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 Post subject: Bronco game summaries
PostPosted: Sun 09.09.2007, 18:00 
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Sunday, September 9, 2007



Broncos Stun Bills at Last Second, 15-14


Jay Cutler's option pitchout to Travis Henry gave the Broncos an early 33-yard gain and brought their offense to life.


By Andrew Mason
DenverBroncos.com

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- It was a finish worthy of the histrionics of notoriously hyper play-by-play man Gus Johnson.

With the clock bleeding dry in the final seconds, the Broncos managed to complete a pass, exchange the offense for the field-goal unit and set Jason Elam for a 42-yard field goal that sliced through the uprights and the hearts of a stunned Ralph Wilson Stadium crowd, giving the Broncos a heartstopping 15-14 win on a soggy Sunday in western New York.

Until the stunning last few minutes -- which saw the Broncos execute a pair of fourth downs to resuscitate their desperate, last-gasp march -- the game played like a fight in a Rocky movie, with the teams exchanging haymakers throughout the afternoon.

Many of those shots came from running back Travis Henry, who shone in his return to Buffalp, becoming just the third Bronco to run for more than 100 yards in his Denver debut and the first since Gaston Green in 1991. Joe Dudek also went over 100 yards rushing in his first Denver game 20 years ago.

Henry finished with 139 rushing yards and 44 more on three receptions.

Throughout the first half, the Broncos dominated proceedings. Denver's defense held the Bills off the scoreboard, and the Broncos amassed a 202-92 total-yardage advantage by halftime, including a 130-38 edge in passing. But special teams allowed the Bills to take a 7-6 lead into the dressing room, as the half's only touchdown came when Roscoe Parrish sprinted untouched for a 76-yard punt-return touchdown 8:43 into the game.

Denver responded with a 10-play, 66-yard march that petered out when the Broncos advanced into a goal-to-go situation, forcing them to settle for a 21-yard Elam field goal that made the score 7-3 at the end of the first quarter. Elam hit a 48-yard field goal 7:09 into the second quarter to cap a nine-play, 37-yard drive; that put the Broncos within 7-6, where the score remained at halftime.

The Bills received the opening kickoff and moved into field-goal range on their first possession before D.J. Williams blitzed on second-and-10 from the Denver 30, chasing J.P. Losman backwards into a 14-yard loss, knocking the Bills out of scoring position. Brian Moorman subsequently launched an orbiting punt that was downed at the Denver 1, but the Broncos moved out of the goal post's shadow two plays later when the Broncos dusted off the option, with Cutler pitching to Henry for a 33-yard gain. The Broncos went backwards on their next three plays, losing three yards before Sauerbrun made the fateful punt that gave the Bills a lead they would sustain.

NOTES:

... Denver's inactive players were running back Andre Hall, cornerback Karl Paymah, guard Ben Hamilton, offensive tackle Ryan Harris, tight end Stephen Alexander, wide receiver Brian Clark, defensive tackle Antwon Burton and defensive end Tim Crowder ...

... Jeff Shoate saw his first regular-season action since his 2004 rookie season, filling in as a sixth defensive back in place of the injured Paymah ...

... Brandon Marshall made the second start of his professional career ...

... Daniel Graham frequently lined up in the backfield when the Broncos utilized the shotgun formation, standing alongside Cutler ...

... John Lynch's second-quarter sack of Losman was his first since the 2005 campaign, when he tied for the team lead with four sacks ...

... Elvis Dumervil's interception at the end of the first half was the first of his professional career ...

... Denver had more sacks by halftime (two) than it did in seven of its 16 full games last year.

Jay Cutler (304 passing yards, 18 rushing yards, 1 TD)

Travis Henry (139 rushing yards, 44 receiving yards)

Javon Walker (9 catches, 119 receiving yards)

D.J. Williams (9 tackles, 1 sack)

Jason Elam (3 field goals, including 42-yarder to win game)


4+ min. Game video...

http://www.nfl.com/videos?videoId=09000d5d8022c601

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PostPosted: Sun 09.09.2007, 18:29 
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4+ min. Game video

http://www.nfl.com/videos?videoId=09000d5d8022c601

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PostPosted: Tue 10.02.2007, 09:57 
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Sunday, September 30, 2007



Broncos Fall in Indianapolis, 38-20
*** UPDATED 3:07 A.M. EDT ***



John Engelberger and the Broncos' pass rushers collapsed the pocket around Peyton Manning, but couldn't get to him on a regular basis.

By Andrew Mason
DenverBroncos.com

INDIANAPOLIS -- Throughout the first half of Sunday's game, the Broncos matched the Colts drive-for-drive. When Indianapolis forged a lengthy possession, the Broncos responded in kind.

But in the red zone, the paths of the two teams nicknamed for horses diverged. The Colts turned five of their six red-zone forays into touchdowns, while the Broncos went two-for-four, creating a disparity that helped lead to a 38-20 Broncos defeat at the RCA Dome on Sunday afternoon.

"I thought we controlled the ball and the tempo, but when you play a team like Indy -- especially the way it turned out today -- when you have the opportunties inside the 20 you've got to turn them into touchdowns instead of field goals," Head Coach Mike Shanahan said. "We had a couple of opportunities down there and couldn't convert and had to settle for field goals."

"They just played a better game than we did today," defensive end Elvis Dumervil added. "We had some great opportunities; we just (needed) to take advantage of them."

But the Broncos could not, which meant that Denver dropped to 2-2 with the loss, while the Colts improved to 4-0.

The Broncos had to play the game without starters John Lynch and Javon Walker, who missed the game due to a strained groin and inflamed knee, respectively.

"It wasn't in their best interest -- our our best interest -- to have them play today," Shanahan said.

They were replaced in the starting lineup by Domonique Foxworth -- who played for the first time since spraining his ankle in Week 1 -- and Brandon Stokley, who finished with two receptions for 20 yards as he returned to Indianapolis for the first time since he and the Colts parted ways this past offseason.

