Playoff hopes hang by a thread

After a string of three losses in four games, the Denver Broncos need some help from other teams in order to make the playoffs. Read about it in today's news reports.

In need of victories, not winning Jag - Denver Post - Bill Williamson
Tuesday, December 21, 2004 - As bad as the Broncos' worst loss in Kansas City since John Elway's rookie season was, the real bad medicine was administered as the team flew home from their debacle at Arrowhead Stadium. Proving a loss during the second week of the season can come back to haunt three months later, the Broncos' playoff chances took a major hit Sunday evening as Jacksonville buckled down and won at Green Bay. The Jaguars' 28-25 victory at Lambeau Field took the Broncos' playoff destiny out of their hands with two games remaining. "We put ourselves in this mess," Denver cornerback Champ Bailey said after Denver's 45-17 loss at Kansas City. "We just have to hope we can get out of it."

Broncos' playoffs life on the line - Denver Post - Jim Armstrong
Tuesday, December 21, 2004 - I'm not sure exactly when it happened, but it was somewhere between Dante Hall's 97-yard kickoff return and Jake Plummer's ninth interception in four games. That's when I officially had had enough fun for one NFL season. Was it as good for you as it was for me, Broncos fans? Not that it's over. It's never over till it's over. For all we know, the Broncos will come away with a playoff berth, what with the Tennessee Tin Men and the Indianapolis Colts' taxi squad lying in their path. If so, if there's a second season, at least they won't waste much time, ours or theirs. Can you say one and done?

Shanahan embarrassed by 45-17 loss - Denver Post - Bill Williamson
Tuesday, December 21, 2004 - As they licked their wounds from the worst loss of the year, the Broncos promised they will not give up on a season that is on the cusp of spinning out of control. "We're not going to quit," Denver cornerback Champ Bailey said Sunday after the Broncos' 45-17 defeat at Kansas City. "We competed today. We played hard; we just got beat badly. But you didn't see anyone quit out there." The Broncos' final two games are Saturday night at Tennessee and Jan. 2 at home against Indianapolis. The Broncos can make the playoffs with two wins and a Jacksonville loss, among other playoff scenarios. On his weekly show Monday night on KCNC-TV, Shanahan said the loss at Kansas City was "embarrassing."

Sounding falls alarm - Rocky Mountain News - Lee Rasizer
December 21, 2004 - The fall of 2004 ends today, something about equinoxes and solstices. It isn't so cut and dried on the NFL calendar, which also features its shares of highs and lows.

Tuesday Morning Quarterback: Broncos fuzzy math: Big offense + 8-6 = 2 little to make playoffs - Rocky Mountain News - Jeff Legwold
December 21, 2004 - It's all about the math for the Denver Broncos. And while things just don't quite add up for them these days, they still are clinging to the slim numerical hope of a postseason. So while the debate will rage whether or not the Broncos would be able to manufacture a win even if they do win the scramble for the AFC's final playoff spot, at least one thing is certain: This team is a study in numbers.

Broncos need help to make playoffs - Daily Camera - Ryan Thorburn
December 21, 2004 - The Denver Broncos, who may not deserve to make the playoffs based on their uninspired play down the stretch, now require help to make the field as a wild card following a 45-17 beating in Kansas City on Sunday. Denver (8-6) now finds itself in a four-way tie for the sixth and final postseason spot in the AFC with Jacksonville (8-6), Baltimore (8-6) and Buffalo (8-6). The Jaguars, who own the head-to-head tiebreaker against the Broncos, would get the berth right now and have the easiest remaining schedule — a home game against Houston (6-8) and a road game against Oakland (5-9).

Monday Notebook: Losses Change Broncos' Landscape - - Andrew Mason
Monday, December 20, 2004 - It takes scant time for a juggernaut to transform into a straggler, or vice versa, in the NFL. Rewind back to Week 6 for evidence. The Broncos led the AFC West at 5-1. San Diego trailed Denver by two games and had already lost once to its AFC West rivals. Buffalo had just posted its first win after four losses -- over winless Miami. Carolina was 1-4 and had just lost 30-8 at Philadelphia. St. Louis was 4-2, had a win at Seattle and seemed in control of the NFC West. Two months later, the Broncos cannot reclaim first place; the Chargers clinched it Sunday.

There's More to Life Than Football - - Doug Collins
Monday, December 20, 2004 – The kids sat at the edge of the shoe section at the edge of the shoe section at the Park Meadows' Gart Sports store last Tuesday with anxious, expectant looks on their faces riveted on the man in front of them. He was a tall man with a grizzly beard, and he smiled broadly as he addressed the children. As he talked, the young ones shifted anxiously in their seats, fidgeting like it was seven o'clock on Christmas morning and their parents had told them that they had to stay in bed until nine. The fidgeted because this was their Christmas, and to make things more exciting, the man giving it to them was Broncos' quarterback Jake Plummer. On behalf of the Jake Plummer Foundation, over sixty underprivileged kids received $250 shopping sprees to either Target or Gart Brothers to purchase Christmas presents last Tuesday.

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