Now It's Flutie vs. Plummer

The Denver Broncos are well aware of who is starting this week in San Diego. Doug Flutie, at 41, will man the helm and direct the Chargers offense. Having seen the game tape from a week ago, they are awed by how much he can still do at his age. At the same time, they have their own weapons, which need to bounce back from lackluster performances, and injuries. Last week it was Flutie vs. Brees all week. The matchup has changed slightly as Flutie will now face Jake Plummer.

Doug Flutie was a man amongst boys last week. Playing Minnesota at home is quite different than Invesco Field where the cold and the crowd can be equally ferocious.

The Broncos are understandably impressed with the things he can do on offense, but that does not mean he has a safe ticket to a win.

Broncos' wide receiver Rod Smith offered the most praise:

"That guy plays with so much heart. He affects the guys around him. You can see that by how they played. I was actually looking at the scoreboard early in their game (last Sunday), and they were up 14-0. I attributed that to the quarterback change. That guy—every time I see him on the field when the game is over—I always tell him how I admire how he plays because that is the way I want to play. That is the way I want to be remembered—as a guy who goes out there and (takes advantage) of every opportunity. I just love that. I think it is something that a lot of young guys—especially in this day and age when guys want to be in the spotlight—can really learn from Doug Flutie."

"He amazes me with what he has been able to accomplish," Mike Shanahan said. "The way he did that against Minnesota was unbelievable. For all the guys that are under 5-10, he is a hero. For him to play at that level and make plays when there is nothing there, and to be the type of leader that he, is amazing. I have a lot of respect for him. He is older that most of our coaches."

He may be older, but he remains nimble as a cat. Able to scale the tallest offensive lines and still delivers a ball on target to his receivers.

For all the praise, when the game comes Sunday all that is forgotten.

"I am very impressed with him," Broncos quarterback Jake Plummer. added "I have always been a huge fan of Flutie. Mainly because when he comes out there I am no longer the smallest quarterback in the league any more. He is a guy who is a competitor. He has kind of gotten a raw deal in some places, but he has a good head on his shoulders and comes back with something to say. It is always tough to play against him because he makes plays, but hopefully we will get the win."

It is about getting the win. The Chargers are hoping they will have the fortitude to prevail and if last week is any indication – they might have a shot.

Jake Plummer is back, however. After being out four weeks he comes back to face a Chargers defense that may be better, but not nearly where it needs to be.

Marty Schottenheimer gave his San Diego Chargers team the day off this past Monday from practice. The players came in and watched film on their own, worked out, and did not have to attend meetings or see the practice field. This Sunday there is no letup as the Bolts face the Denver Broncos. Things aren't rosy just yet at 2-7 and the team needs to perform well away from home now to string together some wins.

"We weren't as crisp as we needed to be," Schottenheimer said referring to last Sunday's Vikings game. "We will have to do better, certainly coming up this week with Portis and that crowd. It was not up to the standard where it needed to be."

Clinton Portis is the back he referred to and he has not been stopped by the young Chargers defense yet. That coupled with the return of Plummer and continued big play from Shannon Sharpe and Rod Smith will make things difficult for San Diego.

They face another in a series of tough challenges this week.

"Being young doesn't have anything to do with our playing ability," Terrence Kiel said.

Playing up to that ability is another question and we will see what answer is delivered this weekend.

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