REPORT CARD VS. RAMS
PASSING OFFENSE: F -- Jake Plummer made poor decisions, throwing three interceptions. Even without those interceptions, the Broncos passing game deserved a failing grade. Denver had only 138 yards passing. Javon Walker, making his Broncos debut, dropped passes on back-to-back plays, including a sure touchdown. The Broncos were bothered by St. Louis' blitzes.
RUSHING OFFENSE: B-minus -- Denver had 161 yards rushing with the tandem of Tatum Bell and Mike Bell sharing carries. That was the impressive part. Not as impressive was Tatum Bell's first quarter fumble and Mike Bell's inability to block Leonard Little -- which led to a fumble by Plummer. The committee worked in Week 1 and the Broncos are likely to continue to share the load.
PASS DEFENSE: B -- Denver did as well as it could, considering the offense kept giving St. Louis a short field. The Broncos kept St. Louis out of the end zone and seemed to confuse Rams quarterback Marc Bulger. Bulger had only 217 yards passing. The only knock on the secondary was they didn't create a turnover.
RUSH DEFENSE: B -- Until Steven Jackson broke a 37-yard run late in the game, the Rams had less than 100 rushing yards. Denver's defense gave up a few long runs because of broken tackles, but overall the performance against Jackson, one of the best backs in the NFL, was commendable.
SPECIAL TEAMS: C -- Denver had one critical special-teams penalty, a roughing the punter call on Patrick Chukwurah in the fourth quarter. Other than that play Denver's special teams were solid. They had no long returns and they didn't give up any long returns. Paul Ernster, filling in for Todd Sauerbrun, had a good day kicking off and punting.
COACHING: D -- The Broncos got away from what they did well last
year, which was establishing the run, getting a lead and letting Jake
Plummer manage the game. Plummer was asked to do too much and he turned in
a terrible performance. Denver also had trouble adjusting to St. Louis'
aggressive defense, which was a cause for the turnovers.
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