Oct. 10, 2005 - Denver linebacker Ian Gold stretched out his arm and the ball happened to hit his hand to save the game for the Broncos. It was, Gold insisted, more a matter of luck and good timing than a perfect plan that worked. The same could be said about many aspects of Denver's latest win, a 21-19 victory over Washington in which the Broncos were outplayed and outgained but still managed to come out on top. "I'd love to go through the history of some of the ugliest games ever and see who's won them,'' Gold said Monday. "Great teams win a lot of ugly games.'' It's way too early to put the Broncos (4-1) in the "great'' category, but Sunday's grind-it-out win in the rain certainly was another positive sign for a team that came into the season as something of a mystery. They won with their best player, Champ Bailey, on the sideline. They won despite getting outgained 447-257 and making 11 first downs to Washington's 28. They won despite throwing for 92 yards. They won by finding super efforts in unexpected places: Tatum Bell's two long touchdown runs, Trevor Pryce's blocked field goal, Todd Sauerbrun's good punting, and, of course, Gold's game-saving play on the 2-point try at the end.
Bell makes splash - Denver Post - Mike Klis
10/10/2005 - Judgment on the great trade of stars arrived in a shivering, steady downpour. No longer was the trade analysis left to coachspeak. The deal that sent running back Clinton Portis to the Washington Redskins for cornerback Champ Bailey and a second-round draft pick was a great trade for both teams, the coaches always said, seemingly because they were supposed to. Finally put to the test Sunday afternoon when the Broncos held on to defeat the previously unbeaten Washington Redskins 21-19 at slippery, rain-soaked Invesco Field at Mile High, the swap developed an interesting twist. Standing on the sideline with a bum hamstring, out of uniform, watching running back Tatum Bell pass by on another long touchdown sprint, Bailey momentarily became the trade's throw-in. The draft pick no longer was an afterthought.
Photo finish necessary - Denver Post - Mark Kiszla
10/10/2005 - The camera doesn't lie. But does it cheat in favor of the home team? The Broncos beat Washington 21-19. Or did they? Upon further review, the Redskins claimed a blown call on instant replay erased two hard-earned points from the scoreboard and robbed them of victory. While the NFL has regularly relied on instant replay since 1999, the debate goes on. The technology changes the outcome of games, but seldom ends arguments. Washington left the field Sunday feeling miserable, soaked to the bone from a cold, steady rain and refusing to believe Denver deserved to win. The Redskins contend the referees beat them, with defensive end Renaldo Wynn thinking sheepish league officials might have to apologize for knocking Washington from the ranks of the unbeaten.
Clean-play display in muck, mud - Denver Post - Thomas George
10/10/2005 - When a football game is played in steady rain and chilly wind on a slick surface, it is often the perfect setting for a batch of folly. In such elements, you often see games in which the ball is fumbled more than secured, where passes flutter and sail, and players slip when they should be standing tall. It can be a wreck. A nervous one for a player as much as for his coach. So, what the Broncos were able to accomplish against Washington on Sunday in their 21-19 victory serves as a reminder of how focused and special this team can be in the areas of penalties and turnovers. These Broncos are playing an enviable brand of clean football. In winning four straight games, it is the characteristic that glows. It is the trait that every coach preaches and teaches but only a few are able to draw from their players.
Rain cramps style, not substance - Denver Post - Mike Klis and Bill Williamson
10/10/2005 - Domonique Foxworth couldn't stop his bottom lip from shivering. The right jaw of linebacker D.J. Williams was uncontrollably shaking. Nothing unusual about this given the rainy and chilly conditions. Except the Broncos' 21-19 victory against the Washington Redskins had concluded a full 30 minutes earlier. And Foxworth and Williams had already showered and changed into their civilian clothes. They were still shaking.
In long run, small ball wins - Denver Post - Jim Armstrong
10/10/2005 - You think the Rockies play small ball? Check out the Broncos. Five games into the season, Jake Plummer hasn't completed a pass to a wideout for more than 23 yards. His longest pass of the season is a 31-yarder to tight end Jeb Putzier. His second-longest is a 26-yarder to tailback Mike Anderson. His go-to guy near the end zone? Try offensive tackle Dwayne Carswell, who leads the team with two TD catches. What gives? Lots. First, the Broncos' running game is producing enough big plays to light up the scoreboard. Their four longest plays of the season are runs of 55, 44, 39 and 34 yards.