"We've got to help (the defense) out as an offense, and we didn't do a good enough job of that," Stokley said.

Denver's offense racked up 354 yards -- including 223 on the ground -- and amassed 22 first downs in its most consistent performance since the Week 1 win over the Buffalo Bills. However, the Broncos' best rushing game of the year was overshadowed by an even stronger rushing day from Indianapolis, which smashed through Denver for 226 rushing yards, perpetuating the issues the run defense has had in recent weeks.

"It's inexcuable, the way we missed gaps and tackles and assignments," said cornerback Champ Bailey.

"We've got to just tackle, and we didn't do a good job of that," Dumervil said.

After a tight first half that saw the Colts lead 14-13 at halftime, the Colts snatched control of the proceedings early in the third quarter, opening with a 73-yard, seven-play march that culminated in Peyton Manning's 1-yard touchdown sneak. Two plays later, Marlin Jackson intercepted a Jay Cutler pass to Brandon Marshall, paving a path to a 3-yard Peyton Manning-to-Dallas Clark touchdown connection four plays later, putting the Colts in front 28-13.

The Broncos replied with a 79-yard, 14-play march to a 2-yard Cutler touchdown plunge that narrowed the gap to eight points at the end of the third quarter, but the Colts replied with a 10-play, 83-yard march punctuated by a 5-yard Manning-to-Reggie Wayne scoring strike that put the Broncos down multiple scores to stay.

Manning finished the afternoon with 193 yards on 20-of-27 passing for three touchdowns.

"It wasn't like he was doing anything spectacular, it's just that the run game was killing us," Bailey said.

The opening half of the game saw the game move at the same vertigo-inducing pace as the teams' last two games at the RCA Dome. But unlike those two postseason losses, the Broncos were able to keep up, primarily propelled by the legs of Travis Henry, who had 106 yards on 20 carries by halftime.

Denver began the game with a hefty dose of Henry, as Cutler handed the football to him on the game's first five snaps. The seventh-year tailback justified the love, gaining 47 yards on the carries to move the Broncos from the Denver 36 to the Indianapolis 19, setting up a 35-yard Jason Elam field goal that gave Denver an early 3-0 edge.

A defensive stop on the Colts' first offensive series and a more diversified Broncos attack on the drive that followed allowed the Broncos to seize a 10-0 advantage later in the quarter. Pressure from the Broncos' front four -- which benefitted from some creative defensive-line alingments, including the liberal use of rookie Jarvis Moss in a stand-up, roving end/tackle position -- forced a third-down Manning incompletion that ended the Colts' first series at the Denver 39.

But the Broncos would stop the Colts offense from scoring just once more in the game.

"We were very effective (early) but they made a couple of adjustments," Dumervil said.

"They're probably the best in the league at adjusting during the game," Bailey added. "We've just got to learn how to adjust as well, because they're not going to give the same looks."

Nevertheless, after Hunter Smith's first punt, the Broncos regained possession at their 14 and moved 86 yards in 10 plays to a 7-yard Cutler-to-Marshall touchdown that gave the Broncos a 10-0 lead. But the Colts replied with back-to-back touchdown drives that covered 44 and 61 yards, both of which were set up by lengthy kickoff returns of 32 and 34 yards from T.J. Rushing.

Indianapolis' second-quarter touchdowns sandwiched a 12-play, 76-yard Broncos march that culminated in a 22-yard Elam field goal, allowing the Broncos to remain within one point at halftime. However, the struggles in the red zone would ultimately doom the Broncos.

"We just didn't finish off a couple of those drives early with seven points and it came back to haunt us in the end," Stokley said.

And that meant the Broncos left Indianapolis with lamenting the same issues they discussed throughout the week leading up to the game -- finding improvement in run defense and red-zone offense. The run defense in particular proved particularly galling, as the Colts were able to gash the Broncos for 163 yards on 26 carries after halftime.

With San Diego's LaDainian Tomlinson and Pittsburgh's Willie Parker looming in the next two games, the Broncos can't dally in seeking a solution.

"We've got the best back in the league coming in next week," Bailey said, "so we've definitely got to figure out a way to stop the run."

NOTES:

Walker tested his ailing knee before the game, but found it was "a little worse than what (the medical staff) thought it would be," he said. "It's just a little irritation that caused some fluid to build up." He added that he let the coaches and medical personnel make the decision as to whether he would play ...

... The crowd booed Stokley after he made a reception, and the receiver admitted he was "a little bit surprised" by the negative reaction from the fans who once cheered each step he made. "That's the way it is," he said. "I don't play for them anymore, and they can do whatever they want. They were great while I was here, but I'm not here anymore, and so be it." ...

... Denver deactivated first-string defensive tackles Amon Gordon and Sam Adams. Rookies Moss and Tim Crowder started at those spots; it was the first start for both ...

... Glenn Martinez made his Broncos debut, lining up as a third wide receiver in some long-yardage situations ...

... Andre Hall made his NFL debut, lining up on second-half kickoff returns alongside Domenik Hixon ...

... The Colts ran for 228 yards on 33 carries, an average of 6.9 yards per play ...

... Henry now has three 100-yard games in his four weeks as a Bronco; he finished with 131 yards on 26 carries. He left the game with an ankle injury in the third quarter but returned on the Broncos' next offensive series ...

... Placekicker Jason Elam went over the 1,700-point mark with a first-half field goal; he is now the fastest player to that milestone, reaching it in his 224th game ...

... Middle linebacker D.J. Williams finished the afternoon with 11 tackles and two assists.

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PostPosted: Mon 10.08.2007, 09:45 
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This week's game summary:

We sucked harder then a toothless $5 crack whore!

That is all

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PostPosted: Mon 10.08.2007, 11:07 
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REB wrote:
This week's game summary:

We sucked harder then a toothless $5 crack whore!

That is all


Ain't that the truth! :(


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PostPosted: Mon 10.08.2007, 16:13 
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You want to know something? Yesterday was the 1st time since our 55-10 whooping in the SB against the 49ers that I bet on the Broncos and we take the worst home whooping since like '66. I will never jinx our boys like that again.

