January 1, 2005 - It doesn't get any bigger than this. Go ahead, try to find a regular-season game in the final two weeks with implications rivaling the win-and-they're-in scenario the Denver Broncos face Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts at Invesco Field at Mile High. Better yet, find any home game with those kinds of stakes. It's a short list - with only one entry. On Dec. 11, 1983, the Colts were here, too, hailing at the time from Baltimore. John Elway was a rookie trying to stick it to the team he'd shunned months earlier in the NFL draft and trying to deliver payback for a whupping he'd taken in the first half of a home-and-away set.
Good practice puts Pryce on line for Colts - Rocky Mountain News - Jeff Legwold
January 1, 2005 - For the first time since Broncos defensive end/tackle Trevor Pryce underwent surgery Sept. 22 to repair a herniated disk in his back, coach Mike Shanahan said Pryce will be in the lineup. After watching Pryce in Friday's practice, Shanahan said the four-time Pro Bowl selection will play in Sunday's regular-season finale against the Indianapolis Colts at Invesco Field at Mile High. "He had a good practice (Friday), probably his best practice," Shanahan said. "(I) had to make sure he was comfortable against the run before I was going to dress him out. He'll get in the area of 20 plays. If he looks good after the first series or two, he might get a little bit more."
Adams: Two statistics work in the Colts' defense - Rocky Mountain News - Sam Adams
January 1, 2005 - The Indianapolis Colts do not have a very good defense. At least, that's what the NFL statistics sheet indicates. The Colts rank 28th out of the NFL's 32 teams in total defense, allowing 365 total yards a game, including 121 a game rushing. So the Denver Broncos, who rank No. 5 in the league in total offense, should be salivating at a chance to play against Indy's "D" on Sunday, right? As inviting as the numbers might seem for Denver, the Colts defense isn't all bad. In fact, the Broncos gladly would take Indy's defensive numbers in two critical areas - sacks and turnovers.
And down the stretch they come - Rocky Mountain News
January 1, 2005 - Some of the biggest games in the final two weeks of the regular season in Denver Broncos history.
NFL injury report, January 1 - Rocky Mountain News
January 1, 2005 - NFL injury report, January 1
Revenge fires up Broncos for Colts - Daily Camera - Ryan Thorburn
January 1, 2005 - In his 10 years as the head coach of the Denver Broncos, Mike Shanahan has won 100 regular season games. It doesn't take a math major to figure out how many wins a year that averages out to. A victory on Sunday against Indianapolis at Invesco Field will not only get the Broncos to 10-6, but will also clinch a playoff spot. So despite some disappointing performances down the stretch — including losses to all three AFC West rivals — Shanahan isn't worried about his team's focus entering the final regular season game.
Broncos-Colts Capsule and Notes - DenverBroncos.com
Saturday, January 1, 2005 - For the Denver Broncos, the 2004 season comes down to one game. Win on Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts, and there's not a team that can deny them a playoff berth. Lose, and the players might well be watching the playoffs from their living room couches. Broncos head coach Mike Shanahan thinks that a season on the line is motivation enough for the team to play well on Sunday.
Colts at a Glance - DenverBroncos.com - Tucker Gilmore
Saturday, January 1, 2005 - After sifting through countless formulas and scenarios, the Broncos' fate comes down to a simple statement: Win and you're in. Denver (9-6) has full control of its playoff hopes when it takes on Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts (12-3) this Sunday. With a win, the Broncos will seal a playoff appearance for the second consecutive season. Depending on the outcome of a few other games on Sunday, the Broncos would either have to turn around and travel right back to Indianapolis for the Wild Card game, or head back to San Diego to face AFC West champions San Diego.
Quiet Fury - DenverBroncos.com - James Merilatt
Friday, December 31, 2004 - In the National Football League, surviving as a rookie is a difficult proposition. Life, both on and off the field, becomes infinitely more complicated than it was in college. There's more to juggle. There's more to learn. And there's more to endure. For the overwhelming majority of players, this results in a painful transition period. As they make their way along the NFL learning curve, rookies have to adjust to systems that are light years ahead of what their teams ran in college, seasons that are twice as long (when you include the preseason) as what they are used to and the rigors of dealing with everyday life on their own. Usually, this process is anything but smooth.
Defensing the Irresistible Force - DenverBroncos.com - Andrew Mason
Friday, December 31, 2004 - Variety isn't merely the spice of life. It's also the essential element for survival against Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning. To turn defensive calls into repeated patterns is to play into Manning's more-than-capable hands. It is, in effect, a prescription for disaster, considering that he's still managed to find success against the Baltimore Ravens and San Diego Chargers, two teams that came at him with a myriad of disguised coverages and schemes. All Manning did against those two defenses was throw for 632 yards and three touchdowns with just one interception, leading his team to 54 points and a pair of wins in those contests.
Friday Notebook: Approximately '20 Plays' For Pryce Against Colts - DenverBroncos.com - Andrew Mason
Friday, December 31, 2004 - Defensive lineman Trevor Pryce remains questionable for Sunday's game. But for the first time all week, Head Coach Mike Shanahan discussed a specific workload for the eight-year veteran after he concluded work in practice Friday afternoon. "He'll get in the area of 20 plays," Shanahan said. Shanahan added that the possibility of more work for Pryce exists.
Broncology: The Search for a Streak - DenverBroncos.com - Andrew Mason
Friday, December 31, 2004 - In order to make the postseason, the Broncos desperately needed a strong final two weeks to the regular season. Broncos are to complete the task Sunday against the Colts, they must do something they haven't accomplished in 13 years -- win back-to-back games to close the regular season. It was 1991, and the Broncos needed to keep winning in order to hold off the Houston Oilers in order to clinch a bye week in the postseason. They did just that with a 24-19 triumph over the Phoenix Cardinals and a 17-14 win at San Diego, sealing a 12-4 finish that gave the Broncos a weekend respite with which to open the playoffs. Those two wins closed the Broncos' last unbeaten December.
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