11/28/2005 - At least the Broncos took care of their own holiday business. But they didn't get any help on the final day of a short break heading into the season's crucial final five-game stretch. With an opportunity Sunday to put a major lock on their first AFC West title since 1998, the Broncos saw their division lead stay stuck at two games. All the AFC playoff contenders playing Sunday won as well. Thus Denver, which improved to 9-2 (its best record after 11 games since '98) with a 24-21 overtime win at Dallas on Thanksgiving Day, enters its game at Kansas City on Sunday leading both the Chiefs and San Diego by two games. Kansas City controlled visiting New England on Sunday, and the Chargers were unlikely overtime winners in Washington.
Broncos' backs on go without ego - Denver Post - Jim Armstrong
11/27/2005 - So who was jumping the highest on the Broncos' sideline as Ron Dayne broke free for his game-deciding 55-yard run at Dallas? "I might have been," Mike Anderson said. So much for that running back controversy at Dove Valley. They're an amazing bunch, the Broncos' running backs. They can't check their egos at the door because they don't have any egos. If, despite your better judgment, you've followed the saga of Terrell Owens, you know how rare that is in today's sports world.
Broncos' backs on go without ego - Denver Post - Mike Klis
11/27/2005 - The Broncos have been through these controversies before. Elway or Kubiak. Griese or Brister. Foley or Lilly. Kay or Sharpe. What coach Mike Shanahan might have now is a good, old running back controversy. The phone lines are open, talk-show listeners. Is Ron Dayne supposed to disappear again? He did the last time he was a one-game hero. Buried his previous two seasons with the New York Giants, inactive for the Broncos' season opener in Miami, Dayne got his chance in this season's second game. With the game tied, Dayne rushed for 39 yards on the final drive to set up a game-winning field goal in a 20-17 victory against the San Diego Chargers.
Broncos' run game is Bob and weave - Rocky Mountain News - Lee Rasizer
November 28, 2005 - They are five fingers working in unison. At least that's what Bobby Turner tells his group of running backs that are in uniform for the Denver Broncos. And if that analogy is true, Turner should be viewed as the wedding band adorning the hand. Committed. Constant. Solid. Turner's the ringleader, at minimum. The assistant has been around for every one of the NFL-best 24,305 yards churned out by the Broncos running game in the regular season during the past 11 seasons. There have been nine 1,000-yard individual seasons, and there could be one, and an outside chance at two, more this season. Most of the credit is given to the Broncos system, but it has been Turner who has coached the athletes who have thrived in that zone-blocking scheme. And there have been no Xerox copies in that regard.
Broncos shine in finishing school - Rocky Mountain News - Jeff Legwold
November 26, 2005 - In the din of the Denver Broncos locker room at Texas Stadium, a television tucked in one of the upper corners remained on before coach Mike Shanahan spoke with the team. And when Ron Dayne popped up on the screen, headset on, greeting football America, it was, well, "crazy." "Everybody went crazy right there," Broncos running back Mike Anderson said. "Everybody's happy to see Ron do that. But that's how this team is. Nobody really worries about who's playing or whatever. You worry about doing your part. It's bigger than us.
Legwold:Broncos are embracing their continuing rise to the top - Rocky Mountain News - Jeff Legwold
November 26, 2005 - The picture Thursday night was worth however many words the Broncos needed. Deep in the heart of Texas Stadium, down where the tractor-trailers park, there was a hug. A small one, but a hug nonetheless, between a couple of football guys who want another opportunity. When coach Mike Shanahan, in the aftermath of a slug-it-out road victory against the Dallas Cowboys, let down his guard long enough in the public eye to hug Ron Dayne, it said some things. It said Shanahan wants another shot at big trophies. It's a given with him, but he has worn it on his sleeve some with this team. But he wants another opportunity to play for the NFL's big prize. To go into "someone else's backyard," as he calls it, with a team that can get on the bus with enough to win. Especially because he has been booted out of the Colts' backyard in each of the previous two postseasons.
With 2-game lead in hand, Broncos return to work - Daily Camera - Ryan Thorburn
November 28, 2005 — Some breathing room. That's what Denver's 24-21 overtime victory at Dallas gave the Broncos entering the weekend. And after Sunday's results — Kansas City beat New England 26-16 at home and San Diego beat Washington 23-17 on the road — it turns out that Mike Shanahan's squad needed it. Had the Broncos (9-2) lost Thursday's game, which basically came down to John Lynch's call of tails on the coin flip for possession of the football in the extra session, then the Chiefs (7-4) would have had a chance to pull even with them in the AFC West with a head-to-head win at Arrowhead Stadium six days from now. Instead, the Broncos can lose in Kansas City, which they usually do in December, and still have a one-game lead in the division with four games to play. The Chargers (7-4) must continue winning to make their Dec. 31 home game against Denver meaningful.
