|11-04-2005, 12:03 PM||#1|
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: South of Boston
Plummer Has Flourished In Past Month
Nov 4, 2005 10:45 am US/Mountain
Plummer Has Flourished In Past Month
by Andrew Mason, DenverBroncos.com
(CBS4) ENGLEWOOD, Colo. To appreciate where the Broncos are at midseason -- and the role their starting quarterback has played in getting them there -- one must understand where the Broncos were just seven weeks ago.
By the time a tipped Jake Jake Plummer pass had found its way into the hands of San Diego's Bhwaoh Jue late in the third quarter of a Sept. 18 game, Plummer had been tagged for 12 interceptions in his past seven regular-season games dating back to a four-interception day against those same Chargers last December. In that same span, Plummer had thrown just six touchdown passes.
It wasn't that Plummer couldn't have a solid performance in the touchdown/interception measurement, a crucial statistic of a passer's proficiency. He had a better than two-to-one ratio in his first 22 regular-season starts in orange and blue, tossing 37 touchdowns against only 18 picks.
So as Plummer flourished in the past month, one can forgive General Manager Ted Sundquist for not piching himself. Plummer's recent success is no newsflash to him.
"I think Jake's playing at the same level he's been playing the last couple of years," he said.
Even more significant than Plummer's 37-to-18 touchdown/interception ratio in his first 22 starts was his commensurate 16-6 record in that span.
"I've always felt that the guy was a talented player," Sundquist said. "That's why we brought him here and made the commitment for him to be our franchise quarterback (in 2003)."
A 20-17 loss at San Diego last year in which Plummer threw four interceptions -- including two that bounced off the hands of their intended receivers and another that Jerry Wilson nabbed in the end zone -- started the 12-pick, seven-game slide. Another game against the Chargers, decided by the same score with teams reversed, bookended the slump.
Since then, Plummer's merely played some of the most efficient football of his career. In one corner, you have triple-digit passer ratings in four of six games, including a 134.4 rating against the New England Patriots. In another rests Plummer's completion percentage of 63.1 percent, just higher than his previous single-season standard of 62.6 percent in 2003.
And of course, there's six games without an interception, which is two weeks better than his previous high point of four games sans pick, set two years ago.
"You can see that he's making good decisions," Head Coach Mike Shanahan said, "and I think one of the reasons that he's making good decisions is that he's studying hard."
Plummer began his recent run of success by being efficient and managing the game, averaging a mere 14 completions and 126.7 yards while tossing four touchdown passes in wins over Kansas City, Jacksonville and Washington. In the three weeks that followed, those averages increased to 19 completions and 255 yards, along with seven touchdowsn over the span.
It's hard to argue with a 12-to-3 touchdown-to-interception ratio, his total for the season. It's even harder to counter the 11-to-zero ratio of the past six games, during which the Broncos went 5-1, never scored fewer than 20 points and averaged 28.5 points per contest.
"What's not to be pleased with?" Sundquist said.
Plummer has turned in solid numbers before in Denver, and his success this year allowed him to get back to a break-even career touchdown-to-interception ratio (144 apiece) for the first time since the 1998 season. He'd been minus-24 in that category over six Arizona Cardinals seasons; he's plus-24 (54 touchdowns, 30 interceptions) in two and a half with Denver.
But the real difference in Plummer this year is not his performance, but in his demeanor in achieving it.
"Honestly, I've never seen him be so calm in the pocket, so calm in practice, so calm in meetings," wide receiver Rod Smith said. "He understands what it's going to take to get him over the top, and people are going to recognize his skills as a quarterback in the league."
That bears itself out in his decision-making, such as on one play in the first quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles, where he ducked and weaved past a pair of defenders and veered forward. A year ago in a similar situation against the Oakland Raiders, he went for Rod Smith 40 yards downfield in the end zone and was intercepted.
This year, Plummer made a motion to go deep, then located a wide-open Mike Anderson across the middle to get the Broncos into the red zone. The team would eventually find the end zone on that drive.
"What he's been able to do this year under the guidance of the coaching staff is to still be just as competitive and still try to make the plays, but to know that you've got some talent out there surrounding you and you don't have to necessarily always make the play," Sundquist said. "There are instances and times where you can dump the ball off and come back to live another day, so to speak."
And so far this season, Plummer is living right.
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Last edited by PatsWin2002; 11-04-2005 at 12:06 PM..
|11-04-2005, 04:41 PM||#3|
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Bama Baby
Well lets hope he keeps this up after the bye week. Cause if he goes back into an INT machine, these first 8 games won't mean squat.