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  #121  
Old 11-01-2006, 03:37 PM
Cutler6
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Originally Posted by guimcharger
LOL. Shows how much they know about football. Who won the division before they did? We did. Until last year Denver hadn't even won a AFC West Championship with the new divisional alignment and hadn't won a division title since '98.

2002: Chokeland Faiders (Killed in the Super Bowl)
2003: Kansas City Chiefs
2004: San Diego Chargers
2005: Denver Broncos
And the chargers have done better?
What is next playoff births and superbowls?
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  #122  
Old 11-01-2006, 05:20 PM
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guimcharger guimcharger is offline
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Originally Posted by AlWilson
And the chargers have done better?
What is next playoff births and superbowls?
I wasn't bashing you, but if you take it that way go right ahead.
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  #123  
Old 11-13-2006, 09:43 PM
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Default Pretty pleased with ugly win

7-2 Denver glad breaks go its way
By Mike Klis Denver Post 11/13/2006

Oakland, Calif. - Somebody up there, a someone who controls the random nature of good breaks and bad bounces, must hate the Oakland Raiders.

To review, Al Davis owns the Raiders. Mike Shanarat was pushed out long ago.

If this doesn't sufficiently explain how Shanarat's Broncos defeated Davis' Raiders 17-13 on Sunday before a sellout crowd at McAfee Stadium, then there may be no logical explanation.

"Down the road, no one will look back and say how ugly this was," said Broncos quarterback Jake Plummer, who overcame three interceptions to go 7-for-7 on the game-winning drive. "It will still count as a W."

What was it Al Davis used to say? Oh, yeah. Just win, baby. The meaning of which Shanaran stole after his Broncos remained tied with the 7-2 San Diego Chargers for the AFC West lead heading into their division showdown next Sunday night in Denver.

In making the next game monumental, the Broncos first avoided devastating defeat at the Black Hole.

On their way to scoring a game-winning, fourth-quarter touchdown, the Broncos fumbled twice. The Broncos got zero rushing yards on plays not busted on the scoring drive. They completed zero passes to star receiver Javon Walker. And on fourth-and-goal from the 1, they risked scoring zero points.

So how did tht Broncos score? On those two fumbles, the first was lost, only to be overturned on the type of penalty only a Raider can commit.

After Raiders punt-coverage gunner Chris Carr was knocked out of bounds by Denver's Curome Cox, Carr kept running out of bounds. That's a no-no. So instead of the Raiders, who at the time were leading 13-7 late in the third quarter, recovering a fumble by punt returner David Kircus at the Broncos' 20, Carr was flagged for not returning soon enough to the field of play, an unsportsmanlike conduct violation.

"They knocked me out of bounds initially and the guy was still blocking me
out of bounds, so I was still running," Carr said.

Cox and Domonique Foxworth, who double-teamed Carr on the play, chuckled at the violator's side of the story.

"That would be a lie," Foxworth said. "Look at the film. Curome threw him out of bounds and he fell down. Then he got up and proceeded to run 20 yards down the field out of bounds. They rarely make that call. It's nice to see the Broncos get a call every now and then."

The result of the penalty was a re-kick, and the Broncos this time started their drive at their 40.

"I'd say that was a pretty big turning point," Shanarat said. "No offense, but it doesn't take a genius to figure out they could take control of the game."

Instead, the Broncos unveiled their rarely used tight end attack. At one point, Plummer completed five consecutive passes to tight ends - four to Stephen Alexander and a 24-yard strike to Nate Jackson that set up first-and-goal at the Raiders 8.

But on the next play, Plummer and Damien Nash muffed the handoff exchange and the ball lay tantalizingly on the ground before squirting through a Raiders defender and underneath the Broncos running back. Drive alive.

It became fourth-and-goal at the 1, when Shanarat went through his options. Kicking a field goal wasn't one of them.

"You guys have been around me long enough to figure that one out," Shanarat said.

The play called for no receivers and a line of scrimmage scrunched into a rugby-like scrum. Plummer faked a handoff, shifted to his left and saw fullback Kyle Johnson alone in the end zone.
"You're thinking, 'Catch it, catch it, catch it, catch it,"' Johnson said. "'Look it in, look it in, look it in."'

He caught it for a touchdown. The Broncos, for the first time, had the lead. There still was a bit more than 11 minutes left, but the Broncos' defense ended its two-game slump by taking care of the Raiders' stumbling offense, and Jason Elam later added a short field goal.

In the Broncos' past two games, their defense had allowed 54 points and 965 yards. In this one, the only touchdown Denver allowed was a 15-yard Oakland drive set up by a Plummer interception.

"After that first half (of the season), we all told ourselves that wasn't good enough," said Broncos defensive end Kenard Lang, who made two sacks. "We came out in the second half and made an attitude adjustment."

