As the weather fell on the frozen turf of Invesco Field, so fell the playoff hopes of the Denver Broncos, as the Washington Redskins come from behind to capture a 17-10 victory over the once-reigning champions.
"We couldn't get anything going. Our offense was the worst performance I've seen ever in my time in the National Football League," Broncos coach Mike Shanahan said. "In the second half, our defense hung in there. We gave them great field position, and a number of opportunities. We just didn't produce offensively."
With the temperature hovering just above 20 degrees, it's not surprising that neither team was able to produce much offensively. Each team fumbled six times, the Redskins losing it three times and the Broncos turning it over twice.
Denver broke a scoreless tie in the second quarter when Jason Elam found the range from 33-yards out, and followed up with a Brian Griese to Rod Smith touchdown catch from the 1-yard line, giving the Broncos a 10-0 advantage.
That lead didn't last long however, thanks to backup quarterback Kent Graham, who stepped in after starter Tony Banks suffered a concussion late in the second quarter after being hit by defensive end Leon Lett.
Graham stepped in, completing 3 straight passes to set up a Brett Conway 48-yard field goal. He also added two fourth quarter touchdown strikes, a 5-yard pass to Michael Westbrook for the tying touchdown and a 3-yard toss to tight end Zeron Flemister for the game winner.
"I felt we had good opportunities. We just had to be patient and be smart with the football," Graham said.
"I was just trying to be as focused as possible. I was trying to take care of the ball and not worry about the next play. I didn't know what was going to happen. I just wanted to fit into the system and make smart decisions."
Graham's exploits are nothing new to the Broncos. In 1998 Graham spoiled Denver's bid for an undefeated season with a 20-16 victory, throwing three touchdown strikes as a member of the New York Giants.
The loss drops Denver's record to 5-5, tying them with San Diego for third place in the AFC West, 2 ½ games behind the division leading Oakland Raiders and the suddenly surging Seattle Seahawks.
Redskins shock Denver 17-10
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