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DENVER 37, SAN DIEGO 8

With Plummer's Help, Offense Flows Again

November 17, 2003|From Associated Press

DENVER — Jake Plummer made all the difference for the Denver Broncos.

Plummer showed no signs of rust in his first game in a month, throwing for 253 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Broncos to a 37-8 rout of the San Diego Chargers on Sunday.

"There's no question you try to minimize the situation when one of your guys go out," said tight end Shannon Sharpe, who caught all three of Plummer's touchdown passes. "But Jake brings us to a dimension we don't have unless he's in the ballgame."

With Plummer back after missing four games because of foot and shoulder injuries, Denver (6-4) came flying out of its bye week.

The Broncos dominated from the start, scoring on five of seven first-half possessions to take a 27-0 lead. Denver had 448 total yards and held the ball for an amazing 44:11 -- thought to be a team record -- to end a three-game losing streak.

"Today was a big step for us because we came out and made plays for the first time in a while," Plummer said.

Sharpe caught seven passes for 101 yards and passed Jerry Smith's league record for touchdowns by a tight end with 61. He's the all-time leader in receptions and yards at his position.

Rod Smith had a 65-yard punt return for a touchdown and caught 10 passes for 84 yards.

Clinton Portis added 106 yards in 25 carries, and Jason Elam hit two field goals despite a strained groin.

San Diego's offense was much worse, one week after Doug Flutie led an improbable victory.

The Chargers (2-8) managed 96 yards -- three in the second and third quarters -- after gaining a season-high 458 in a 42-28 win over Minnesota last week. San Diego had four turnovers.

Flutie was phenomenal against the Vikings, accounting for four touchdowns, but wasn't so great against the Broncos. He was nine of 25 for 70 yards with an interception and two fumbles.

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