Broncos News Blogs - Wednesday, Oct. 19

Tatum Bell has steadily improved as the Denver Broncos have unleased a potent one-two rushing punch this season. Read more about Bell as well as the steady play of quarterback Jake Plummer in today's news reports.

Bell in rush to show he's tough to stop - Denver Post - Mike Klis
10/19/2005 - As he ran dead into the strong grip of middle linebacker Zach Thomas, the promising season for running back Tatum Bell appeared doomed from the start. It was the Broncos' season opener in Miami, and with starting running back Mike Anderson on the sideline nursing sore ribs, Bell was stopped twice in goal-to-go situations. The scouts must have been right. Bell was a sprinter, not a running back. Oh, he might get his garbage-time runs here and there. But trust him when the yards were tough? Or when the game was early and undecided? When the Broncos had the ball inside the opponent's 20 and needed more than three points? Bell's role in those situations figured to be as sideline supporter.

Turnovers no trouble this season" - Denver Post - Bill Williamson
10/19/2005 - For a guy exorcising the biggest problem of his career, Jake Plummer doesn't have a profound explanation for the dramatic drop in mistakes. "We're just playing ball," the Broncos quarterback said. "It's one of those things. You don't think about it a whole lot. You try to keep on playing ball." Denver has not committed a turnover in its past four games and is the midst of a team-record streak. The Broncos have gone 264 minutes, 31 seconds since committing a turnover. Their most recent turnover was Plummer's interception in the third quarter against San Diego on Sept. 18. The Broncos have lost only two fumbles this season.

Ties that bind team begin with prayer - Denver Post - Domonique Foxworth
10/19/2005 - Sunday is a day for religion and Broncos football. Church in the morning and the game in the afternoon has become a Sunday ritual for my parents and thousands of other Broncos fanatics. By noon, the a.m. amens develop into "IN-COM-PLETE" chants for the defense and cheers for another Jake Plummer touchdown pass. While some of the words and behaviors change, the religion doesn't go anywhere for us as players. Even as we take part in one of the most violent aggressive sports in America there remains an element of religion. I could write about how substantial a win over the defending Super Bowl champs is or the tremendous effect our home crowd had on the game against the Patriots on Sunday, but instead I'd like to share something no other columnist has access to.

Broncos work to slim down figure - Rocky Mountain News - Jeff Legwold
October 19, 2005 - Numbers are a funny business. Like some Dali print, people can stare at them from almost any angle and see something. There is the Broncos defense, part of a 5-1 team that sits atop the AFC West, but a below-the-middle-of-the-pack 22nd overall in the league. A defense that's fifth against the run but 26th against the pass. So, add it up, is it good, bad or indifferent? "We need to just play," safety John Lynch said. "Good defenses are about stopping teams from scoring and winning games. The rest of those things take care of themselves. We're not where we want to be by any means, but I like how we're going about things. I like the mentality, and look at some of the ways we've played already." Thin in the defensive line and secondary last season, the Broncos have continued to benefit from their off-season refitting during their five- game winning streak. But they certainly are a study in the numbers.

Thorburn: Keeping focus on football not easy in NFL - Daily Camera - Ryan Thorburn
October 19, 2005 — Covering an NFL team is better than working for a living. There's really nothing to complain about when you compare the job to sitting in a cubicle watching a clock, or working construction on a hot day, or waiting on a customer who just can't be satisfied. The hard part is keeping the focus on football. Let's face it, these guys aren't heroes. If you have a young, inquisitive fan in the house, you're probably well aware of that fact and a little fed up with the league this week.

Maturing Plummer improves Broncos - Mercury News - Charles Bricker
Tue, Oct. 18, 2005 - Jake Plummer's final pass Sunday was an 8-yard completion to Rod Smith for a first down, putting the Denver Broncos in position to take a couple of kneel-downs and exhaust the clock on a 28-20 win over New England. It was also Plummer's 107th consecutive pass without an interception. He's Jake the Snake for the way he slithers free from the rush. He's Jake the Flake for unpredictable behavior off the field. But the bottom line on this Broncos resurgence is that Plummer seems finally, one month shy of his 31st birthday, to be approaching the potential so many saw when he left Arizona State University.

