Saturday, December 21, 2002 - The Broncos are the underdogs heading into Sunday's rematch against the Oakland Raiders, but rookie tailback Clinton Portis is upbeat about the status.
No time like present - Rocky Mountain News - Lynn DeBruin
December 21, 2002 - Rod Smith hasn't penned his Dear Santa list yet, but he knows what he wants for Christmas, even if batteries are included: A win Sunday in Oakland before the Raiders' raucous, Duracell-throwing fans.
Game plan ill-advised? - Rocky Mountain News - Lee Rasizer
December 21, 2002 - Not one to normally divulge his thoughts on an upcoming offensive game plan, Mike Shanahan this week perhaps shined some light on his. Asked about the Oakland Raiders' gimpy cornerbacks, Charles Woodson and Tory James, both of whom have fractured right fibulas, the Denver Broncos coach broke into a broad smile.
Lincicome: The gravity of this situation shouldn't come as big surprise - Rocky Mountain News - Bernie Lincicome
December 21, 2002 - OAKLAND, Calif. - Estimates of just how big is Sunday's season definer for the Broncos and Raiders stop somewhere short of Roman numerals, which means it is not as big as a world war, a pontiff or Lethal Weapon IV. But it is big. Everyone agrees on that.
Krieger: Broncos need to take advantage of their, well, breaks - Rocky Mountain News - Dave Krieger
December 21, 2002 - It's not as if I wanted the whole game plan. In fact, based on what I hear from the players, the last thing I wanted was the whole game plan. I just wanted to know if an offensive innovator like Mike Shanahan would target a pair of defenders in the event, let's just say, hypothetically, that they both had broken legs.
Rouen given another opportunity - Rocky Mountain News - Associated Press
December 21, 2002 - Pittsburgh Steelers punter Josh Miller has undergone season-ending shoulder surgery and has been replaced by former Denver Broncos punter Tom Rouen.
Broncos counting on Portis- Daily Camera - Ryan Thorburn
December 21, 2002 - Confidence is wearing a woman's hat in an NFL locker room. Confidence is believing you can win a friendly war of words with Shannon Sharpe. Confidence is expecting to be a star running back right away at a training camp with Terrell Davis, Mike Anderson and Olandis Gary.
Woodson's big play turned Raiders' season - San Francisco Chronicle - David Bush
Saturday, December 21, 2002 - A case can be made that the Raiders' season shifted on a single play, and they would not be facing the Broncos for such high stakes Sunday without it. Raiders Pro Bowl safety Rod Woodson wants to downplay the significance, but his interception and 98-yard return for a touchdown in the teams' first meeting changed not only the tenor of the game, but the season for both teams.
Storm knocks team inside - Oakland Tribune - Jerry McDonald
Friday, December 20, 2002 - ALAMEDA -- The Oakland Raiders were about three-quarters of the way through practice Thursday afternoon when an authority even higher than Al Davis decided enough was enough. "We had a little lightning," coach Bill Callahan said. "We had to come off the field. We'll pick up an additional period (today)."
Play helped save Raiders - Mercury News - John Ryan
Sat, Dec. 21, 2002 - How big could it have been, really? After all, it was Monday night. John Madden was on hand with his unique award. "I didn't even get on the trailer for that," Rod Woodson noted.
Gannon on threshold of milestones - Contra Costa Times
Sat, Dec. 21, 2002 - ALAMEDA -- Quarterback Rich Gannon turned 37 on Friday. The things he accomplished as a 36-year-old in Oakland's first 14 games this season bear going over.
In a Metal Mood: AC/DC Charges Up Broncos - DenverBroncos.com - Andrew Mason
Dec. 20, 2002 - It was like any other weekday late morning in Dove Valley. Cars moved along the four-lane roads traversing the network of office complexes, Arapahoe County facilities and buildings tied into nearby Centennial Airport. The only consistent noise came from aircraft above; it was like any other quiet, clear-skied day.
Broncology: Three R's of Bouncing Back - DenverBroncos.com - Andrew Mason
Dec. 20, 2002 - Around a football team battling for a playoff spot, matters are complex, and rarely elementary. But the Broncos' existence at this holiday week has been reduced to its essence, centering around the three R's of the week's task in Oakland: Raiders. Rematch. Redemption.