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DENVER 17, NEW ENGLAND 7

Broncos' Defense Gets Key Credit

September 25, 2006|From the Associated Press

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Maybe it's time for Denver fans to stop booing Jake Plummer and start cheering the Broncos' defense.

Plummer threw touchdown passes of 83 and 32 yards to Javon Walker on Sunday night and the Broncos beat New England, 17-7. They were Plummer's first two touchdown passes of the season.

"There was no difference, just go out and play," Plummer said. "We had a good game plan.... It just happened to work this week."

But the credit goes as much to Denver's defense, which shut down Tom Brady, and the Patriots' offense, which was without several of its dwindling options.

The win was the fifth for the Broncos (2-1) in their last six games with the Patriots (2-1).

The offense did its share too.

Pinned three times inside its five-yard line by Josh Miller's punts, Denver consistently moved the ball far enough to give Paul Ernster room to kick it out of danger.

That was largely the work of Tatum Bell, who gained 123 yards in 27 carries, and the efficiency of Plummer, who hit two third-down passes in the first half to move the ball out of danger.

Perhaps more important, he didn't make the mistakes he is sometimes prone to making.

Plummer, who entered the game with four interceptions and a dismal passer rating of 38.6, finally threw his first touchdown pass of the season with 56 seconds left in the half.

Plummer was 15 for 30 for 256 yards, numbers that had Broncos fans calling for rookie Jay Cutler. But he was much more efficient than in his first two efforts.

Brady, hampered by a running game that produced only 50 yards, was 31 for 55 for 320 yards, much of it late against a prevent defense.

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