9/25/2006 - FOXBORO, Mass. — Good and great defenses typically mesh as the regular season progresses. With each game, players sharpen communication skills and better anticipate what teammates will do. Don't tell that to the Denver Broncos, whose veteran defense has been in playoff form since the opening kickoff. They ran their season-opening streak to 11 quarters without allowing a touchdown before permitting an otherwise insignificant fourth-quarter score in a 17-7 victory against the New England Patriots on Sunday night. "We've always had a Super Bowl-caliber defense," cornerback Champ Bailey said. "It's all about executing and trusting each other." Denver put together the longest stretch without yielding a touchdown to begin a season since the 1942 Chicago Cardinals, according to Elias Sports Bureau.
Plummer puts up - Denver Post - Mike Klis
09/25/2006 - Foxborough, Mass. - Jake Plummer didn't have to roll out, didn't need the shotgun, didn't have to engage in another argument with his head coach. Instead, wonder of wonders, Plummer dropped straight back from New England's 32-yard line. His feet set, the Broncos' beleaguered quarterback lofted a spiral to the far right of the goal line. Running simultaneously to the spot where the ball would fall were Patriots cornerback Ellis Hobbs and Broncos wide receiver Javon Walker. The only way Walker could catch it is if the ball was thrown perfectly. Touchdown, Javon Walker.
He swears: Nasty defense limits Brady - Denver Post - Mark Kiszla
09/25/2006 - Foxborough, Mass. - With a single curse, yelled in frustration and caught by television cameras for the entire nation to witness, New England quarterback Tom Brady put an exclamation point on how wicked tough this Denver defense can be. Pick a fight with these Broncos at your own risk. They will mess you up. "I want this defense to get in people's heads. I want it to mess with their heads. I want them to think: 'We don't stand a chance to score against the Broncos.' I want teams just hoping to get out of here alive," Denver defensive tackle Gerard Warren said Sunday. The Broncos wiped the poise off Brady's handsome face with a 17-7 beat-down so humiliating it caused the NFL's golden boy to scream a word his mother never taught him. Even total domination did not satisfy the Broncos.
Walker feels right at home
- Denver Post - Jim Armstrong
09/25/2006 - Foxborough, Mass. - Now for the story within the story: Javon Walker, he of the two touchdowns and 130 receiving yards, thought he might have a big game at Gillette Stadium on Sunday night, but not in a Broncos uniform. Walker was in the Philadelphia airport on draft day ready to board a flight to Boston for what he assumed would be a news conference to introduce him to the New England media. Just then, some friends called him with word that the deal had fallen through and he had been dealt to the Broncos. "I was sitting at the gate on my way here," Walker said. "I was on the phone talking with Tom Brady. The next thing you know, I get a call from friends. They said 'Hey, man, you've been traded to Denver.'
Tatum feeling "great" about top role - Denver Post - Bill Williamson and Mike Klis
09/25/2006 - Foxborough, Mass. - In the good cheer of a postgame locker room, Rod Smith was disappointed with Tatum Bell, the new go-to Broncos running back. "Tatum, you should have gotten 200 yards," Smith said. "I know," Bell said. Bell had to settle for 123 yards on 27 carries. For the first time in his three-season NFL career, Bell was the primary tailback for Denver. After rotating every series with rookie Mike Bell in the first two games, Tatum Bell was the main running back Sunday night. Mike Bell had 12 yards on four carries in a reserve role. "It feels great," Tatum Bell said. "I've been waiting for this. ... I've worked hard in practice to get this."
Broncos defense keeps shining as New England is swarmed - Rocky Mountain News - Jeff Legwold
09/25/2006 - FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - It just might be time for the Patriots to send someone through the countryside to warn the people of New England. The Broncos are coming, the Broncos are coming. And the Broncos did come to Gillette Stadium on Sunday night, and as they had done in three of their previous four trips into this complex as well as its predecessor - Sullivan/Foxboro Stadium - they left with a win, 17-7, that sent them into the bye week 2-1. "You feel good any time you come out of here with a win against the Patriots," Broncos coach Mike Shanahan said.
Krieger: Plummer bids criticism goodbye for now - Rocky Mountain News - Dave Krieger
September 25, 2006 - FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - Dead and buried after just two weeks, all that remained was for someone to say Jake Plummer's eulogy. Stubbornly, his coach refused, insisting the reports of his death were premature. Both of them were vindicated Sunday night. Plummer rewarded Mike Shanahan's loyalty by outplaying two-time Super Bowl Most Valuable Player Tom Brady and getting the Broncos a road win that restored their prospects after a soporific first two weeks.
Negative turned into positive - Rocky Mountain News - Lee Rasizer
September 25, 2006 - FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - Conservative. Play it safe. Mike Shanahan's style intrinsically isn't playing things close to the vest. It rarely has served as Jake Plummer's modus operandi, either, a gunslinger mentality that, at times during his decade in the NFL, has worked to his detriment but has been successfully dialed down, for the most part, during his tenure as the Broncos quarterback. But dial down the offense was just what Denver did in Week 2, sending a direct message that Shanahan didn't want Plummer to mess things up after a sloppy, five-turnover performance in the season opener at St. Louis. It made for yet another tough week for Plummer, who entered the game 29-of-56 for 311 yards with four interceptions. More questions about his future from the outside.
