Final

Redskins 19

(3-1, 1-1 away)

Broncos 21

(4-1, 3-0 home)

4:15 PM ET, October 9, 2005

 

1 2 3 4 T
WSH 7 3 0 919
DEN 7 7 7 021

Top Performers

Passing: M. Brunell (WSH) - 322 YDS, 2 TD

Rushing: T. Bell (DEN) - 12 CAR, 127 YDS, 2 TD

Receiving: S. Moss (WSH) - 8 REC, 116 YDS

Redskins falter as Broncos win fourth straight

DENVER (AP) -- The offense wasn't moving. Denver was facing overtime in the icy, bitter rain. Linebacker Ian Gold stuck his hand out, knocked down a pass -- and with that, the Broncos showed that Washington isn't the only team that can find odd and ugly ways to win the close ones.

It was over when ...
Ian Gold knocked away Mark Brunell's pass on a two-point attempt that would have tied it with 1:09 left.
Game ball goes to ...
Gold for saving the game, although Tatum Bell's two TD runs helped Denver take the lead.
ESPN's take ...
Eric Allen Even though the Redskins lost this game it's time for the Redskins to be taken seriously as a contender in the NFC. They have an excellent defense that provided pressure on the quarterback and a defensive backfield that can make plays. In addition to that they have a renewed Mark Brunell on offense who Joe Gibbs has a lot of faith in as a player. Brunell gives this team the run-pass option that makes their offense difficult for opposing defenses to game plan against.
-- Eric Allen

Gold knocked away Mark Brunell's two-point conversion pass with 1:09 left Sunday to help Denver hang onto a 21-19 victory and keep the Redskins from adding yet another fantastic finish to their charmed season.

"Later in the season, you don't remember how they came, you only remember it's a win," said Broncos quarterback Jake Plummer, held to 92 yards passing in the driving rain.

The problems that plagued Plummer, however, didn't bother Brunell.

He went 30-for-53 for 322 yards and drove the Redskins 94 yards for the touchdown -- an 11-yard pass to Chris Cooley -- that pulled Washington (3-1) within two.

On the conversion try, Brunell spotted David Patten open in the back of the end zone for a moment, but Gold came over and batted down the pass to prevent a possible overtime.

"You saw what his speed and athleticism will do," Broncos linebacker Al Wilson said. "It was a hell of a play."

The Redskins won their first three games by a total of six points, including a grinding 20-17 overtime win last week that came only after Seattle kicker Josh Brown hit the upright on the last play of regulation. This time, though -- no great finish.

"This one is going to hurt, it's supposed to hurt," Brunell said.

While Gold's big play saved the game, Tatum Bell made the difference for Denver (4-1) the rest of the time, rushing for 127 yards and two long scores to help the Broncos to a 21-10 lead.

In the first quarter, Bell took a toss on fourth-and-1 and faked out Phillip Daniels en route to a 34-yard score. That stood as Bell's longest career run until the third quarter, when he burst through the Washington defense on a sweep for a 55-yard touchdown to put the Broncos ahead by 11.

"I just have to keep working," said Bell, demoted behind Mike Anderson in training camp this year. "I don't want to just be a 'one-game wonder.' I want to be the starter."

The Broncos won their fourth straight despite missing Champ Bailey, who sat out his second straight game with a sore hamstring. It put a damper on what was supposed to be the first meeting between him and Clinton Portis since the Redskins and Broncos pulled off a blockbuster trade and swapped the two stars before last season.

Portis, a flamboyant and temperamental playmaker during his two years in Denver, ran for 103 yards on 20 carries for the Redskins and was booed pretty much every time he touched the ball.

"My fans don't boo me in Washington and that's the only fans I look for to cheer for me," he said.

Cheers or boos, there was no denying Portis wasn't nearly as big a factor as Bell.

The Broncos acquired Bell last year with a second-round pick Washington threw in to complete the Bailey-Portis trade, and Bell finally cashed in on the potential he showed signs of during his injury-plagued rookie season.

His big plays were needed.

Denver gained only 257 yards and managed 11 first downs. Plummer went 10-for-25, a sloppy showing that wasn't nearly as efficient as he'd been in Denver's last two wins.

He was as happy as anyone that the defense held at the end.

"We'd been standing there a long time," Plummer said. "It would have been hard to get back out there as an offense and get back ready for overtime."

Brunell, meanwhile, looked at home in the rain. In the end, though, the Redskins had a number of missed opportunities to bemoan in such a close game.

A false-start penalty nullified what would have been a 54-yard field goal by Nick Novak -- a good kick given the conditions -- at the end of the first half. In the third quarter, Washington moved into field goal range again, but Trevor Pryce got a hand on Novak's kick.

Washington also had a safety taken away courtesy of the infamous "tuck rule." Plummer lost the ball near his goal line and recovered in the end zone where he was tackled, but officials overruled the play, saying Plummer's arm had been moving forward when the ball slipped from his grasp, making it an incomplete pass.

"We had enough mistakes to actually go out and lose this game," Portis said. "We hurt ourselves."

Game notes


Denver improved to 4-1 or better for the seventh time in Mike Shanahan's 11 seasons with the Broncos. ... Washington's lost fumble was the only turnover of the game and the Redskins' turnover ratio fell to minus-5.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
WSH
DEN
1st Downs2811
Passing 1st downs
184
Rushing 1st downs
76
1st downs from penalties
31
3rd down efficiency
6-154-14
4th down efficiency
0-01-1
Total Plays7954
Total Yards447257
Yards per play5.74.8
Total Drives1312
Passing32292
Comp-Att
30-5310-26
Yards per pass
6.13.5
Interceptions thrown
00
Sacks-Yards Lost
0-00-0
Rushing125165
Rushing Attempts
2628
Yards per rush
4.85.9
Red Zone (Made-Att)0-40-1
Penalties10-676-43
Turnovers10
Fumbles lost
10
Interceptions thrown
00
Defensive / Special Teams TDs00
Possession33:4926:11

Passing Leaders

WSHC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Brunell30/533226.1200-0
DENC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Plummer10/25923.7100-0
Smith0/100.0000-0

Rushing Leaders

WSHCARYDSAVGTDLG
Portis201035.2021
Brunell4174.3014
DENCARYDSAVGTDLG
Bell1212710.6255
Anderson11343.109

Receiving Leaders

WSHRECYDSAVGTDLG
Moss811614.5032
Cooley88210.3123
DENRECYDSAVGTDLG
Putzier13131.0031
Smith22311.5013

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERWSHDEN
denTD11:49Tatum Bell, 34 yd run (Jason Elam kick is good)
Drive info: 4 plays, 43 yds, 0:42
07
wshTD3:55Mike Sellers, 2 yd pass from Mark Brunell (Nick Novak kick is good)
Drive info: 15 plays, 66 yds, 7:40
77
SECOND QUARTERWSHDEN
denTD12:12Ashley Lelie, 5 yd pass from Jake Plummer (Jason Elam kick is good)
Drive info: 12 plays, 78 yds, 8:33
714
wshFG1:46Nick Novak 26 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 8 plays, 46 yds, 2:27
1014
THIRD QUARTERWSHDEN
denTD6:39Tatum Bell, 55 yd run (Jason Elam kick is good)
Drive info: 3 plays, 60 yds, 0:42
1021
FOURTH QUARTERWSHDEN
wshFG6:30Nick Novak 28 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 5 plays, 22 yds, 1:57
1321
wshTD1:15Chris Cooley, 11 yd pass from Mark Brunell
Drive info: 16 plays, 94 yds, 3:22
1921