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PostPosted: Tue 10.30.2007, 19:12 
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Monday, October 29, 2007



Broncos Fall in Overtime, 19-13

Greg Jennings makes the grab that ended overtime just 16 seconds after it began.

By Andrew Mason
DenverBroncos.com

DENVER -- The script was familiar to the Broncos. Endure some early struggles, remain in the contest thanks to some timely stops and increasing confidence from the offense, then marshal a final charge at the end to seize a win.

Jay Cutler had done this before. And it appeared Monday night that he would do it again after leading a game-tying, 89-yard march in the final two minutes, 27 seconds of regulation.

Then the Packers won the overtime coin toss and Brett Favre stepped onto the field.

Favre has his own script, one he has perfected in 16 mostly brilliant seasons with the Packers. Like Mola Ram, the antagonist in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, he rips your heart out of your chest, then holds it up for all to see -- metaphorically speaking, at least.

Monday night, with the INVESCO Field at Mile High throng roaring after Andre Hall's overtime-opening haymaker on Packers kickoff returner Shaun Bodiford, Favre re-enacted the familiar scene, silencing most of the 76,645 onlookers and stunning the Broncos with an 82-yard strike to Greg Jennings up the left sideline past a lunging Dre' Bly.

Pass. Catch. Run. Touchdown.

"That's a tough one to lose," Head Coach Mike Shanahan said.

But a loss is what the Broncos were left with -- a 19-13 overtime defeat that dropped them to 3-4 with a stretch of six road games in the next eight weeks looming.

Scheduling and future games, however, are a concern for later. On Monday night, they could only turn inward and lament a game that provided unclaimed oppotunites to seize control, setting up Favre's dart up the left sideline to a streaking Jennings, who had worked one step past Bly -- the only step he needed.

"I had good coverage," Bly said. "At the end, when I looked up, I couldn't find the ball. I was asking the guys on the sideline how he threw the ball. It seemed like he just threw it high and outside, and when I looked up I couldn't find it. The ball wasn't there, and Jennings was able to adjust and make a play.

"Brett just happened to make a great throw on that one play," Bly added. "He's thrown some balls sometimes this year where they've been short and they've been intercepted, but on that one play, just like any good quarterback, he made a great throw and it happened to be for the game-winning touchdown. Brett is a Hall of Famer.

"I'm not surprised he makes plays like that. He was able to make it tonight."

The play rendered meaningless the seventh game-winning or -tying fourth quarter or overtime march of Cutler's 12-game career.

Cutler piloted the Broncos offense from its 7 to the cusp of the Packers end zone. A seven-yard fourth-and-2 pass to Brandon Stokley and a 35-yard catch-and-run by Brandon Marshall provided the momentum.

But with third-and-1 from the Packers 4-yard-line and 24 seconds left, Cutler was stopped short when he kept the football and attempted to fall forward for the first down.

"They were playing bracket coverage and usually you have a chance there -- especially with third-and-a-yard -- you have a chance to kill it (on the next play)," Shanahan said. "You may catch them by surprise -- not expecting a run in that situation, especially when they are bracketing the outside receivers. They did a good job up front of stuffing it. Obviously, we didn't make the play."

The Broncos were stuck in the conundrum that goes with a three-point deficit -- looking for plays that could provide the win while at the same time not jeopardizing the opportunity for a game-tying field goal.

"It's one of those things where you can't be too aggressive and make a big mistake there because you drive down there and you want to make sure you get at least three (points)," said Stokley, who finished with 71 yards on five receptions. "So it's one of those things where you kind of almost wish you were down four.

"We got down there; we fought; we made a great drive there, and everybody believed we were going to score a touchdown. It just didn't work out that way."

With no timeouts and no extra down with which to call a clock-halting spike, the Broncos had to re-enact the endgame scene from Week 1 at Buffalo, when the field-goal team sprinted onto the field and in position for a Jason Elam field-goal try. That worked perfectly, and Elam struck the 21-yard kick that tied the game at 13-apiece as regulation concluded.

But the coin toss in overtime went Green Bay's way, and the Broncos never saw the football again.

"That's what happens when you don't finish things off in this league," Stokley said. ""It comes down to a coin flip."

"We had our chances, but we weren't able to close the deal," Shanahan said.

The Broncos did open the game strongly, taking a 7-0 lead on their second series when Cutler found Tony Scheffler for a 3-yard score. But the Packers tied the game just 23 seconds and one play later when Favre found James Jones just past a lunging Champ Bailey for a pass that turned into a 79-yard catch-and-run that tied the score -- and injured back judge Jim Howey in the process.

Denver replied by marching to the Green Bay 1, but a fumbled center-snap exchange ended the threat. Green Bay replied with a 98-yard march that consumed 7:42 of the second quarter, but the Packers ultimately settled for a field goal and a 10-7 lead that they extended to 13-7 by halftime.

The Broncos offense bore a different look Monday night as Travis Henry sat out with the bruised ribs he incurred during the Week 7 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers. Undrafted rookie Selvin Young made the first start of his career in Henry's place, and Hall spelled him on occasion.

Young and Hall combined for 81 yards on 21 carries -- 71 on 18 for Young and 10 on three rushes for Hall.

