Broncos News Blogs - Tuesday, Oct. 25

The Denver Broncos are searching for answers about their failure to put away games where they've enjoyed a comfortable lead. Read about it in today's news reports.

Broncos must start to finish - Denver Post - Mike Klis
10/25/2005 - To begin a new week, the Broncos concentrated on the finish. They gathered Monday at their Dove Valley headquarters for a film session on their most recent game against the New York Giants. Unlike the movies at the theatres, half the flicks shown in NFL film rooms have unhappy endings. "It was rough," Broncos fullback Kyle Johnson said.

Plummer needs to go it alone" - Denver Post - Thomas George
10/25/2005 - What happened to the Broncos on Sunday has happened enough to the New York Giants in recent seasons, those funky games where late leads turn into shocking, lousy losses. In 2003 it happened twice to the Giants over two seasons. They lost a January playoff game 39-38 at San Francisco that they led 38-14 in the third quarter. In September, they lost a Monday night overtime game 35-32 at home against Dallas that they led in regulation with only a few seconds left and then booted a kickoff out of bounds, allowed a big pass play and a tying field goal before being dumped in the extra period. Thus, the Giants, after scoring the game's last 14 points and the winning ones with five seconds left against Denver, are unusually qualified to counsel the Broncos on how to get a grip when you have lost it.

Manning passes lesson to Broncos - Denver Post - Jim Armstrong
10/25/2005 - As the Broncos have shown us in recent seasons, it's one thing to make plays between the 20s. The trick is to make them near the goal line. When you think about Denver's never-ending red-zone issues, it makes you appreciate Eli Manning's game-winning touchdown pass even more. Said Gerard Warren, after Sunday's gut-wrenching loss: "He's maturing. I'll give him credit for that. That's a big-time play he made at the end of the game."

Elam has Shanahan's full support - Denver Post - Bill Williamson
10/25/2005 - If there are any grumblings about Jason Elam's reliability, they are coming from outside the Broncos' organization. A day after the longtime Denver star missed a field-goal attempt of 49 yards in the fourth quarter of an eventual 24-23 loss to the New York Giants at the Meadowlands, his coach was wondering more about a strange turn by the football than Elam's performance. With the Broncos leading the Giants 23-17, Elam - who made field goals of 49, 42 and 27 yards earlier in the game - attempted the 49-yarder with 5:24 remaining. The ball appeared to be headed through the uprights to give Denver a two-score edge, but it suddenly hooked to the right. Elam's kicks often hook to the left.

It's forward march after Broncos' crushing loss - Rocky Mountain News - Lee Rasizer
October 25, 2005 - It's easy to say but hard to do. The go-to answer in the aftermath of the last-second loss the Denver Broncos endured Sunday in the swamps of New Jersey was the game, tough as it might have been, was behind them, and it was time to peer ahead to the next challenge on the schedule. The instant analysis probably is only partially on target. "It's the truth, but until you get another loss, you're always going to remember that. It never stops," linebacker Keith Burns said.

Watts has not yet begun to shine - Rocky Mountain News - Jeff Legwold
October 25, 2005 - In mid-August, when the Denver Broncos moved Darius Watts down the depth chart to let the now-retired Jerry Rice work as the No. 3 receiver, coach Mike Shanahan said, "I think we're just looking for the consistency." Seven games into the season, the Broncos still are looking - and hoping - for it. Watts, a second-round pick in the 2004 draft, was a game-day inactive for the first time in his career Sunday. And Monday, Shanahan said it mostly was because of Todd Devoe's work on special teams.

Broncos mix things up going with three tight ends - Rocky Mountain News - Jeff Legwold
October 25, 2005 - The Broncos had the unenviable task Sunday of facing a Giants defense that likes to control things with its defensive ends, particularly six-time Pro Bowl selection Michael Strahan, who usually lines up in the power slot on the defensive left. That means Strahan, who set the NFL's single-season sack record with 22 1/2 in 2001 and led the NFL with 18 1/2 in 2003, usually is across from the offensive right tackle and a tight end.

Krieger: Broncos can't count on numbers game - Rocky Mountain News - Dave Krieger
October 25, 2005 - Numbers don't always tell the story in football, but often they will point you in the right direction. For the Broncos, the most important numbers are 5 and 2, which are pretty good. But if you're trying to figure out whether they are the juggernaut they looked like 48 hours ago or the tease they turned into a few hours later, you might want to look at some others. For example, that problem finishing off the season they've had the past couple of years? It applies to games, too. Starting strong and tailing off is something of a habit. Through seven weeks this season, they are winning the first quarter 33-20; dominating the second quarter 55-26; winning the third quarter 35-17. They are losing the fourth quarter 68-29.

Legwold: Broncos do not want to repeat history - Rocky Mountain News - Jeff Legwold
October 25, 2005 - History is stubborn. It just doesn't budge. No matter how much you sneer at it, mock it or even try to shove it aside.It just sits there, waiting. And sometimes OK, more than sometimes people dredge it up. It is just sitting there after all. The Broncos are 5-2 this morning. They were 5-2 at this point last season, and they were 5-2 at this point in 2003. That is history. And the previous two trips down this path ended at 10-6, with not-so-rewarding postseason trips into Indianapolis to finish off things. The Broncos have heard of this history, roughly every 4.9 minutes or so. And this is part of their dilemma.

Lack of sacks becomes sore subject for Broncos - Daily Camera - Ryan Thorburn
October 25, 2005 — Mike Shanahan says the film doesn't lie. And he watched it twice to make sure. Denver's head coach is not concerned about the fact that his revamped defense has not registered a sack in its last three games, including the Broncos' 24-23 loss to the New York Giants on Sunday. "If you really studied the film you'd feel pretty good about our rush," Shanahan explained Monday. "Obviously, you'd want more sacks. If you studied our guys and how hard they're working, those sacks will come." Perhaps the film suggests as much. But what about the math?

Elam won't be getting boot anytime soon - Daily Camera - Ryan Thorburn
October 25, 2005 — Place-kickers historically have to buy a ticket to get into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, but at the end of his career Jason Elam's name will at least be in the discussion for enshrinement consideration. Since entering the NFL in 1993, the three-time Pro Bowl selection leads the league in points scored and field goals made. He shares the record for longest field goal (63 yards) and owns the longest streak for consecutive extra points made (371 in a row from 1993-2002). But Elam's fourth-quarter miss of a 49-yard attempt at the Meadowlands had some Bronco fans second-guessing his status as a reliable kicker on the talk-radio circuit Monday.

For Elam, An Unfamiliar Place - Denver - Andrew Mason
Tuesday, October 25, 2005 - As Jason Elam spoke Sunday evening, he did so in a spot utterly unfamiliar to him -- and not just because he was standing in the bowels of Giants Stadium, where he had not kicked in three years until the Broncos' 24-23 loss to the New York Giants. Rather, the unfamiliarity came from the statistics that sit beside his name through seven games this season -- an 11-for-17 success ratio on field-goal attempts. Elam remains on his customary 100-point pace; he's never failed to hit the century mark in scoring, and his 11-point day Sunday gave him 50 on season, placing him on track for 114 points, which would extend his streak of 100-point seasons to 13. But with six misses -- including the 49-yard try that sailed just wide right in the fourth quarter Sunday -- the veteran standout has more misses through seven games (six) than he did in each of the previous two full seasons (four in 2003, five in 2004). The fact that Elam is a perfect 5-of-5 from inside 40 yards so far this year provides little solace.

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