Broncos News Blogs - Monday, Oct. 17

The Denver Broncos jumped on the New England Patriots early, then withstood a furious rally to win 28-20. Read more about the game in today's news reports.

Mile-high 5-1 - Denver Post - Mike Klis
10/17/2005 - Fewer are falling for the con anymore, so there's no sense getting carried away. Beating the world champs, as they currently exist in their battered state, is no reason to dream about the odd pleasure of Detroit in early February. These New England Patriots are not the team that has won three of the past four Super Bowls. At least not until Tedy Bruschi and Corey Dillon return.

Bailey's hamstring lasts "about a half" - Denver Post - Mike Klis and Bill Williamson
10/17/2005 - Broncos cornerback Champ Bailey played until early in the third quarter Sunday before aggravating a left hamstring injury during Denver's 28-20 victory over the New England Patriots. The Broncos' standout left cornerback wasn't regretting making the effort after missing the first two games of his career in the past two weeks because of the hamstring. "I got about a half in," said Bailey. "I'll take it." Bailey said the aggravation is not nearly as bad as when he suffered it Sept. 26 against Kansas City. Bailey said he doesn't believe he needs an MRI exam and he should be ready to play next week.

Intangibles solidify Broncos - Denver Post - Thomas George
10/17/2005 - There was a different pep at the Broncos complex and in their practices last week because the New England Patriots were due. Little things became big things. The eyes of the owner were peering more closely. The message from the head coach to his players was that these are the defending Super Bowl champions and they remain the measuring stick in the NFL. But once the Patriots were on the field Sunday afternoon, the crust was evident but the filling was missing.

Denver's star of day? Hard to say - Denver Post - Jim Armstrong
10/17/2005 - The Broncos' MVP through six games? My highly scientific poll, conducted in the dressing room after Sunday's 28-20 victory over New England, produced no definitive answers. "The defensive line," linebacker Ian Gold said. "We've got so many guys making plays, it's tough to say," safety John Lynch said. "The running backs, all three of them," defensive end Trevor Pryce said. "It's hard to select just one guy, because every game somebody else steps up," defensive end Ebenezer Ekuban said. "For the past two weeks it's been Tatum Bell, but we're 5-1 and it's hard to pinpoint. Next week it could be somebody else."

Hauling in a big one - Rocky Mountain News - Jeff Legwold October 17, 2005 - The Denver Broncos finally, with almost every ounce of their defense pushing back, kept a good man down Sunday. And in the end it was almost the Broncos' Bunch against one Brady - Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. That was just enough for the Broncos to move to 5-1 on the season and keep the AFC West lead with a 28-20 victory against New England at Invesco Field at Mile High. "He's the best in the business right now, man," Broncos linebacker Al Wilson said. "How anyone could say he isn't the best is, to me, it's absurd. You don't win three out of four Super Bowls and still not be credited with being the best in the business. He's tough, extremely smart, he just knows how to play the game."

Krieger: Home is where the heart, and wins, are - Rocky Mountain News - Dave Krieger
October 17, 2005 - Before you throw your shovel of dirt on the defending champs and head off to the wake, you might want to take a look at history. In fact, before you lift the Broncos on your shoulders and declare them destiny's new darlings, you might want to take a look at history. The Patriots are 3-3. They also were 3-3 in 2001 - in fact, they fell to 3-4 - before going on to win the first of three Super Bowls in four years. The Broncos are 5-1. They also were 5-1 last season, and the season before that. They finished those campaigns 10-6. Now, 10-6 might be good enough to win the AFC West this season, so the Broncos' prospects are rosy enough, even if destiny hasn't picked them for the big fantasy league in the sky.

Broncos halt Brady's comeback try - Daily Camera- Zak Brown
October 17, 2005 — When Broncos head coach Mike Shanahan was asked Sunday how Tom Brady compared to his Super Bowl winning quarterback, John Elway, the head coach didn't scoff. He didn't dismiss it as blasphemy. He actually, kind of, agreed. "He's a complete player and a competitor," the coach said. "Usually, you don't compare a player like him this early in his career, but for a guy that's won three Super Bowls, it's hard to argue with." Thanks to his defense, Shanahan didn't have to compare a game-winning Brady comeback to one of Elway's.

Thorburn: Now, Broncos must avoid annual swoon - Daily Camera- Ryan Thorburn
October 17, 2005 — Are you ready for some .500 football? Recent history suggests that is what will be heading the Broncos' way over the final 10 games of the regular season. For the third consecutive year, Denver is off to a 5-1 start. An impressive recovery from the humiliating start in Miami. "Usually we're 4-0 or 5-0," Al Wilson said. "But Miami was a wake-up call this year." In 2003 and 2004, 5-1 sprints only led to 10-6 finishes. Good enough to make the playoffs, but bad enough to draw Indianapolis at the RCA Dome. This time things feel different. Mike Shanahan may have assembled enough character guys to push the talent guys to the franchise's first AFC West title since 1998.

Holding On - Denver - Andrew Mason
Monday, October 17, 2005 - Slowly, almost excruiatingly, the seconds dripped from the clocks displayed around INVESCO Field at Mile High late on Sunday afternoon. The sun dropped low in the sky and continued to descend at a much faster clip than the clock and the game seemed to progress. At a whopping three hours and 37 minutes in length, the game lurched ahead at much the same pace as a postseason baseball game. And -- as the clock ever-so-deliberately drained -- it engendered much the same nervousness among in-person witnesses, television spectators and even the Broncos themselves.

Broncos Force Patriots Into Mistakes - - Jennifer Tavlian
Sunday, October 16, 2005 - For Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, the 28-20 outcome of the game was simply stated. "We played a good football team today and obviously we did not make enough plays to win the game," he said. "We didn't play good enough in the first half and we got down too far to come back. You have to give them credit. They played well and we did not make enough plays. We just came up short early and fell too far behind." The Broncos made the big plays when it counted, holding a 21-3 halftime lead that showcased a powerful offense led by Jake Plummer's 179 first-half passing yards. Wide receiver Rod Smith also caught two passes for 78 yards and caught one touchdown pass before the break. But the momentum started shifting in the second half when the Patriots began the fourth quarter with an 8-yard touchdown run by Patrick Pass. Pass ended the night with 10 rushing attempts for 64 yards and caught six passes for 89 yards.

Broncos-Patriots Notebook -
Sunday, October 16, 2005 - After five weeks of aerial frustration, the big play arrived for the Broncos' 26th-ranked passing game -- in a big way indeed. Denver's wide receivers didn't record one catch longer than 23 yards in the first five games of the season, but as the Broncos entered halftime against the New England Patriots, they did so with Rod Smith and Ashley Lelie each posting receptions that covered more than half of the field. Smith was first, snaring a 72-yard reception at midfield and then sprinting another 45 yards to the New England 5. He worked his way past Patriots cornerback Duane Starks to make the reception, which set the Broncos up for a Tatum Bell touchdown run two plays later and a 7-3 lead. One possession later, it was Lelie's turn.

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