BRONCOS BYTES:

Chad Mustard started at tight end, less than two weeks after being re-signed to the roster at the position.
The Broncos opened the game in a three-tight end alignment, with Mustard joined in the starting 11 by Daniel Graham and Scheffler.
Domonique Foxworth started at strong safety, a position manned by Nick Ferguson in Weeks 1-7.
John Lynch left the game in the first half after suffering what was announced as a pinched nerve.
Long snapper Mike Leach saw some action on the first series of the game at tight end, his listed position on the roster.
Hall carried the football for the first time in the regular season, gaining one yard on a first-quarter rush.
Alvin McKinley received the starting nod at right defensive tackle.
The game marked Green Bay's first visit to INVESCO Field at Mile High, and its first regular-season game in Denver since 1999 at Mile High Stadium. The Packers also became the first road team to win in the series.
Back judge Jim Howey suffered a pulled hamstring while trying to maintain position on Jones' 79-yard first-quarter touchdown reception. He did not return, leaving the game with only six officials for the last 48 minutes, 45 seconds of game-clock time.
Green Bay outgained Denver 430 yards to 332.
Cutler went through the game without an interception. It was the first pick-free game of his 12-contest career.
Rookie defensive end Jarvis Moss was inactive, while Simeon Rice returned to the lineup after missing the previous two games in October with shoulder problems.
Denver dropped to 4-4 in the all-blue uniforms, which they wore a week earlier in the 31-28 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The temperature at kickoff was a balmy 67 degrees. The game was completed in two hours and 56 minutes.

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PostPosted: Sun 11.04.2007, 21:54 
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Sunday, November 4, 2007



Insult and Injury: Broncos Fall, 44-7

Jay Cutler suffered what was announced as a lower leg contusion in the second quarter.

By Andrew Mason
DenverBroncos.com

DETROIT -- The Broncos came into Ford Field battered. Their first-round pick, their two leading wide receivers from a year ago, their first-team center and left guard were already ruled out, and their starting free safety, John Lynch, was scratched from the lineup 90 minutes before kickoff with a pinched nerve in his neck.

But as badly as the Broncos were banged up, their collective status got worse Sunday afternoon as both injury and insult piled up in a 44-7 loss at Ford Field.

The loss dropped the Broncos to 3-5, but as damaging as it was to the Broncos' long-term hopes this season, it was even worse in the toll it exacted -- particularly on quarterback Jay Cutler, who left the game early in the second quarter with what was announced as a lower-leg contusion.

Cutler finished his day with three completions in four attempts for 20 yards.

When Cutler left, the Broncos trailed 6-0. Patrick Ramsey replaced Cutler and found himself under siege from the Lions' pass rushers throughout the remainder of the contest, fumbling once and tossing an interception under pressure. Both were returned for touchdowns by Dwayne White and Cory Redding, respectively.


Denver barely managed to avert its first shutout since Nov. 22, 1992 when Ramsey found Brandon Stokley for a 2-yard touchdown connection with 2:31 left in the contest. However, the seven points scored meant that the broncos scored fewer than 20 points for the fifth time in eight games this season.

The Broncos had another chance at a touchdown with 15 seconds remaining, but Brian Clark fumbled the football into the end zone while stretching out in an attempt to score his first NFL touchdown. Idrees Bashir recovered for the Colts, and after an instant-replay delay, the Lions ran out the remaining seconds.

Detroit, which improved to 6-2 with the win, defeated the Broncos for the first time since Thanksgiving Day 1990, when the Lions handed the Broncos a 40-27 loss at the Pontiac Silverdome.

BRONCOS BYTES:


Joining Cutler on the roster of injured players was running back Travis Henry, who was injured on a 22-yard run up the left sideline midway through the third quarter. He did not return.
Matt Lepsis, D.J. Williams and Brandon Marshall received treatment on the field for injuries but returned. Glenn Martinez absorbed a shot with 57 seconds remaining and was able to leave the field under his own power, but was slow in his gait to the sidelines.
After being listed as questionable throughout the last week with a pinched nerve, John Lynch was inactive for Sunday's game. His participation in the Thursday and Friday practice had been limited due to the injury. Joining him among the game-day inactives were fullback/running back Mike Bell, wide receiver Javon Walker, tight end Chad Mustard, guard Isaac Snell, defensive tackle Amon Gordon, defensive end Javris Moss and safety Curome Cox.
Andre Hall averaged 29.0 yards on his four kickoff returns.
Detroit outgained the Broncos 219 yards to 69 in the first half and had a 15-3 advantage in first downs.
The Broncos opened the game in a two-tight end formation, with Daniel Graham and Tony Scheffler starting.
Alvin McKinley started for Marcus Thomas at defensive tackle, although the rookie did play Sunday. Domonique Foxworth drew the start in place of John Lynch at free safety.
Sunday's game was the Broncos' first regular-season contest at Ford Field.
Todd Sauerbrun logged a net punting average of 41.7 yards. His gross average was 45.0 yards.
The Broncos have now lost five consecutive games to NFC North opponents dating back to 2003.

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Sunday, November 11, 2007



Notes: Defense Wreaks Havoc

Marshall's productive first half propelled Denver's offense and fulfilled his promise to eliminate drops.

By Christopher Smith
DenverBroncos.com

Coaches and players preach the importance of winning the turnover battle. Sunday, the Broncos put it into practice.

"We finally won the turnover ratio with four turnovers to one. Normally when you win the turnover ratio at least you've got a chance, especially here," Head Coach Mike Shanahan said after his Broncos turned back the Chiefs 27-11 at Arrowhead Stadium. "Kansas City has been so good through the years taking advantage of their home-field crowd and it was nice to come in here and find a way to do it ourselves."

The biggest play came early in the third quarter. Elvis Dumervil blasted past the offensive line from his end spot, sacking Damon Huard and simultaneously stripping the ball. Nate Webster scooped up the losse football and scored.

The touchdown was Denver's second in the first 2:37 of the second half, giving the Broncos a 20-8 lead.

"As far as defense goes, we did what we were supposed to do -- get turnovers, make plays," said cornerback Champ Bailey, who capped the team's turnover haul with a fourth-quarter interception. "We had some plays we left out there, but we made enough to get us over the hump, and we've got to expect that every week."

NEW FACE AT SAFETY: Hamza Abdullah impacted the game starting in place of an injured John Lynch, leading the team with eight tackles while using his speed to shore up coverage and the run defense.

Not bad for a player making his first career start.


"We just thought that they were going to throw the football and Abdullah has a little more range; he’s more of a nickel-type safety," Shanahan said. "That’s one of the reasons that we started the game off in a nickel-type defense. They did a good job of running the football and got us out of the nickel and back into base personnel. We rotated alignments and I thought that we kept them a little off-balance."