Attitude wasn't the Broncos' only adjustment. To start the regular season's second half, Shanarat made several second-half roster changes. Tatum Bell was back as the starting tailback, Mike Bell was inactive and Nash jumped all the way from the practice squad to backup tailback.

Offensive lineman Adam Meadows replaced healthy George Foster at right tackle, Nate Webster filled in for injured Ian Gold at outside linebacker and Kenny Peterson and John Engelberger were in for banged-up Ebenezer Ekuban.

Integrating fresh players into a cohesive unit took a while, particularly on offense, and the Broncos were down 13-7 at halftime as they walked shoulder to shoulder with the Raiders through the same locker-room tunnel.

It was the same tunnel Alexander moved through as he walked into the Black Hole before the game.

"This little kid with his dad there, both of them had their faces painted and they were yelling and carrying on," Alexander said. "And I just looked at the guy and was going, 'Why would you expose your son to this?' But that's the way they are here. They live and die with the Raiders."

At game's end, it was clear somebody must not care for the Raiders.

THE GRADES
Offense

C: Jake Plummer was shaky much of the game. He threw three interceptions, but when it counted, Plummer was solid. He got hot in the fourth quarter. At one point in the second half, Plummer threw 11 consecutive completions, hitting tight ends on five straight plays. So while stymied at times, Denver's offense delivered when it had to against a strong defense.

Defense

B: It was a sound performance by the Denver defense after two sub-par games against the pass. The Denver defense stiffened when it had to and allowed only one touchdown, which came after Plummer threw an interception that gave Oakland the ball deep in Denver territory. The Broncos threw a shutout in the second half.

Special teams

C: The Broncos benefited from a 15-yard penalty on Oakland after a fumble by punt returner David Kircus late in the third quarter. That was a huge break. Plus, Denver's Paul Ernster shanked two punts. The good news for the unit was Kircus had a 42-yard punt return to set up Denver's first touchdown and Jason Elam kicked a key field goal with 1:56 to go.

Coaching

B: Denver seemed to gain control of the game in the second half. Trailing 13-7 at the half, the Broncos came back out with purpose. The offense was much crisper and the defense attacked Oakland. This game was won in the second half and the coaching staff gets credit for making the correct adjustments.

Overall

B: OK, no one is thrilled to squeak by Oakland. But the point is, the Broncos are 7-2 heading into crucial games against the Chargers and the Chiefs. In the NFL, all road wins are sweet. The Broncos were the better team. Denver needed to win its second of two consecutive road games, and it did it.

- Bill Williamson

EXTRA POINTS
TURNING POINT: Two key turnovers

Two fumbles by Oakland quarterback Andrew Walter in the final four minutes of the game sealed the win for Denver. The first fumble was caused by Kenard Lang's sack, his second of the game. John Engelberger, playing for the injured Ebenezer Ekuban, recovered the fumble and Jason Elam kicked a 24-yard field goal four plays later to give Denver a four-

point lead with 1:56 to play. On Oakland's next play, Walter fumbled the snap and Elvis Dumervil recovered.

"We came up with the big plays when we had to make them," Lang said. "We got key turnovers when we needed them."

HIT OF THE DAY: Nice running, Raider

Broncos star Al Wilson is a nasty NFL linebacker and a former Golden Gloves boxer. But in the third quarter, Oakland running back LaMont Jordan knocked Wilson down. Wilson was so impressed, he sought out Jordan after the play and congratulated him. Wilson knew what Jordan had done was no small feat.

CRAZY PLAY OF THE DAY: Broncos catch break

Denver got a huge break late in the third quarter, after punt returner David Kircus fumbled at his 21-yard line. Oakland was penalized 15 yards for unsportsmanlike conduct, wiping out the play. After the next Oakland punt, Denver got the ball at its 40.

"It doesn't take a genius to figure out that was a big play for us," Denver coach Mike Shanahan said.

BESTS: Big on Brayton

Ovation: Oakland defensive end Tyler Brayton, who starred at Colorado, was given a loud cheer when he was introduced before the game. Brayton made national headlines last week in Seattle when he kneed Seattle tight end Jerramy Stevens in the groin. Brayton was fined $25,000 by the NFL.

Move: Denver's Javon Walker gets better every week. Walker showed outstanding skills on a 39-yard TD reception. Walker outmaneuvered two Oakland defenders on his way to tying the game 7-7.

Leg: Oakland kicker Sebastian Janikowski, above, hit a 55-yard field goal in the second quarter. It equaled his team record.

WORSTS: Kick it in gear, please

Punt: Paul Ernster shanked a punt on the Broncos' first possession. The kick went only 25 yards.

Laziness: Oakland wide receiver Randy Moss barely got off the field before a play began after being taken out when the Raiders had the ball at Denver's 3-yard line.
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