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Tuesday, October 5, 2010
AFC West Week 4 decisive moment

By Bill Williamson

» NFC Decisive Moments: East | West | North | South » AFC: East | West | North | South

It was a true team effort.

The Denver Broncos were minutes away from dropping to 1-3 despite staying close in every game they’ve played. They needed help from the defense, offense and special teams. They got it.

Trailing 20-16 with less than three minutes to go, the Denver defense forced Tennessee to punt from deep in its own territory.

Then, it was the offense’s turn. It got the ball at the Titans’ 49 with 2:42 to go, needing a touchdown in a hostile environment. Denver quarterback Kyle Orton, who has had a great season and who threw for 341 yards against the Titans, made some plays and then went for it all.

On the first play after the two-minute warning, on second down and 25 from the 50, Orton tried to hit receiver Jabar Gaffney at the goal line. However, Tennessee defensive back Chris Hope was all over Gaffney and was called for pass interference, giving Denver first and goal at the Titans’ 1.

After a five-yard Denver penalty and an incomplete pass, Orton hit running back Correll Buckhalter on a six-yard touchdown pass to give the Broncos a 23-20 lead with 1:33 remaining. It was a perfect strike.

Denver then put the game on ice with a short field after recovering a muffed kick, getting a 26-20 win and evening its record at 2-2. Denver made plays in all three phases in the final three minutes to win a crucial road test. Game balls all around.