Abdullah also tipped Huard's pass intended for Eddie Kennison, allowing Karl Paymah to make his first career interception at the 2-yard line.

His back to the end zone, Abdullah adjusted to the ball, which walloped him in the chest. He tipped it twice; Paymah tipped it and then corralled it with a basket catch off the turf.

Paymah expected to get an interception sooner or later because of his production in practice.

"It seems like it was a personal test between Shanahan and me. He just had me thinking about picks and that's what he wanted me to do. I was doing it in practice, so it made it easier. It was like second nature in the game, so hopefully that can continue," Paymah said.

Dre' Bly and Bailey also nabbed picks off Huard and Croyle respectively, and Domonique Foxworth and Antwon Burton each had at least one hand on a potential interception but could not complete the takeaway.

STRONG UP FRONT: The defense exhibited a revived pass rush as well, as Ian Gold added a sack and rookie Tim Crowder finished with two in addition to the game-changing play by Dumervil.
That lightened the onus placed on a talented Denver secondary.

"Get pressure on the quarterback with the front four, it'll make your secondary look really good. If you don't, it'll make your secondary look not all that great," Foxworth said. "Football has always been won and lost in the trenches."

Abdullah concurred, promising the defensive line "a few extra biscuits or something" on the plane trip back home.

TOUGH IN THE MIDDLE: The linebackers played perhaps their best game of the season. Gold and D.J. Williams pressured the quarterback, the group contained the run and often doubled with a safety to defend Tony Gonzalez and Webster scored on the fumble return.

Gonzalez finished with just three catches for 29 yards.

"He's one of the best tight ends to play this game, and you have to make a conscious effort to know where he's at at all times on the field," Abdullah said. "Luckily, we held him to a few catches, but nothing real big."

FLAGS FLY: Thanks to a final flurry of offsides and encroachment penalties on the final defensive series, Denver finished with 12 penalties for 64 yards. But the game's most crucial penalty belonged to the Chiefs.

With the Broncos in third-and-6 while holding a 20-11 lead, Kansas City's Benny Sapp knocked away a pass to Brandon Stokley. Stokley's body shielded the defender in such a way that Sapp placed his arm squarely across Stokley's back before reaching around to smack the football down, drawing a pass-interference penalty that led to an 18-yard Daniel Graham touchdown reception and put the game out of reach.

GRAND MARSHALL: Brandon Marshall vowed to eliminate the drops that helped define his day at Detroit a week earlier. He did just that, catching six passes for 85 yards in the first half.

Covered by Bernard Pollard, Marshall unleashed a vicious vertical leap and speared Jay Cutler's pass out of the air and procured more than he needed to convert the third-and-10.

Marshall left the game late in the second quarter. Attempting to dive out of bounds, Marshall absorbed a closed-fist hit below the belt and keeled over in pain. He did manage to return but posted no receptions after halftime.

"When I spun out of the first tackle, the guy just hit me right in between (the legs). I haven't felt anything like that before. It took a while for me to get up, and I tried to walk off, but I just couldn't do it," Marshall said.

NICE BOUNCE: Jason Elam kicked two field goals and knocked in three extra points despite being questionable to play in the game with a sore right calf.

Trailing 6-5 early, Elam lined up for a 50-yard field goal. Shanahan stared intently on the sideline, eyes wide as he screamed encouragement at the football. The ball doinked the bottom crossbar before deciding to roll through.

The kick was Elam's 37th field goal from 50 yards or more, the second-most in NFL history.1gingerly on the sideline after the kick but he did return to cap off Denver's three second-half touchdowns.

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Sunday, November 11, 2007



Young's First TD Keys Win

Selvin Young rushed for 109 yards and his first career touchdown in the win over Kansas City.
By Charlie O'Brien
DenverBroncos.com

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Fans across the country watching SportsCenter or other highlights from Sunday's NFL action when the Broncos-Chiefs game flashes across their screen might wonder aloud, "Selvin who?"

It's Young. Selvin Young.

The hard-charging rookie out of Texas continued his meteoric rise from undrafted college free agent to Denver's starting running back, and with Travis Henry again unable to play, again Young delivered.

Just don't expect the humble young man to gloat.

"Before the game, if you would have gotten a close-up of me, I had tears coming out of my eyes," Young said. "It has just been so long and so much dreaming, wishing and working hard and it's a lot to be in this opportunity right now. I feel blessed and I really think that a lot of things have been positive. I've got my mind set on trying to help a football team win and I'm happy to get an opportunity to live my dreams. I'm really enjoying it."

Young showed speed, power, and elusiveness en route to 109 yards rushing and a touchdown -- the first of his career -- as well as 20 receiving yards.

His 20-yard touchdown run, which gave the Broncos the lead for good, was a fitting snapshot, as he flashed his speed in bouncing the run to the outside, then power as he muscled through a defender to cover the final few yards before crossing the goal line.

Every running back dreams of their first NFL score, and Young said his couldn't have been scripted any better.

"My whole life I never just wanted to have a breakaway and just run it forward and then walk off," Young said. "It was fun to have a little contact and get knocked in. It was a great feeling. It was everything that I thought it would be."

With each opportunity he has been given this season, Young has not disappointed. While people around the league may just be learning who he is, his teammates, including wide receiver Brandon Stokley, were not surprised at the fantastic performance by the rookie.

"He played great," Stokley said. "We see it every day in practice. We know what kind of talent he has and what he's capable of doing out there. I think he showed the world today what he can do."

Head Coach Mike Shanahan, always one to give a deserving young running back a chance, was proud of Young's effort.

"Kansas City is probably surprised by his speed now," Shanahan said. "He's a little bit faster than most people think. He has great quickness and we've been able to see it. In the second half he did a great job of securing that ball. He played hard and is probably a little tired. He came in with a lot of pressure on him and he reacted well."

Tackle Matt Lepsis, a member of the offensive line that paved the way for Young's big day, also credited Young's toughness and quick feet.