Broncos continue to make noise in AFC - Sports - Dan Di Sciullo
Tue, Oct. 18, 2005 - The balance of power in the American Football Conference appears to be changing. Sure, it's not even November yet, but it would be foolish to ignore the play of the Denver Broncos, who have won five straight games since starting the season with a loss in Miami. Mike Shanahan's club has picked up some nice wins in that stretch, but none was bigger than his team's latest triumph, a 28-20 home win over the two-time defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots. I know what the critics will say, 'This is not the same Patriots' team. They have suffered too many injuries'. And it is true, the Pats have had their share of adversity this year, but that is no reason to rob Denver of the credit it deserves.

Mile high reclamation - - Don Banks
Tuesday October 18, 2005 - They're a mere 37 days removed from their Week 1 meltdown in Miami, but for the Broncos, it probably feels like ancient history. Nothing went right for Denver that toasty afternoon at Pro Player Stadium, as the Dolphins opened the Nick Saban era with a 34-10 demolition of Mike Shanahan's disinterested team. Rarely have I seen a Denver team so thoroughly embarrassed and lacking effort. At least until the playoffs, where the Broncos have endured consecutive first-round humiliations to Indianapolis. But since leaving Miami, the Broncos have steadily rebuilt their self-esteem and reputation, taking the under-the-radar approach to again position themselves among the AFC elite. Has there been a stealthier success story in the NFL this season than the 5-1 Broncos?

Sauerbrun Saluted - Denver - Andrew Mason
Tuesday, October 18, 2005 - Another week, another honor for the Broncos. This time, it's punter Todd Sauerbrun who earns the plaudits, as the league will name him AFC Special Teams Player of the Week for a Sunday performance during which he averaged 52.3 yards on seven punts, posted a net average of 46.9 yards a kick, notched touchbacks on three of five kickoffs and uncorked punts of 62 and 66 yards. He also dropped two punts inside the New England 20, helping offset the two punts by New England's Josh Miller that forced Denver to start inside its own 5-yard-line.

Brutally Efficient - - Andrew Mason
Tuesday, October 18, 2005 - Looking for a key to the Broncos' success over the last month? Look no further than the offense's turnover count -- or the pronounced lack thereof. The Broncos have no turnovers in the last four games -- the longest such streak in history. But what makes it all the more remarkable is that the complete absence of giveaways follows an eight-game stretch of regular-season contests -- which included six games last year -- during which the Broncos suffered 20 turnovers -- an average of 2.5 per game. But the key to the reversal of fortune is not anything remarkable. "We're just playing ball," he said. "It's one of those things. You don't think about it a whole lot; you try to keep on playing ball." Interceptions off Plummer's arm accounted for 13 of the giveaways in the eight games. He has none since and has posted a passer rating of 101.6 in the four games since, throwing five touchdowns in the process. Some of that was due to efficiency, but Plummer admitted that good fortune played a role in the four-game turnover-free run.

Nate Jackson's Journal: American Cars, Chinese Donuts - - Nate Jackson's
Tuesday, October 18, 2005 - It feels good to win football games. It feels even better to beat the New England Patriots. They are proven winners, and it took everything we had to win that game. It was flag day at INVESCO in the first quarter, which set us back a bit, but we kept our composure and went up big at halftime. They surged back, but we held them off. You all know the story. This was a huge game for us. Despite the penalties and despite the Super Bowl Champs, we prevailed.

At NFL 101, Class in Session - - Jennifer Tavlian
Tuesday, October 18, 2005 - Football is the ultimate school of hard knocks, and over 400 women packed INVESCO Field at Mile High on Friday to learn about the sport in NFL 101. ESPN's Andrea Kremer hosted the event that featured offensive and defensive sessions for the women, as well as a Women In Football panel, an equipment demonstration and player autographs during the reception.

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