Broncos News Blogs - Monday, Nov. 14

The Denver Broncos opened up a two game lead in the AFC West Division with their 31-17 thrashing of the arch-rival Oakland Raiders. Read what they're saying about the game in today's news reports.

Denver bolts to 23-0 lead at Oakland, controls AFC West race at 7-2 - Denver Post - Mike Klis
11/14/2005 - Oakland, Calif. - With cupped and steady palm, the Broncos are holding the padlock to the AFC West Division title. They have deftly slipped it through the notch, combination dial in front, U-shaped steel stem clicked shut. All the Broncos have to do is twist it a couple of times, just to be safe, and they'll be ready to move on to even bigger challenges. Anybody know who the Indianapolis Colts play next week? By thumping the Oakland Raiders 31-17 on Sunday at McAfee Coliseum before a sold-out contradiction of face paint and depression, the Broncos not only flattened their arch enemies into patsies, but took a commanding two- game lead in the AFC West with just seven games remaining.

Going their separate ways - Denver Post - Bill Williamson
11/14/2005 - Oakland, Calif. - They came into the day enjoying a dual renaissance from the world of quarterbacking mistakes. The Broncos' Jake Plummer and the Raiders' Kerry Collins: The names were repeated together often in the seven days of "Raider Week." The two had similar reputations coming into this NFL season, Collins' 11th and Plummer's ninth. Both 30-something quarterbacks worked on the same issues in the offseason after each threw 20 interceptions last season to tie for most in the league. They both conquered those miscue demons during the first half of this season.

Raiders squander chances to contend - Denver Post - Jerry McDonald, Oakland Tribune
11/14/2005 - Oakland, Calif. - Another day, another debacle in the AFC West. The pain and frustration the Oakland Raiders felt in a 31-17 loss to the Broncos on Sunday at McAfee Coliseum had a familiar feel. Three-time AFC West champions from 2000 through 2003, the Raiders have become the division doormats, with the Broncos becoming the latest team to wipe their shoes before stepping through an open door. Raiders linebacker Kirk Morrison may only be a rookie, but he understands how it works.

Rotation plan proves popular again - Denver Post - Mike Klis and Bill Williamson
11/14/2005 - Oakland, Calif. - The best play of this Broncos' season has not been the Jake Plummer slant to Rod Smith or pitch to Tatum Bell or a Champ Bailey interception. It's been the rotation. Everybody knows about the Broncos' rotating tailbacks. The tailback position, however, is not the only position subject to the rotation system. At right tackle, Cornell Green rotated with George Foster for a second consecutive game.

At last, Lelie gets vertical - Denver Post - Jim Armstrong
11/14/2005 - Oakland, Calif. - ThIt took awhile, but Ashley Lelie has regained his home run stroke. Lelie, who didn't snag a pass longer than 16 yards in the Broncos' first five games, had catches of 37 and 41 yards in Sunday's victory over the Raiders. In his previous three games, he had catches of 55 and 37. "I knew they were going to come," Lelie said. "I don't think our confidence is any different. It's just that now we're making those

This rookie playing like real champ - Denver Post - Mark Kiszla
11/14/2005 - Oakland, Calif. - The body of Broncos star Champ Bailey is a bruise wrapped in raw nerves and held together by broken parts. The truth hurts worse. This might be the bravest year of Bailey's football career. But it's definitely not his best. While history will show Bailey made the interception that saved this team's season way back in September, if there's any justice, the Denver cornerback who makes the Pro Bowl will be rookie Darrent Williams.

Hit command key - Rocky Mountain News - Jeff Legwold
November 14, 2005 - OAKLAND, Calif. - The Denver Broncos might be on the road to something special, but they say they don't care where they are going, only where they have been. After a 31-17 victory Sunday against the Oakland Raiders at McAfee Coliseum, the Broncos improved to 7-2 and increased their lead in the AFC West back to two games over the Kansas City Chiefs and San Diego Chargers. "But you don't jump ahead," running back Mike Anderson said. "You don't look too far forward, you just don't do that."

Elam, Williams help deliver some special effects - Rocky Mountain News - Tim Casey
November 14, 2005 - OAKLAND, Calif. - For all of the Denver Broncos' success this season, two areas of special teams had stood out as relative weaknesses: field-goal accuracy and kick-return yardage. They improved in both areas Sunday, a major reason they scored the first 23 points and beat the Oakland Raiders 31-17. Jason Elam converted all three of his field-goals attempt. And Darrent Williams' 52-yard punt return late in the first quarter led to the first touchdown of the game. Elam became the player in NFL history to surpass 1,500 points the fastest, needing only 197 games to achieve the feat and smashing Nick Lowery's mark of 220 games. But Elam downplayed the record.

Lincicome: These Broncos could be on to something - Rocky Mountain News - Bernie Lincicome
November 12, 2005 - OAKLAND, Calif. - "It is what it is," said Kerry Collins, the Raiders quarterback. "Thank God for Kerry Collins," said Trevor Pryce, the Broncos defensive end. I am not quite sure how this translates into Navajo or even if it makes any more sense. This was the day that the Raiders chose to broadcast their game against the Broncos in Navajo, as if American Indians have not suffered enough. It could have been broadcast in Urdu or Latin or penguin and the score would still be the same, 31-17, and it would be what it is, the Raiders the stuff scraped off the bottom of Broncos shoes, the Broncos so far out in front of the division that they are no longer a local call, and, yes, Collins now what Jake Plummer used to be, a bum in any language.