"That's definitely his greatest asset -- his speed," Lepsis said. "That and he fights for every yard he gets. He doesn't want to go down, and I think when you have that type of mentality as a running back, you're going to play for a long time."

Veteran cornerback Champ Bailey has played against his fair share of star running backs, and he sees a bright future ahead of Young.

"He's a tough kid," Bailey said. "I look forward to seeing him play a lot of years. He practices hard, the guy runs well, he does everything we ask him to do."

For wide receiver Brandon Marshall, blocking downfield becomes even more important with a back like Young who is capable of busting free on any given play.

"When he's on the field –- not to take anything away from (Travis) Henry –- but he's just explosive," Marshall said. "You've got to keep (an eye) on him. You can't give up as a receiver, you just have to get a block and know that he's going to break something."

But despite the accolades and praise being heaped on him by his teammates and coaches, Young was more satisfied with the team's hard-fought win in hostile Arrowhead Stadium than any individual statistics he rung up.

"It feels real good to win in an environment like this," Young said. "There is a lot of tradition here. There's a lot of pride when you come in and beat a team like that. It's my understanding that it is not too often that teams come in here and leave with the type of win that we had today."

After lasting the entire 2007 NFL draft without hearing his name called, signing with Denver as a college free agent, then working his way from fifth on the depth string all the way up to starting on Sunday, Young has been on a roller coaster ride of a rookie season.

But while he enjoyed being the feature back on Sunday, his focus remains squarely on helping the team win in any way he can.

"It was fun," Young said. "I was looking to come in and step up and not be a drop off at all in one of the most important positions on this football team. I feel like I put myself in a position to handle it, so whatever comes I'm ready for."

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Sunday, November 11, 2007



Broncos Sprint Past Chiefs, 27-11

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Selvin Young ran for 109 yards and a touchdown in place of Travis Henry.

Andrew Mason
DenverBroncos.com
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Nine seconds reversed four years of frustration.

Nine seconds of orange and blue, Rocky Mountain lightning illuminated an otherwise dull and gray afternoon at Arrowhead Stadium.

Nine seconds yielded 14 Broncos points ... or more than they had scored in the three of their previous four full games.

Nine seconds in the opening two minutes of the third quarter gave the Broncos a bumper crop of success in the heartland -- a 20-yard Selvin Young touchdown run and a 17-yard Nate Webster return of a fumble forced on a sack by defensive end Elvis Dumervil.

With those back-to-back plays from scrimmage, the Broncos rendered moot a frustrating first half and sailed to a 27-11 win over the Kansas City Chiefs in front of a sold-out throng of 77,368.

In winning, Denver snapped a two-game skid, regained traction in the AFC West race by matching the Chiefs with a 4-5 mark and seized their first win at Arrowhead Stadium since a 37-34 overtime win on there Oct. 20, 2002.

With 10 minutes still to play in the game, many of the fans sprinted for the exits, with the backlog of early departees on the stairs creating a human traffic jam that would rival the snarling bottleneck of cars soon to gather on nearby highways.

By the time the Chiefs attempted a last-ditch march to a touchdown -- one that died on fourth-and-goal at the Denver 3 with 31 seconds remaining -- nearly all of the fans had cleared their seats. That left the "loudest stadium in the NFL" -- as was incessantly proclaimed by the matrix boards around the 35-year-old facility -- in a church-like calm that was shattered by the Broncos fans who'd infiltrated the onlookers.

"It was awesome," said left tackle Matt Lepsis. "Since I've been playing -- I was on the team back then, but since I've actually been playing, I've never seen that. It was a welcome sight."

The 16-point victory margin was the Broncos' largest at Kansas City since 1998 and its third-largest in its 36 overall trips to Arrowhead Stadium.

"That just doesn't happen around here very often," said kicker Jason Elam.

"Kansas City has been so good through the years of taking advantage of their home field, the crowd and finding a way to win," Head Coach Mike Shanahan said. "It was nice to find a way to come in here and do it ourselves.

"A much-needed win."

A CASE OF 'DO OR DIE'

"We said it before the game," Elam said. "This is do or die."

With five losses in the previous six games leading up to the Kansas City trip, one might think that a sense of anger at the season's results had gradually built over the frustrating run, leading to an outburst like the one the Broncos executed in Kansas City.

But Lepsis, the senior member of the starting offense with 11 seasons of experience in a Broncos uniform, saw something else.

"I don't think it had been building," he said as he sat on a stool in the Chiefs' wood-paneled locker room, reflecting on the previous seven days. "I think that was the problem. I think everybody had just become kind of lethargic.

"Even after the San Diego loss, nobody really brought it up; nobody really talked about it."

That, of course, was a 38-point defeat that sent the Broncos into the bye at 2-3. Four weeks later, the Broncos lost by 37 to the Lions to drop two games below .500 at the halfway point of the season.

"It took that Detroit loss for everybody to say, 'OK, let's talk about this,'" Lepsis said. "Something's seriously wrong here and we need to fix it, because we're not THAT bad of a team.

"As a team, we kind of made up our minds that we weren't just going to pack it in for the rest of the season. Everybody is counting us out. We knew what kind of talent we had on this team and we weren't going to go out like that."

A midweek gathering set the tone.

"We had our team meeting and guys were stepping up and really taking ownership of the team -- young guys, old guys, everything," Elam said.

Then came the first chance to apply the rediscovered sense of urgency -- on the practice fields at Broncos headquarters Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

"The biggest thing is the week of practice," Lepsis said. "You can ask anybody in here -- we had the best week of practice all season. Coaches talk about it all the time, but a lot of times it's lost on players, but if you play well during the week, you're going to play well in the game, and that's what happened."

And what would have happened if the Broncos had lost to the Chiefs? Even in retrospect after a win, Elam didn't want to consider the possibility.

"If we put that much into it, and we don't win, we're in trouble," he said.

"But it showed that we do have the talent to do it. We do have the character to do it. It's hard to win games in the NFL, no matter where you're at. This was huge."

