The Fifth Quarter: Denver Broncos

Archive: The 5th Quarter Washington Commanders

Another week is in the books, and the Washington Redskins tasted defeat for the first time at the hands of the Denver Broncos. The Redskins continued the trend of playing hard for sixty minutes, and almost pulled out another dramatic comeback at the end, but this time it was not meant to be.


The passing game faced a huge challenge in Denver on Sunday, as the rain poured from the heavens for the entirety of the game. Even with the torrential downpour, Mark Brunell set a career-high with 53 attempts, completing 57% of them. The number could have been even better, but the wet ball reeked havoc on both receiving corps.

Santana Moss continued to show Redskins fans why Coach Gibbs brought him in, posting 116 yards on 8 receptions, including a long of 32 yards in the second quarter. Chris Cooley also caught 8 balls for 82 yards and a touchdown, while Patten put up 63 yards on 7 catches. Patten also had a 38-yard touchdown catch nullified in the first quarter by a weak offensive pass interference call.

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Clinton Portis went into this game hoping to show Denver fans what they lost in the trade that brought Champ Bailey to the Mile-High city in 2004. Portis had decent numbers on the afternoon, posting 103 yards on 20 carries, but unfortunately for Portis, he was upstaged by the player taken with the second round pick Washington included in the trade, Tatum Bell.

Betts showed well in relief, especially during a brief period in the second quarter when Portis suffered a leg injury that held him out of the game. The Washington run-game looked decent, but Denver’s looked better.

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If THN could give out game balls, Ade Jimoh and Carlos Rogers would be the recipients. Starter Walt Harris was inactive for the game due to a calf injury, giving rookie cornerback Rogers his second start. The defensive unit’s thinnest position suffered another setback in the first half, as Shawn Springs suffered a bone bruise that kept him out of the rest of the game, forcing every ‘Skins fans’ worst nightmare to come to fruition.

Ade Jimoh answered the call; better than anyone could have anticipated. Ashley Lelie beat him early for a touchdown, but after that, Jimoh turned up the heat. He knocked people around all over the field, including a slobber-knocker on Jake Plummer for a safety that was eventually reversed due to the dreaded “tuck rule”.

The Redskins defense shutdown Mike Anderson, but could not stop Tatum Bell, who gained a game-high 127 yards on just 12 carries, and the pass rush was fairly non-existent all afternoon.

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Special Teams

Coach Danny Smith must have felt as if he was on a roller coaster ride on Sunday. Nick Novak had his second field goal attempt blocked in as many weeks, and also saw a 54 yard field goal negated by an offside penalty at the end of the first half. Novak made the rest of his attempts on the day.

The coverage units played fairly well on the afternoon 74 yards on 4 kick-offs, but the bright sport was a blocked punt by backup linebacker Chris Clemons to start the Redskins comeback in the fourth quarter. The return units did equally as well, gaining 24 yards on 3 punt returns and 85 yards on 3 kick-off returns.

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Looking at the stats, the Redskins should have won this game going away. Washington put up 447 yards, holding the ball for 33:49. Unfortunately, the one statistic Washington also dominated in was penalties, giving up 67 yards on 10 penalties.

Edit: This blog was archived in May of 2016 from our original articles database.It was originally posted by Scott Hurrey

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