Denver Broncos Hot Topics - Monday, Sept. 25

The Denver Broncos, usually so explosive on offense, have turned into a modern-day Orange Crush. Their defense is carrying the team right now.

Denver's defense had a record-setting day in a 17-7 win at New England. The Broncos became the first team since the 1942 Chicago Cardinals to start a season not allowing a touchdown for 11 straight quarters.

"It's quite an accomplishment to (the players)," defensive coordinator Larry Coyer said. "They should be especially proud of that."

Denver's defense made the Patriots one dimensional. The Broncos have great respect for quarterback Tom Brady but figured the best way to shut down New England was to focus on the Patriots' running backs, and take away the tight ends in the passing game.

Corey Dillon had 16 yards on five carries, and he was knocked out of the game. Backup Laurence Maroney had 18 yards on 12 carries, and no runs of more than five yards. The Patriots had 50 yards on 21 carries.

Denver was physical and kept New England out of the end zone until the fourth quarter.

"We kept it pretty simple and went out and played what we call old school gridiron football with the Patriots," defensive tackle Gerard Warren said.

The Broncos complemented their defense with an effective ground game and a couple of big plays passing the ball. Javon Walker had two touchdowns, of 32 and 83 yards, to provide both of Denver's touchdowns. Tatum Bell had 123 yards on 23 carries.

Denver had the bye in Week 4, so getting a big road win and improving to 2-1 going into the week off was important.

"The team really got up and played their best football game today," Shanahan said."

The Broncos lost at St. Louis to start the season but a convincing win against a good team on the road should get them back on track. If nothing else, it gives them plenty of confidence going into the bye week.

"This shows you we can win in any place, any environment," Lynch said.

REPLAY

Denver stifled New England's offense and Javon Walker made a couple of big touchdown plays in a 17-7 victory. The Broncos held New England out of the end zone until 9:13 left in the fourth quarter. By that point, Denver had built a 17-0 lead.

Walker scored a 32-yard touchdown near the end of the first half, which gave Denver a 10-0 lead. Walker made a great play to avoid Patriots safety James Sanders and took off for an 83-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter to put the game away.

Both teams came into the game wanting to establish the run and Denver did a better job of it. The Broncos had 144 yards rushing. They held New England to 50 yards rushing. Corey Dillon was knocked out of the game with an arm injury and the Broncos held Laurence Maroney to 18 yards on 12 carries.

PLAYER NOTES

RB Tatum Bell handled most of the load for the Broncos. He rotated with Mike Bell the first two weeks of the season. Against New England, Tatum Bell had 27 carries for 123 yards. He should be the featured back going forward.

WR Rod Smith bounced back from a concussion he suffered last week. He was spelled on many plays but had six catches for 44 yards.

QB Jake Plummer had a turnover-free game and managed the win against the Patriots well. He had 256 yards on 15-of-30 passing.

WR Quincy Morgan was active for the Broncos and returned kickoffs. He had 12 yards on the only opportunity he had to return a kickoff.

LB Al Wilson sat out much of the fourth quarter with a tight hamstring. The Broncos said the injury wasn't serious. Wilson will have the bye week to heal.



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