THE SPARKPLUG

If the Broncos are to transform their 3-5 opening act into a more grandiose finale, they'll have to rely upon once and current understudies to carry the tune and keep the show intact, given the spate of injuries that has beset the team this fall.

In the win over Pittsburgh three weeks earlier, it was newly minted left guard Chris Kuper, recently moved center Chris Myers and defensive end Tim Crowder who helped point the way, with the first two blasting open holes for running back Travis Henry and the latter scoring the Broncos' first defensive touchdown of the year with a 50-yard fumble return.

In Kansas City, it was Young.

"For a young kid coming in and putting a lot of pressure on him," Shanahan said, "he responded well."

In Young's hour on the stage, he strutted; he didn't fret. The only sound and fury came from the tenacity with which he gained his 109 yards, utterly refusing to bail on a play even when defenders bore down upon him as he received the handoff from Jay Cutler.

By mid-afternoon Sunday, everyone in Arrowhead Stadium knew Young's name. The days of organized team activities, when he could slip past the armada of cameras and tape recorders almost undetected, were a lifetime away; his efforts left him ready to step to a lectern and hold his own press conference.

Yet when he walked into the room in which the gathering would take place, he faded into the background, unnoticed as cameras and reporters were engrossed in Shanahan's analysis. He perused the scene while still in full uniform, his uniform far more green than white or blue, his clothes smelling like freshly cut grass.

He might not have moved heaven to get to this point, but based on the grass stains he carried with him, he'd certainly carried earth.

"I had tears coming out of my eyes," Young said. "So long, so much dreaming, wishing, working hard. Just a lot to be in this opportunity right now."

His teammates took notice.

"He’s a tough kid," said cornerback Champ Bailey. "I look forward to seeing him play a lot of years. He practices hard, the guy runs well, he does everything we ask him to do."

And then, after the game, after he waited in full gametime regalia, Shanahan asked one more thing of his latest 100-yard rusher.

"Let's bring the man up to the stage," he said. "Come on up here, Selvin. Good job."

Good job, indeed.

BRONCOS BYTES:


Hamza Abdullah started alongside Domonique Foxworth at safety with John Lynch missing the game because of a neck injury.
Five days after signing with the Broncos, defensive lineman Josh Mallard made his debut and logged substantial playing time at both end and tackle. Fellow Tuesday signee Taylor Jacobs was also in uniform, while new defensive ends Larry Birdine and Paul Carrington were inactive.
Tony Scheffler was deemed questionable to return after absorbing a first-quarter shot from Greg Wesley, but he returned to action in the second period.
An odd third-quarter stat line ... The Chiefs outgained the Broncos 96 yards to 43, ran 17 more plays (23-6) and controlled the football for 11:30, but the Broncos outscored the Chiefs 14-3.
Brandon Marshall left the game momentarily late in the second quarter after absorbing a shot in the groin from Chiefs cornerback Tyson Brackenridge, but returned later that series.
Cutler came up limping after completing a 9-yard pass to Scheffler with 1:38 left in the first half. He returned to the game three plays later.
Denver had 27 passes and eight runs in the first half. The eight carries went for 51 yards; the 27 pass plays covered 133 yards.

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Monday, November 19, 2007



Big Plays Boost Broncos to Win

Andre Hall broke free for a 62-yard touchdown run that was Denver's longest scoring rush in the last year.

By Andrew Mason
DenverBroncos.com

DENVER -- In Andre Hall's second half Monday night exists an allegory for the Broncos' season to date.
With Selvin Young incurring a knee sprain late in the third quarter, Hall, a first-teamer on kickoff returners but a third-stringer at running back, found the weight of the Broncos' backfield chores thrust upon him. And on his second play after Young went to the sidelines, Hall was left empty-handed as Tennessee Titans safety Vince Fuller pounced through the line to sack Jay Cutler.

"I know I have the C-to-D gap, and I missed a major block," Hall lamented.

With Cutler on the ground and the series ruined, the offense truged from the field, having turned in a three-and-out squarely in the midst of the Titans' strongest surge of the game. The series punctuated by Hall's missed block was bracketed by two Titans scores -- a touchdown and a field goal. The Broncos' 17-point lead had dropped to seven points by the time Hall took the field again. Because of that missed block, he felt full responsibility for the Broncos' suddenly uncertain predicament.

"It was killing me," Hall said. "It had me down. It had me down. I missed a big block, man. I'm still hurting off that one. I can't lie to you."

It was time for redemption and revival -- the same kind the team as a whole had found first in beating the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium on Nov. 11, then in storming to a lead over the Titans eight days later. And like the Broncos as a whole, Hall made up for the shortcomings of the recent past -- in as dramatic a fashion possible.

"I had to redeem myself," Hall said. "I told myself, 'Whatever I've got to do, man, I'm going to give it all I've got.' I screwed up one play. I can't do that again."

Sixty-two yards of sprinting later, Hall had his first career touchdown and the Broncos had their two-score lead restored. The sack for which Hall absorbed the blame was like a fingerprint on a finely restored 1961 Ferrari; it was a minor blemish, but one that could be removed -- whether by a soft rag or a scoring run that provided the final margin in a 34-20 win in front of 74,698 at INVESCO Field at Mile High.

"He made up for it," Cutler said.

And how.

Hall's 62-yard touchdown run was the longest run for any Bronco in 12 months, and the longest run by a Denver running back since Tatum Bell scampered 67 yards for a touchdown against Philadelphia on Oct. 30, 2005.

"No matter who was behind me, no one was going to catch me," Hall said.

There was as much room up the middle of the field as there was in front of Hall when he broke past the Titans defenders. That was thanks to the gaping hole created by his blockers in front, including wide receiver Brandon Marshall.

"It was big enough to scare me," Hall admitted. "I didn't know whether to hit this, is it a trick, what's going on? I just went with my gut, hit it and kept it moving.

"It was like practice. You know how they set the plays to open up? That's what it did. Exactly what it did. The offensive line watched everybody, and Brandon kicked his guy out, and the hole opened up."

