WHEW! Escape plan

After spending the entire fourth quarter of the Denver Broncos v. Washington Redskins game without breathing, BroncosUpdate.com Columnist Sam DeWitt, TheRealMoose, experiences life after near-death.

It came down to one play, really. After battling the elements, an old friend turned foe, a terrific offensive line, a stout defense, and the referees, and winning most of those match-ups, the Denver Broncos lined up to defend a two-point conversion attempt by the Washington Redskins. Eep.

From my perch on the eleventh floor of the Denver Post building, I could see the game and our chances slip sliding away, just as I had done on my way into work in the freezing rain, and just as Paul Simon once sang about.

"Slip-slidin' away
Slip-slidin' away
You go the nearer your destination
The more you're slip-slidin' away
I know a woman
Became a wife
These are the very words she uses to describe her life:
She said a good day ain't got no rain
She said a bad day's when I lie in bed and think of things
That might have been."

Thankfully, on a slip-slidin' day, the Redskins slipped more than slided, and the Broncos took good advantage of opportunities handed to them from the DC contingent. And Joe Gibbs probably lied in bed and thought of things that might have been. If only.

If only for the not-a-safety that, by the way, was interpreted correctly as the Tuck Rule.

If only the rain didn't fall so hard.

If only it wasn't so cold.

If only Ian Gold hadn't been in that place at that time. The place was right, so was the time.

If only Jake Plummer had given up a fumble or an interception.

That's like saying, "if only I'd gone to school with Jennifer Garner, she'd be mine." If only, but wishful thinking.

For the record, the Broncos are now a remarkable +6 in turnover margin. Everyone, thank Clinton Portis for the nice fumble.

"Thank you, Mr. Portis."

And with an 11-point lead in the fourth quarter, I thought it was wrapped up. And then with an eight-point lead in the fourth quarter, I thought it was wrapped up. And then with a fourth-and-10 sack of Mark Brunell, I thought it was wrapped up. And each time, it wasn't.

(Slight note here: the game should have been over with the sack on Brunell. That downfield holding call was a job if I've ever seen one, and I have.)

And then came the touchdown, which, I swear to God, could have sent me to the hospital. 21-19, Denver still ahead, but barely. And a two-point try coming up. And an offense that had destroyed us all game for yards.

And there it was: a receiver in the back of the end zone, hands outstretched in anticipation, the ball sailing untouched towards him.


Ian Gold got a hand on it.


The ball bounced off of Gold's arm, into the air, and fluttered helplessly to the turf.


Relief has never been so, well, relieving.

If Rolaids spells relief, "incomplete two-point conversion try" must spell "I can't believe how close I came to having a heart attack."

All in all, it was a great game, although the absurd comments from ‘Skins fans that the better team actually lost are getting a little old. The better team had Ian Gold on its side.

"In Gold we trust," said linebacker Al Wilson. Indeed. I think Gold might have done more for my buddy Jonathan's company (Centennial Precious Metals) than anything J has done in four years there. And he did it in one day.

Is anyone else noticing a trend here? Each week, a defensive player steps up his game to help the team win.

Obviously, Champ Bailey's interception return against the Chargers was the first. Then came Trevor Pryce's game against the Chiefs; he played like a man possessed. In Jacksonville it was Al Wilson, stepping up to get NFL Defensive Player of the Week honors (not to mention Domonique Foxworth coming up with a big play or two and winning Rookie of the Week). Now, Ian Gold stopping a pass that would have sent the game to overtime. I can't remember a time in my years of being a Broncos fan that we had different players make an impact on that side of the ball every single week. This may be the best Broncos D of my lifetime. It's the intangibles, stupid; they bend but don't break, they give up a long pass play but not a touchdown.

Bottom line: I love what this team is doing. I can't wait to watch what they do next.

Sam DeWitt is a lifetime Broncos fan. His columns appear 2-3 times a week on BroncosUpdate.com, and his prediction for the upcoming weekend is featured on Fridays. E-mail Sam at bumoose@gmail.com, or send him messages on his Scout.com handle, TheRealMoose.

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