Broncos v. Dolphins Report Card

The Denver Broncos' Jake Plummer had two passes intercepted on Sunday, and has thrown six picks in his past two games. The second interception was particularly distressing, because it was thrown into coverage with the Broncos in field-goal range and the game tied in the fourth quarter. Plummer needs to make better decisions in Denver's final three games if the Broncos are going to make the playoffs.

REPORT CARD VS. DOLPHINS

PASSING OFFENSE: D -- Jake Plummer had two passes intercepted on Sunday, and has thrown six picks in his past two games. The second interception was particularly distressing, because it was thrown into coverage with the Broncos in field-goal range and the game tied in the fourth quarter. Plummer needs to make better decisions in Denver's final three games if the Broncos are going to make the playoffs.

RUSHING OFFENSE: A-minus -- Tatum Bell had a very good game after Reuben Droughns was benched, rushing for 123 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Bell's speed gives the Broncos the same kind of big-play capability they had with Clinton Portis at tailback. Reuben Droughns was benched after two first-quarter fumbles -- he lost one -- but returned to finish the game strong in the fourth quarter.

PASS DEFENSE: B -- Miami QB A.J. Feeley completed less than 50 percent of his passes and averaged less than five yards per passing attempt against Denver. Champ Bailey did a solid job on Miami's Chris Chambers, and safety Kenoy Kennedy didn't allow tight end Randy McMichael to have a huge day. Denver's pass defense was particularly strong in Miami's final two drives, when A.J. Feeley was 1-for-4 for seven yards and was sacked once.

RUSH DEFENSE: B -- The Dolphins averaged only 3.2 yards per rushing attempt. Denver can't get too much credit -- Miami hasn't run the ball on anybody this season -- but they didn't allow a gain of more than 12 yards. The Broncos have three games remaining against solid rushing teams (Kansas City, Tennessee and Indianapolis) so their run defense will be a key to their playoff hopes.

SPECIAL TEAMS: D -- The Broncos claimed Jason Baker off waivers last week to punt and handle kickoffs, and he was awful kicking off. Four of his five kickoffs barely got off the ground, and one of them went out of bounds. Broncos coach Mike Shanahan wouldn't commit to Baker getting a second chance next week at Kansas City. Once again, the Broncos didn't do much in the return game, either.

COACHING: C -- Mike Shanahan still can't convince Jake Plummer to not make bad mistakes at inopportune times. Denver rushed the ball 40 times on Sunday, and that will probably be the game plan for the rest of the season. Shanahan made a gutsy decision that paid off when he benched Droughns in favor of rookie Tatum Bell, who rushed for over 100 yards before he was injured.

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