is. LaDainian is still the man. He makes that offense run.

Adams: Davis: Broncos are tough egg to crack - Rocky Mountain News - Sam Adams
December 2, 2004 - Former Denver Broncos running back-turned-television analyst Terrell Davis didn't throw a stiff-arm Wednesday when asked about his former team. "They're probably underachieving," said Davis, who is an analyst for the NFL Network. He appeared on 950 The Fan to get fans to participate in the FedEx Air and Ground weekly awards on the Web site www.NFL.com. "Typically, in the past when you've seen the Broncos have a team down - they were up by (11 points) in the fourth quarter (against Oakland) - they find a way to close games out," Davis said. "For one reason or another, they haven't had that.

Krieger: Presto! Mike, Marty swap shoes - Rocky Mountain News - Dave Krieger
December 2, 2004 - I spent part of my day talking to these guys, and I'm still not sure I have it straight. You tell me if this makes any sense: Mike Shanahan, offensive mastermind, now believes defense wins championships. Marty Schottenheimer, defensive tough guy, now believes airing it out is the way to go. Perhaps you can help me. Did I pass into the anti-matter dimension overnight or are these men on some kind of psychotropic medication?

NFL injury report, December 2 - Rocky Mountain News
December 2, 2004 - NFL injury report, December 2

Brees problematic for depleted Bronco 'D' - Daily Camera - Ryan Thorburn
December 2, 2004 - Lenny Walls had season-ending surgery on his right shoulder Wednesday morning. The talented but oft-injured cornerback, who dislocated the shoulder for a third time this year during Denver's 25-24 loss to Oakland last Sunday, should be fully recovered by April. "Surgery went well. It was a little bit more serious than (the doctors) had first thought," Broncos head coach Mike Shanahan said on Wednesday. "He will have a four-month recovery and he should be back, ready to go for next year." The more immediate question is: Will the secondary be ready to go this Sunday against San Diego? The AFC West-leading Chargers have averaged 42 points in their last eight games, winning seven of them, since a 23-13 loss at Invesco Field. Only Peyton Manning has a higher passer rating in the conference than Drew Brees, who is completing 65.8 percent of his passes with 21 touchdowns and three interceptions.

Ex-hoopster Gates a star for Chargers - Daily Camera - Ryan Thorburn
December 2, 2004 - For Mike Shanahan, the term "March Madness" describes his exhausting preparations for the NFL draft. Unfortunately for the Broncos head coach, the perfect replacement for Shannon Sharpe played college basketball instead of football. And Denver wouldn't even have had to waste a draft pick on Antonio Gates. Gates, who led Kent State to an Elite Eight appearance in the NCAA Tournament as a senior in 2003, signed with San Diego as an undrafted free agent last year. Entering Sunday's critical Broncos-Chargers game at Qualcomm Stadium, Gates is second in the NFL with 69 catches, and his 11 touchdowns are the most in the league among tight ends.

Gates Presents Difficult Matchup for Defenses - DenverBroncos.com - Andrew Mason
Thursday, December 2, 2004 - Two months and five days ago, the San Diego Chargers' team buses pulled away from INVESCO Field at Mile High, ferrying a team that had just lost its fifth consecutive game in the Mile High City. Antonio Gates was among the Chargers left frustrated with the day. After a strong opening two weeks to the season in which he grabbed 12 passes for 162 yards, he managed just four catches for 30 yards against the Broncos, who muzzled him with a straightforward scheme.

Wednesday Notebook: Four-Month Recovery for Walls - DenverBroncos.com - Andrew Mason
Wednesday, December 1, 2004 - Five games lie ahead for most of the Broncos. But only the rough road of rehabilitation is in Lenny Walls' sights now. The third-year cornerback underwent a surgery on his right shoulder Wednesday to remedy the trio of dislocations he endured this season. "It's a hard deal to go through that," cornerback Roc Alexander said. "To go through the season and keep dislocating (the shoulder) it takes a lot of courage to keep getting out there and playing." The first dislocation cost Walls three games; the second kept him out for one, and the third -- which he incurred while covering a kickoff during the second quarter of Sunday night's loss to Oakland -- ended his season five games early.

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