Plummer needs to regain early season form

Clinton Portis is in top form, but the Broncos will need more from QB Jake Plummer during the stretch run.

Updated: December 4, 2003, 12:18 PM ET
By By Darrell Trimble | NFL Insider
With last Sunday's victory over the Oakland Raiders, the Denver Broncos improved to 7-5 and kept their playoff hopes alive.

In the win, Clinton Portis was fabulous, carrying the ball a career-high 34 times for 170 yards and two touchdowns. But the chances of Denver reaching the postseason depend less on the legs of Portis and more on the arm of Jake Plummer.

Not that the Portis doesn't have the ability to carry Denver's offense. He's the only Broncos player with more than 100 carries to average more than five yards per rush, and yes, that includes Terrell Davis. His 1,234 rushing yards place him fifth in the league, although he's missed one game and parts of other with varying injuries.