And with it, so did the Broncos' path to victory, thanks to the final lightning strike in a game filled with them.


LIGHTING UP THE NIGHT

Each of the Broncos' touchdowns covered more than 40 yards -- two in the air, one on a punt return and finally Hall's score, which provided the 14-point cushion that the defense preserved with a pair of interceptions in the game's final minutes.

The Broncos had never before had four touchdowns covering more than 40 yards in one game and became the first team to accomplish the feat since the Minnesota Vikings did so against the Seattle Seahawks on Dec. 7, 2003.

"It was a team effort all three phases," said Marshall, whose 41-yard touchdown catch put the Broncos in front 27-10 during the third quarter. "We were overdue. Our offense finally exploded. We’ve just got to piggyback off this game and keep it going."

"If you watch film as we do after games, it's one play here, one play there, one guy missing an assignment kills the whole play," said Glenn Martinez, whose 80-yard punt return gave him the first touchdown of his career. "We know we're better than that, and we've been practicing real hard these past couple of weeks to get better at that aspect.

"It's paying off for us now."

The game was hyped as a duel of two of the three first-round quarterbacks selected in the 2006 NFL Draft, and the performance of the two passers did not disappoint. Cutler became the first Broncos quarterback with multiple touchdown passes of 40 or more yards in a single game since John Elway on Dec. 3, 1995, while Tennessee's Vince Young managed to wriggle his way out of one jam after another throughout the night, accounting for scores both on the ground and in the air.

Cutler's night was statistically the best of his young career. He completed 16 of his 21 passes for 200 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions, amassing a 137.0 rating in the process.

Young, meanwhile, had the first 300-yard game of his career, throwing for 305 yards on 26-of-41 passing with a touchdown. He also led the Titans with 74 rushing yards on 11 carries, including a third-quarter touchdown; however, the two late picks sullied his night.

Denver opened the game with its best opening quarter of the season, sprinting to a 14-0 lead within the game's first 12 minutes on the strength of a pair of big plays -- a 48-yard Cutler-to-Brandon Stokley touchdown pass and Martinez's 80-yard punt runback.

The two early big plays allowed the Broncos to offset a Titans offense that managed to control the pace of the game's early stages, converting four of six third-down tries in the first quarter and amassing an 11:47-3:13 time of possession advantage in the first 15 minutes. But w

The Titans would narrow the gap to seven points on multiple occasions in the final three quarters, but they would never claim the lead. That would remain in the Broncos' hands from Stokley's 48-yard touchdown catch 9:47 into the game until the final gun at 9:41 p.m. MST.

FIRST PLACE

Heading into the season, not one prognosticator surmised that a .500 mark would allow a team to pace the AFC West after 10 games. In the four previous seasons, the division champion never had fewer than four losses.

Yet when Thanksgiving dawns, the Broncos and their ledger -- now all square at 5-5 thanks to the recent two-game winning streak -- share the top spot in the division with the San Diego Chargers.

Some took notice; others didn't.

"It feels great," said defensive end Tim Crowder. "We've still got a lot of work to do."

"I don't even worry about that," Hall added. "I play one day, one meeting at a time. It's going to all work out all right."

But what they shared was a desire to fill their Tuesday -- a players' day off -- with study.

"We're going to watch the film (Tuesday) on our day off," Crowder said, "so that just shows you how committed we are as a defense and as a team."

"We're going to come back (Tuesday)," Hall said. "We've got to come back in and look at our mistakes. We made a lot of mistakes tonight, and we've just got to pick it up for next week."

Picking a season up after it hit the ground in a slow start is something John Lynch knows well.

"We were perennial slow starters in Tampa," he said, referring back to his 11 seasons with the Buccaneers. "You can do some good things if you just keep up. We talked about pounding that rock, and eventually you crack it. We've been pounding it the last couple of weeks.

"We've got to keep it going. There's a lot of football yet to be played."

But if the Broncos can keep winning, that football will be meaningful indeed.

BRONCOS BYTES:


Lynch returned to the lineup after missing the last two games with numbness in his arm that followed the neck stinger he suffered in the team's previous Monday Night Football game against the Green Bay Packers, but he momentarily left the contest late in third quarter after tackling Titans tight end Bo Scaife. He returned. "I feel great," Lynch said. "They played me on some base and some nickel. I think the goal was to play me on 60, 70 percent of the plays and it was a good way to come back and get back in the action. I made it through this first test."
Hamza Abdullah made his second consecutive start, lining up at strong safety in place of listed first-teamer Nick Ferguson. Abdullah logged eight total tackles, the most among Broncos defensive backs. "I've seen special skills in Hamz," Lynch said. "He's got unique physical ability, but then he's got the other part -- where he wants to be a special player.
Travis Henry missed a second consecutive game with a partially torn posterior cruciate ligament; he had practiced last Thursday but had been limited in his work. Joining Henry on the inactive list were fellow former Titans Larry Birdine and Isaac Snell; both were on the Titans' practice squad this year and were signed to the Broncos' 53-man roster directly from the eight-man developmental unit.
Fullback/running back Mike Bell dressed for the first time since Week 3 against Jacksonville, but did not post a carry or a reception.
Denver used Josh Mallard and Kenny Peterson extensively on the defensive front; neither player was with the Broncos just two weeks earlier.
Crowder had a sack of Vince Young, his teammate at the University of Texas. Crowder now has three sacks in the last two games.
Cutler came out of the locker room sizzling at the game's opening, completing his first six passes. He had a 158.3 passer rating after the first quarter, during which he went 2-of-2 for 64 yards with the 48-yard touchdown pass to Stokley. Cutler's rating remained stratospheric at halftime, standing at 150.8.

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This weeks game summary:

We were idiots and kicked the ball to Hester :roll:

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REB wrote:
This weeks game summary:

We were idiots and kicked the ball to Hester :roll:


You hit the nail right on there.

What the hell were they thinking? :evil:


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