Portis rushes into chilly Invesco reception - Denver Post - Joseph Sanchez
10/10/2005 - The first time he touched the ball, a stadium filled with boo-birds began its game-long chorus. The second time he touched the ball, he lost it on a bad exchange with quarterback Mark Brunell. Five plays later, he watched his old jersey travel 34 yards for a Broncos touchdown with somebody else wearing it. In his first visit to Invesco Field at Mile High since being traded to Washington last year, Pro Bowl running back Clinton Portis was booed, battered and bettered Sunday. But he handled it like a veteran, rushing for 103 yards on 20 carries (his second 100-yard game of the season) and helping the Redskins give the Broncos everything they could handle before graciously accepting a 21-19 loss, Washington's first of the season.
Taking out the Wash - Rocky Mountain News - Jeff Legwold
October 10, 2005 - Eureka! Look at what the Broncos have found. In a bone-numbing rain, the Broncos turned two touchdowns from Tatum Bell, a blocked field goal and one well-placed arm by linebacker Ian Gold into a grinding 21-19 victory against the Washington Redskins at Invesco Field at Mile High. The win pushed the Broncos to 4-1 and keeps them atop the AFC West with the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots on the way to Denver next weekend.
Nip/tuck: Reversal saves day - Rocky Mountain News - Lee Rasizer
October 10, 2005 - A once-obscure-turned-infamous-penalty call brought new meaning to the term "two-point conversion" Sunday. The "tuck rule," immortalized in a January 2002 playoff game, wiped out a Washington Redskins safety in the third quarter and robbed them of momentum the Denver Broncos quickly regained in a 21-19 victory at Invesco Field at Mile High. The Broncos (4-1) were pinned at their 2-yard line when quarterback Jake Plummer dropped to pass on third down and lost control of the ball on a pump fake. Plummer chased down the rain-soaked ball and quickly was tackled by Redskins cornerback Ade Jimoh, bringing Washington to 14-12, if only momentarily. The Broncos challenged the play, maintaining Plummer started his forward throwing motion and that an incomplete pass was the proper call. The officials agreed after a booth review.
Bell takes a big toll on Redskins - Rocky Mountain News - Lee Rasizer
October 10, 2005 - It was just like old times Sunday, with No. 26 in the offensive backfield busting off long touchdown runs at Invesco Field at Mile High. But while Clinton Portis was in the house, Tatum Bell was taking it to the house - twice - in a bust-out performance during the Denver Broncos' 21-19 victory against the Washington Redskins. "My teammates and coaches have been on me the last couple games about breaking a run without taking it the whole way, and I told them next time I have a chance, I've got to go all out," Bell said. The second-year running back did just that with touchdown runs of 55 and 34 yards as part of a 12-carry, 127-yard performance. In the process, Bell served notice he still is a factor in the Broncos backfield after Mike Anderson won the starting job out of training camp.
Krieger: Bell taking another run at starting job - Rocky Mountain News - Dave Krieger
October 10, 2005 - If ever there was a moment for Tatum Bell to make public his private determination to be the Broncos' starting tailback, this was it. After all, his 34-yard touchdown scamper on fourth down in the first quarter was the longest of his NFL career, a record he broke two quarters later with a 55-yard breakaway that provided the narrow margin of victory. So when I asked him afterward if he wanted Mike Anderson's job, he didn't flinch.
Lincicome: Broncos avoid a waterdread moment - Rocky Mountain News - Bernie Lincicome
October 10, 2005 - Drizzle, drizzle. Shiver, shiver. That kind of day. That kind of football game. In every way it should have been more miserable than it was. Wet necks, soggy dogs, damp feet, not even a chance to duck away under shelter because this thing was never more than a play away, not settled at all until, making his best catch of the day, including an earlier touchdown reception, the Broncos' Ashley Lelie curled around the onside kick and stopped the pain, if not the rain, on a soaked Sunday at Invesco Field. The Broncos have not lost in four, the Redskins finally lost after four, and measured one against the other, it was like two panhandlers fighting over the same poncho. Not at all pretty, not at all classic, not at all anything but over.