Broncos pick off rival Raiders - Daily Camera- Ryan Thorburn
November 14, 2005 - OAKLAND — Take that! Those two words echoed in the tunnel underneath McAfee Coliseum after Sunday's game as the Broncos made their way from the field to a cramped but celebratory visitors' locker room. "That" being Denver's 31-17 victory over Oakland. "Kansas City lost, right?" Al Wilson said after the Broncos improved to 7-2 with an impressive win to open up the second half of the schedule. They did. Which means the Chiefs (5-4) and idle San Diego Chargers (5-4) are two games behind Denver in the AFC West with seven to play.

Denver finally unleashes sack attack - Daily Camera- Ryan Thorburn
November 14, 2005 - OAKLAND — The Cleveland Four rocked. Denver entered Sunday's game at McAfee Coliseum with only 10 sacks, the fewest in the league, but that all changed as the Broncos revamped defensive line brought Oakland quarterback Kerry Collins down four times behind the line of scrimmage to spark a 31-17 victory over the Raiders. "Our front four took over," defensive coordinator Larry Coyer said. "It was their best game. ... They got after it. They stepped her up, thank goodness. They were the difference in the game."

'Injured' Bailey boosts solid effort by secondary - Daily Camera- Ryan Thorburn
November 14, 2005 - OAKLAND — Champ Bailey is playing hurt. Or is he playing possum? Denver's Pro Bowl cornerback, who dislocated a shoulder in the opener at Miami and limped into the bye week with a strained hamstring, started Sunday's game against Oakland at McAfee Coliseum. Despite Bailey's reputation as one of the NFL's top "shutdown" cornerbacks, Kerry Collins went at him early and often. "That's the nature of the game," Bailey said. "I'm not surprised ... let them come."

Thorburn: Even 'Snake' acknowledges lucky breaks - Daily Camera- Ryan Thorburn
November 14, 2005 - OAKLAND — Somebody has tackled the football gods for a loss. Pat Tillman, perhaps? After eight years of demoralizing interceptions and late-season defeats, the statistical sun is finally shining on the Snake. Make that seven consecutive games and 193 consecutive passes without a pick for Mr. Plummer. Yes, Jake Plummer. It was only a matter of time before Plummer or Kerry Collins — who both entered Sunday's Denver-Oakland game with 12 touchdown passes and only three interceptions — imploded. After the Broncos' 31-17 victory over the Raiders on Sunday at McAfee Stadium, it's obvious which of the two quarterbacks was living right during a bye week. "There's somebody looking out for me," Plummer said. "Something's going on."

Jake is no longer snake in the grass for Broncos - San Diego Union Tribune - Jim Trotter
November 14, 2005 - OAKLAND – Jake Plummer was supposed to be the answer when the Denver Broncos signed him to a potential $40.7 million free-agent contract before the 2003 season. Strong-armed, athletic and mobile, he was supposed to partially fill the void created by John Elway's retirement. But instead of answers, the Broncos repeatedly were faced with questions – one question, really. It went something like this: Why does Plummer keep throwing interceptions? He threw just seven in his first season with the Broncos, but nearly tripled that total, to 20, last year. Along the way, Broncos coach Mike Shanahan kept stressing the importance of ball security. But somewhere between Shanahan's mouth and Plummer's ears, the message was lost.

The Power of the Big Play - Denver - Andrew Mason
Monday, November 14, 2005 - OAKLAND -- Every smile has a backstory. Some just go deeper than others. As Darrent Williams crossed the goal line with the game-clinching touchdown midway through the fourth quarter Sunday, he flashed a grin worthy of a wide-angle lens. But to say that it was merely the product of his 80-yard jaunt with an intercepted pass would be simplistic. Was it a byproduct of the fact that he -- like Champ Bailey and Domonique Foxworth before him -- had made the play that turned a rising tide of opposing momentum back in the Broncos favor? Or was it that the runback sealed a resounding win in the lair of an arch-rival, one that allowed his team to forge a two-game lead in the division while keeping on pace for a playoff bye week? It could have been both.

Broncos-Raiders Notebook - - Andrew Mason
Sunday, November 13, 2005 - OAKLAND -- Denver's defensive linemen know there's more to successful play at their position than just sacks. But after the Broncos defense accounted for just 10 sacks in the first eight games, they couldn't help but admit it. They wanted sacks, and plenty more than they had prior to the bye week. "Every guy would love to have that big sack," defensive tackle Gerard Warren said on Wednesday. "That rings up notoriety and dollar signs." Mission accomplished.

All Quiet on the Western Coast - - J. Michael Moore
Sunday, November 13, 2005 - OAKLAND -- It may have been policy or a way to save energy in power-hungry California, but there was still something fitting about the way the lights were cut just a few seconds after Denver secured a 31-17 victory over the Raiders at McAfee Coliseum. Both teams were still on the field as the artificial light disappeared and the field was flooded with the soft hues of a West Coast sunset. It was fitting because the Broncos had been taking power out of the storied fans at "The Black Hole" all day.

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