Denver Broncos Hot Topics - Monday, Nov. 14

Denver Broncos quarterback Jake Plummer has gone almost an entire half-season without an interception. Plummer hasn't thrown an interception for 29 consecutive quarters, a streak he continued with an interception-free game against Oakland on Sunday. Plummer has thrown 193 straight passes without an interception. Read more about Plummer and other "Hot Topics" about the Broncos.

DENVER BRONCOS

HOT TOPIC

Quarterback Jake Plummer has gone almost an entire half-season without an interception.

Plummer hasn't thrown an interception for 29 consecutive quarters, a streak he continued with an interception-free game against Oakland on Sunday. Plummer has thrown 193 straight passes without an interception.

Before this season, Plummer was best known for his poor decisions. He had 141 interceptions and 132 touchdowns in his career through 2004, but he has 13 touchdowns and three interceptions this season.

"When you're throwing a no-hitter, you don't sit up there and talk about all the good pitches you're throwing," Plummer said.

Plummer did catch a break on Sunday. He threw a fourth-quarter pass to Rod Smith and never saw Raiders linebacker Kirk Morrison. The pass was right to Morrison and might have gone the other way for a touchdown, but Morrison dropped the ball.

Plummer has had a few fortunate plays during his streak. He has had tipped passes fall harmlessly to the ground, and other times players have dropped interceptions, like Morrison's goof on Sunday.

"There's somebody looking out or something going on, some football love or something like that," Plummer said. "That ball was in No. 52's hands and could have gone the other way, and it fell to the ground. There have been a lot of balls tipped up during my time in the league that have sat up there and hovered like a spaceship and guys intercepted them."

REPLAY

Denver built a 23-0 lead through three quarters, withstood a rally by Oakland in the fourth quarter, and Darrent Williams' 80-yard interception return iced a 31-17 win over the Raiders.

Denver's defense had four sacks and pressured Kerry Collins into three interceptions. The Broncos turned the ball over in their own territory twice in the fourth quarter, but the defense held. Oakland settled for a field goal after Denver's first turnover, and Williams' interception came after the Broncos' second turnover.

Jake Plummer threw for 205 yards, the Broncos rushed for 121 yards, and Jason Elam hit three field goals. Rod Smith and Mike Anderson scored Denver's offensive touchdowns.

PLAYER NOTES --CB Champ Bailey didn't have any problems with his injured left hamstring against Oakland. He was kept on the left side of the field instead of being matched up against Randy Moss or Jerry Porter.

--RB Tatum Bell had a costly fumble in the fourth quarter against Oakland. Bell has had troubles with fumbles before but has been pretty secure with the ball for most of the season.

--CB Darrent Williams had an 80-yard interception return for a touchdown, and his 52-yard punt return set up a touchdown against Oakland. That big-play ability was a reason Denver drafted Williams in the second round of April's draft.

--WR Ashley Lelie had a couple of long catches against Oakland. He didn't get many catches early in the season but has had four solid games in a row.

--K Jason Elam hit all three of his field-goal attempts against Oakland. Elam slumped in the first half of the season but should rebound to have a good second half.

AROUND THE LEAGUE:
The Buccaneers believe Chris Simms took a big step in Sunday's 36-35 win over the Redskins.

Simms passed for 279 yards and three touchdowns, including a perfectly lofted 30-yarder to Edell Shepherd to set up the wild finish. Once again, Simms' favorite target was Galloway, who finished with seven catches for 131 yards and a touchdown. Simms' TD to Ike Hilliard tied the game at 28 late in the third quarter before the Redskins took the lead on an 8-yard run by Clinton Portis with 8:19 remaining in the game.

"Those are games that you dream about as a quarterback," coach Jon Gruden said of Simms, the son of Giants Super Bowl quarterback Phil Simms. "His dad won many games like that, bringing those Giants from behind, and this is a great start for Chris Simms.

"It's good to know as a football player, if we get the ball back to our quarterback, he can do something with it. He made a great statement in front of a lot of people."

Simms finished with a passer rating of 119.8 against the Redskins and did not commit a turnover for the first time in a game he has started.

"I think each week I've been out there, I've felt more and more comfortable," Simms said. "I felt good ... against Carolina. I made the one mistake and it cost us the game. So I just want to continue to get better each week and limit the mistakes, and I knew we could come out with a victory if I could just hold up my end."

Bucs players said Simms' performance Sunday instilled confidence in his teammates.

"It's never been a question of talent," tight end Dave Moore said. "He's got a great arm, he's got great feet. He's just got to get in there, get comfortable, make the right reads and make decisions. It's nice to see him do it. For a young guy, it's 90 percent confidence and not second-guessing yourself for that split second. He did that tonight, and hopefully he'll be able to grow on it."



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