12/9/2005 — Denver Broncos quarterback Jake Plummer, with a scraggly beard and hair he has to brush from his eyes, looks the part of a man leading a quest for the promised land. Through several games this season, the 6-2, 212-pound Bronco has played it well. Not since John Elway retired after shepherding the Broncos to consecutive Super Bowl victories have the reviews about a Denver quarterback been so rave.
Middle class in 2005 MIA - Denver Post - Mike Klis
12/09/2005 - Having just struggled up from the turf, parity stands with its head bowed, shoulders slumped, jersey tattered. Once the proud paragon of the NFL, parity today more closely symbolizes a tackling dummy that just took the full brunt of an Al Wilson pad slam. "For all intents and purposes, we don't have a middle class," NFL commentator and former quarterback Joe Theismann said. "This year is the haves and have-nots." Entering their game against the visiting Baltimore Ravens on Sunday, the Broncos (9-3) are among 11 teams 8-4 or better. Compare that to last season, when only six teams had reached that mark.
NFL opts not to fine Lynch for Kennison hit - Denver Post - Bill Williamson
12/09/2005 - Upon further review, John Lynch apparently wasn't overly vicious Sunday. The NFL did not fine Lynch for a hit on Kansas City receiver Eddie Kennison, a league spokesman said Thursday. The play was reviewed by the league, which determined a fine wasn't warranted. Lynch was penalized for a helmet-to-helmet hit on an incomplete pass that would have made it third-and-7 from the Denver 9-yard line. The penalty gave the Chiefs a first down at the 4, and Larry Johnson scored on the next play as the Chiefs took a 31-27 lead with 9:58 to go. Neither team scored again. Replays appeared to show Lynch led with his shoulder, not his helmet. On Monday, Denver coach Mike Shanahan showed reporters a freeze-framed angle of Lynch leading with his shoulder.
Seven-year itch painful for Billick - Rocky Mountain News - Jeff Legwold
December 9, 2005 - As he sits with a 4-8 team limping to the finish in a season littered with injuries and lost games, Baltimore Ravens coach Brian Billick refers to "the drawer." That's the place where the vocational pain and suffering felt in a franchise's fall is made softer by what once happened on the climb. The place where his Super Bowl ring sits. "I have to go back and pull that out of the drawer to remind myself I'm not the village idiot a little bit more than I have in years past . . . it's all about cycling," Billick said. "When you're in Year 7 (with the same team) and if you're lucky enough to last to a Year 7, then chances are that you've been good enough to hold on to that job, but at some point, you're going to go through that dip." Ah, the dip.
No mail means Lynch doesn't have to shoulder another fine - Rocky Mountain News - Lee Rasizer
December 9, 2005 - Relax, it isn't FedEx. Denver Broncos safety John Lynch came to work Thursday to a locker devoid of overnight mail, which meant he hadn't been fined by the NFL for a helmet-to-helmet hit during Sunday's game, nor for his ensuing unsportsmanlike-conduct foul. "I think I was due," said Lynch, who had been fined five times since the 2001 season for unnecessary roughness calls. "And it gives you some faith in the process that they look at the specifics of each situation." Lynch's hit on Eddie Kennison of the Kansas City Chiefs was controversial nearly from the start, when it appeared the defender's shoulder, not his face mask, struck the receiver.
Legwold: Top teams rushing to get ahead - Rocky Mountain News - Jeff Legwold
December 9, 2005 - It still is the Year of the Bulldozer in the NFL; at least, it is with four weeks remaining in the regular season. You've heard the news at this point. Or you felt your nostrils freeze at the bus stop. It's cold around much of the league, the holidays are drawing near and soon the only teams that will be playing are the 12 that fight their way to the top of the playoff pile. And it's the teams with the runners who will do just that. The offenses that pound away the best will have playoff tickets to sell, even though most of the folks who pay for those seats would rather see a 300-yard passing game. Such a game is a nice tidy example of aerial work by a quarterback, usually the benchmark of production.
Ravens come to Denver with big hole in defense - Daily Camera - Ryan Thorburn
December 9, 2005 — The Baltimore Ravens placed the best player on their roster — Ray Lewis — on the injured reserve list Thursday. The two-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year and seven-time Pro Bowl selection had surgery to repair a hamstring torn during a game on Oct. 23 at Chicago when Lewis was playing his heart out to show the league that at 30 he was still a step ahead of Brian Urlacher in the race for world's best middle linebacker. Denver head coach Mike Shanahan tried to give the rest of Baltimore's talented defense some credit when asked about not having to prepare for Lewis this week. The Broncos (9-3) host the Ravens (4-8) on Sunday at Invesco Field.
Runners at the Ready - DenverBroncos.com - Andrew Mason
Friday, December 9, 2005 - Is three running backs too many? In Ron Dayne's eyes, it was last weekend -- but only because the end result of the Broncos' tripartite running attack at Kansas City five days ago didn't result in victory. "It didn't work (because) we lost," Dayne said. "We'll just have to see how it works, keep working on it and hopefully get better with it." But circumstance partially dictated the decision to rotate Dayne, starter Mike Anderson and second-teamer Tatum Bell into the lineup Sunday. Bell led in yardage (46 on five carries), Anderson led in rushes (13 for 37 yards) while Dayne was in the middle of the workload division (eight carries for 26 yards). The circumstance at hand? The recovery of Bell from a chest injury that sidelined him in Week 12 at Dallas.
Jake Plummer Answers Your Questions - DenverBroncos.com
Friday, December 9, 2005 - The Broncos can thank many participants for their 9-3 record so far this season. Quarterback Jake Plummer should be at the top of that list. Plummer has 15 touchdowns and 6 interceptions this season. He combined his 309 yards passing with Mike Anderson's 126 yards and Tatum Bell's 107 yards against Philadelphia to become the first team in NFL history to have two 100-yard rushers and a 300-yard passer in the same game. He directed the offense to its highest point output (49) against a NFC foe (one point shy of the franchise record) and the second-most total yards (564) (most yards in a Denver victory). By completing 22-of-35 for 309 yards and four touchdowns, he tied his career high and tied Peyton Manning for the conference's top performance for a single game and did so without an interception. He had a seven-game stretch where he did not throw an interception.
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