Shanahan's gambles pay off - Daily Camera - Ryan Thorburn
November 27, 2005 — Rod Smith wants nothing to do with the Oakland Raiders or their image, but the veteran receiver did describe his Broncos this way on Thanksgiving: "We're a bunch of outcasts," Smith, one of the greatest undrafted players of all time, said after Denver's impressive 24-21 overtime win at Dallas. After back-to-back 10-6 seasons that ended with humbling playoff losses at Indianapolis, Mike Shanahan gambled on several players with bad reputations during the offseason. With the exception of draft pick Maurice Clarett, most of the moves have paid off big as the 9-2 Broncos watch today's NFL games with their feet up and a 21/2 game lead over San Diego (6-4) and Kansas City (6-4) in the AFC West.
A Giant bust makes his mark with Broncos - Mercury News - Charles Bricker, South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Sat, Nov. 26, 2005 - For five years, he was the Dayne Curse of the New York Giants, a first-round albatross hanging from the club's neck. And then, on Thanksgiving Day, former Heisman Trophy winner Ron Dayne, looking positively svelte at 245 pounds, produced the biggest run and the best performance of his lamentably lousy NFL career. For one afternoon, the quiet man who was the 11th pick of the 2000 draft ran for 98 yards, the last 55 setting up a winning field goal in overtime against the Dallas Cowboys and sent the still undervalued Denver Broncos soaring to a 9-2 record.
Broncos measuring up - Longmont Daily Times-Call - Pat Graham
11/26/2005 — So close to the biggest win since the Barry Switzer Super Bowl era. At least that's what the Dallas Morning News said in Friday morning's edition. The Dallas Cowboys used the Denver Broncos as a measuring stick, and coach Bill Parcells liked what he saw. "I am disappointed with the outcome, but I am not disappointed with the effort," Parcells said after the Broncos' 24-21 overtime win on Thanksgiving Day. "We played real hard; I expect this the rest of the way." There's the proof you need right there: Denver (9-2) is a pretty good football club. When a future Hall of Fame coach like Parcells uses you as a gauge, you're doing something right. When the local newspaper says a near-win over you is as good as its gets in the last decade, you're on the right track. Despite not playing their best ball, the Broncos found a way to escape Texas Stadium with a much-needed win. Denver is in the midst of a harrowing two-game road stretch. The Broncos won the front end, and now it's off to Kansas City next Sunday, where they win about as often as John Grisham writes a novel that fails to make the best-seller list.
A Little Bit of Luck - Denver Broncos.com - Andrew Mason
Monday, November 28, 2005 - A placekicker who'd made a 56-yard field goal four days earlier sent a 34-yarder wide left. An overtime coin toss came up tails -- exactly as it did to open the game over three hours earlier. The good fortune that had been abandoned the Broncos at similar key moments in the previous three seasons became their best friend last Thursday during their 24-21 overtime win over the Dallas Cowboys. "It really is all luck at the end of the day," defensive end Trevor Pryce said. On Thursday, Pryce and Head Coach Mike Shanahan were pleased to be -- finally -- on the right side. "Maybe it's -- you feel very lucky when that does happen," said Shanahan, describing the fortuitousness of Billy Cundiff's miss from 34 yards out. "It seems like it doesn't happen very often, so we'll take it." Then, of course, came the coin toss before overtime.
Kyle Johnson Answers Your Questions - Denver Broncos.com
Saturday, November 26, 2005 - Kyle Johnson, a third-year fullback, became the Broncos' primary lead blocker in 2004 when Reuben Droughns shifted from that position to running back in Week 5. He's also become the Broncos' slightly less-skilled Fred Astaire, but with all the heart of the legendary dancer when he does a victory jig in the endzone. Johnson was waived by Carolina at the end of his first training camp in 2002 and spent time on the practice squads of the N.Y. Giants and Detroit before signing with the Broncos in December 2002. He returns to the field this year after a right ankle injury forced him to miss Denver's final two regular-season games in 2004 and its AFC Wild Card contest.
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