barely getting a sniff at the playoffs. Enter Clinton Portis, a super-quick rookie running back from the University of Miami who, after an early-season bout of fumbleitis, collected 1,508 yards (fourth best in the NFL), fifteen touchdowns and a lock on the Broncos' disputed starting spot. At 5-11 and 205 pounds, Portis has the size to be durable, and his moves are astonishing. His pairing in the backfield with new quarterback Jake Plummer should be good news: A dramatically improved passing game (keep your fingers crossed, Broncomaniacs) usually means fewer bloodthirsty linebackers in the face of a good ball carrier. As for the new QB, that $40 million contract probably dictates a change of nickname from "Jake the Snake" to "Liquid Plummer."