Walker just out of Patriots' reach, again - Rocky Mountain News - Peter May, The Boston Globe
September 25, 2006 - FOXBOROUGH — We can resist the urge, however strong, to ask the obvious: Why can't the Patriots get players like Javon Walker? (You think they could use him right about now?) The answer is that the Patriots almost did get the talented wide receiver, but, well, almost is not good enough in football. In April, the Patriots were days, hours, maybe even minutes away from getting Walker to Gillette Stadium, at least in the version that Walker related after his two touchdown, 130-yard evening in Denver's 17-7 win over New England last night.
Tatum Bell has big game in new role as team's primary back - Rocky Mountain News - Ken Powers
September 25, 2006 - FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - Tatum Bell finally got his wish. A week after saying the Broncos' running-back-by-committee approach wasn't working for him because it didn't allow him to warm up properly, Denver coach Mike Shanahan decided to make the third-year veteran from Oklahoma State the team's featured back in Sunday night's game against the New England Patriots. The 5-foot-11, 213-pounder made the most of the opportunity, too, rushing for a game-high 123 yards on 27 carries, helping to lead the Broncos past the Patriots 17-7. Bell said Shanahan told him Wednesday the Broncos would cease alternating running backs on a series-by-series basis and that he would be the Broncos' primary back, coming out only when he needed a breather.
Surface at Broncos' game a field of screams - Rocky Mountain News - Jeff Legwold And Lee Rasizer
September 25, 2006 - FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - As the Broncos were packing their bags for Sunday night's game at Gillette Stadium, they took great care in picking out shoes because they knew what would be waiting for them. "I'm pretty sure it's going to be pretty sandy in the middle of the field, so you have the right shoes," quarterback Jake Plummer said. Plummer tried on several pairs before choosing the ones he wanted. Turned out his prediction was right on. The field showed the wear and tear of the past week, having been painted from end zone to end zone between the hash marks. It was the price that was paid for having a Rolling Stones concert and a Major League Soccer game between the New England Revolution and Kansas City Wizards on Saturday night. The grounds crew had extensively watered through the end of the week the end zone where the Rolling Stones stage had been, but there were several dead spots anyway.
Shanahan takes cautious approach with Smith - Rocky Mountain News - Lee Rasizer And Jeff Legwold
September 25, 2006 - FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - There was a Revolution present Sunday night at Gillette Stadium. It wasn't New England's pro soccer team. Broncos receiver Rod Smith, who was sidelined Sept. 17 after experiencing symptoms of a concussion but tested fine in a battery of tests during the week, wore a Riddell helmet designed to reduce the risk of head injuries with that name. "It's designed to supposedly be better. And my thing is I need to play four quarters," said Smith, who all week had been reticent to discuss his health. "So I'll wear anything," he added. "I'll wear some bologna under my helmet if it helps you stay in the game." Smith has had three reported head traumas within the last year. The first came against Kansas City last season. He took a shot from Dallas safety Roy Williams at the Pro Bowl for the second, then experienced similar sensations against the Chiefs, first in the second quarter and then the third.
Veal put Patriots on heels - Rocky Mountain News - Michael Preston
September 25, 2006 - FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - Demetrin Veal had arguably the biggest hand in the Broncos defense holding the explosive New England Patriots rushing attack to a paltry 50 rushing yards. First-round draft pick Laurence Maroney totaled 18 yards and Pro Bowler Corey Dillon 2 fewer as the Broncos shut down the Patriots ground assault Sunday night. Early in the second quarter, as the Patriots went for 1 yard on fourth down while on the edge of field-goal range, Veal combined with Ebenezer Ekuban to drop Maroney for a 1-yard loss. The Broncos held, and the offense drove 59 yards for the game's first three points and a lead they would not relinquish. The Veal stop set the tone for the game's dominant rush defense.
Patriots' score proves a small point of contention
- Rocky Mountain News - Michael Preston
September 25, 2006 - FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - Not since the 1942 Chicago Cardinals has an NFL team held an opponent without a touchdown for 11 quarters to start the season. Put the 2006 Broncos in that class. More than 175 minutes of play and nothing for opposing offenses to show but field goals, until Doug Gabriel grabbed an 8-yard pass from Tom Brady, suggests coach Mike Shanahan's priority of repairing his defense as a platform for success is paying dividends. "I hated it," Champ Bailey admitted about the Patriots touchdown. "I wanted the goose egg, but we worked hard out there and they have good enough players to make plays like that."
Broncos blast Patriots in front of Foxboro faithful 17-7 - USA TODAY - Tom Pedulla
September 25, 2006 - FOXBORO, Mass. — If defense wins championships, it is not too early for the Denver Broncos to start thinking Super Bowl. The Broncos extended their streak without allowing a touchdown to a season-opening 11 quarters before it was finally dented in an impressive 17-7 victory Sunday night against the New England Patriots.
Plummer's job security takes another big hit - Boston Globe - Mike Reiss
September 25, 2006 - FOXBOROUGH -- The NFL's best home team since 2002 delivered a dud last night. Unable to generate a consistent rushing attack, having a field goal blocked for the second straight week, and with their defense twice victimized by the big play, the Patriots dropped a 17-7 decision to the Denver Broncos at Gillette Stadium. "The big thing is that we got outcoached and outplayed," said Patriots coach Bill Belichick. ``They did a better job than we did, that's obvious. We weren't able to take advantage of the few mistakes that they made, and they were able to take advantage of the ones that we made." The Broncos opened a 10-0 lead at halftime, on a Jason Elam 23-yard field goal midway through the second quarter and a 32-yard touchdown catch by Javon Walker just before the break. Walker added an 83-yard touchdown reception early in the fourth quarter to increase the advantage to 17-0.
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