Broncos stave off Redskins - Daily Camera - Chris Shelton
October 10, 2005 — Tatum Bell wore a Denver uniform Sunday thanks in part to Clinton Portis. The Broncos were very grateful. Denver's latest No. 26 outshined Denver's old No. 26 just enough to lift the Broncos to a dramatic 21-19 victory at a rain-soaked Invesco Field at Mile High. "I wanted to come out and play well," Bell said. "I know what (Portis) brings to the table. I'm just trying to bring it back. ... I know I'm wearing 26 and that kind of stuff, but I felt good going against the old 26."
Sauerbrun boots Broncos out of trouble - Daily Camera - Ryan Thorburn
October 10, 2005 — On an afternoon when his punting spoke volumes as to why the Broncos traded for him, Todd Sauerbrun decided to talk anyway. The controversial former Carolina kicker — who had been boycotting the media since being linked to a steroids scandal and an arrest for driving under the influence last year — unmuted himself after an amazing performance during Denver's 21-19 victory over Washington on Sunday at Invesco Field. In rainy conditions, Sauerbrun averaged 38.4 net yards on seven punts, including a clutch kick out of the back of his own end zone in the third quarter and a 65-yard beauty that pinned the Redskins back at their own 6 for their final drive in the fourth quarter.
Thorburn: Bell rings as Broncos' key to future - Daily Camera - Ryan Thorburn
October 10, 2005 — Rooting against Mike Anderson is unpatriotic. His American dream realized makes for a great story every Sunday. We all admire the ex-Marine who was in the high school marching band and took the road least traveled to the NFL. We'll never forget that rookie season when the 26-year-old rushed for 1,487 yards and 15 touchdowns in only 12 starts. We respect the fact that he was willing to sacrifice personal glory for team success by playing fullback for two seasons. We'll never understand just how difficult it is to fight back from a groin muscle tear and return to the top of the depth chart. Tatum Bell, however, is the player who can allow the Broncos to dream big in 2005.
Rookies step up in Bronco secondary - Daily Camera - Chris Shelton
October 10, 2005 — Injuries keep putting Denver's secondary in position to fail this season. But rookie cornerbacks Domonique Foxworth and Darrent Williams aren't letting that happen. Sunday, for the third week in a row, a rookie started in the secondary, as both Foxworth and Williams began the game on the field in Denver's 21-19 home win over Washington. "We did all right," Foxworth said. "Not too shabby."
One Play That Made the Difference - Denver Broncos.com - Andrew Mason
Monday, October 10, 2005 - With each passing second late Sunday afternoon, the dousing rain that poured onto INVESCO Field at Mile High grew more intense, the breezes continued transforming from gentle to fierce, and the temperature continued its descent from merely chilly to downright frigid. There was only one way for the Denver Broncos to the blustery environs as a game-altering two-point conversion try beckoned with a mere 69 seconds left before the final gun. One way to avoid an overtime against a Washington Redskins team already well-accustomed to winning games in the most improbable of circumstances. As the Broncos' defensive players huddled for warmth and strategy near their goalpost, they knew that there was a way to avoid the uncomfortable, undesirable confluence of playing overtime against a team with wins by 1, 2 and 3 points on its résumé and doing so in conditions that would have needed to improve to be dubbed miserable.
Running Down a Dream - DenverBroncos.com - Andrew Mason
Monday, October 10, 2005 - Midway through the third quarter, Denver's offense was languishing. Five straight three-and-outs and the heavens opening up a Niagara-esque deluge onto the field conspired to stagnate an attack that had oozed dominance in sprinting to a pair of quick touchdowns on the Washington Redskins' formidable defense. Then the Broncos turned to what cranked up the offensive engine to begin with -- running back Tatum Bell. Fifty-five yards later, Bell celebrated in the south end zone, overjoyed at his second long touchdown run of the day, one that took him over the 100-yard mark for the afternoon and proved crucial to the Broncos' 21-19 win over the Redskins.
Voice your opinion on our Broncos Hardcore Message Board