4:25 PM ET, October 27, 2013
Sports Authority Field at Mile High, Denver, CO
DENVER -- Rolled-up game plan in hand, Mike Shanahan squinted at the scoreboard and saw a familiar sight: His team comfortably ahead as the sun began setting behind the Rocky Mountains.
Manning overcame four turnovers and Denver overcame a two-touchdown deficit Sunday to score the last 38 points in what turned into a 45-21 runaway over the former Denver coach's current team, the Washington Redskins.
More Redskins-Broncos coverage
The Broncos are 7-1, but their slow start against the Redskins shows that they are beat up and ready for the bye week, writes Jeff Legwold. Blog
After blowing a 14-point lead before ultimately losing by 24, the Redskins are void of answers, especially on offense, writes John Keim. Blog
"You can't give Peyton that many opportunities because he's going to take advantage of it," said Shanahan, coaching in Denver for the first time since the Broncos fired him in 2008.
Manning threw for 354 yards and four touchdowns and the Denver defense came up with a season-high five turnovers -- more than enough to overcome three interceptions and a lost fumble by the Broncos quarterback.
"That stuff happens in football," Manning said. "We haven't had a ton of that, but the fact we were able to overcome it was critical."
After DeAngelo Hall returned one of Manning's interceptions 26 yards for a 21-7 lead, Manning began a meticulous run of football that saw the Broncos (7-1) use a total of 27 plays to go 75 and 83 yards for touchdowns that tied the game.
"With Peyton," Redskins safety Jordan Pugh said, "the points are always there."
So are the yards. Manning hit the halfway point of the season with 2,919 yards -- most through eight games in NFL history.
Trying to match him on this day was Robert Griffin III, who finished 15 for 30 for 132 yards, one score and two interceptions before leaving with a hurt left knee. Afterward, he said it was fine.
Tied at 21, Griffin threw three straight incompletions and Sav Rocca followed by shanking a punt 15 yards. On the next play, Manning gave Denver a 28-21 lead with a screen pass Knowshon Moreno took in for a 35-yard touchdown.
Von Miller ended the next drive with his first sack and forced fumble of the season to set up a Denver field goal for a 10-point lead, and Washington (2-5) never got closer.
"It was like a blur," Hall said. "Someone asked me, 'What went wrong, what happened?' To be brutally honest, I don't remember. I looked up one point, 21-7, felt good, everybody smiling. Turned around and it ... was 38-21."
"The first half didn't go the way we planned," Rodgers-Cromartie said. "Coming out in the second half, the main thing coach said was go out there and fight, don't look at the scoreboard, wait until it's zeros in the fourth quarter and look up and I promise you, you'll like where we are."
Denver is putting up video-game numbers. This week, the Broncos scored a franchise-record 31 points in the fourth quarter, which gave them 343 for the season. That's an average of 42.8 and the most through eight games in NFL history.
But all those numbers are masking some problems as the Broncos reach their bye, with two games against division-leading Kansas City looming.
Most notably, Manning has not looked as sharp the last three weeks as he did the first five.
But Manning doubled his interceptions total for the season and lost a fumble, bringing Denver's season total to 11 lost fumbles. In all, the quarterback simply didn't look as comfortable as he did the first five weeks, before he sprained an ankle that forced him to miss his first regular-season practice as a Bronco last week.
He didn't want to speculate on the injuries but said he'll take a lot from the way the Broncos came back against Washington.
"No panic. No finger pointing," Manning said. "Just determined."
Shanahan, meanwhile, fell to 88-32 as a head coach in Denver's stadium, including a win with the Raiders in 1988. The bad ending was a splash of cold water for the coach who brought the only two Super Bowl trophies to Denver. And on a day that began with such promise: a video tribute, a warm ovation from the fans and that two-touchdown lead.
"It's very easy to get kind of fired up, especially coming back here and wanting to win the football game," Shanahan said. "That's why it's disappointing when you have the opportunity there in the third quarter and you don't take advantage of those opportunities."
Broncos S Duke Ihenacho and TE Julius Thomas left the game with ankle injuries. ... The Broncos finished 4-0 against the NFC East this season by a combined score of 189-112. ... The Redskins' five defensive touchdowns this year mark the most since 1994.
DENVER, CO - OCTOBER 27: Quarterback Robert Griffin III #10 of the Washington Redskins warms up before a game...(Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
Team Stat Comparison
Passing 1st downs
Rushing 1st downs
1st downs from penalties
3rd down efficiency
4th down efficiency
|Yards per play||3.8||5.6|
Yards per pass
Yards per rush
|Red Zone (Made-Att)||2-2||3-4|
|Defensive / Special Teams TDs||1||1|
|TD||10:07||Wes Welker 6 Yard Pass From Peyton Manning (Matt Prater Kick is Good)|
Drive info: 9 plays, 77 yds, 3:40
|TD||0:25||Leonard Hankerson 7 Yard Pass From Robert Griffin (Kai Forbath Kick is Good)|
Drive info: 16 plays, 95 yds, 7:03
|TD||11:37||Alfred Morris 1 Yard Run (Kai Forbath Kick is Good)|
Drive info: 3 plays, 19 yds, 1:21
|TD||11:34||Deangelo Hall 26 Yard Interception Return (Kai Forbath Kick is Good)|
Drive info: 1 plays, 0 yds, 0:09
|TD||7:57||Montee Ball 4 Yard Run (Matt Prater Kick is Good)|
Drive info: 11 plays, 75 yds, 3:37
|TD||15:00||Joel Dreessen 1 Yard Pass From Peyton Manning (Matt Prater Kick is Good)|
Drive info: 16 plays, 83 yds, 4:59
|TD||14:29||Knowshon Moreno 35 Yard Pass From Peyton Manning (Matt Prater Kick is Good)|
Drive info: 1 plays, 35 yds, 0:10
|FG||11:18||Matt Prater 19 Yard Field Goal is Good|
Drive info: 5 plays, 23 yds, 2:01
|TD||6:43||Demaryius Thomas 35 Yard Pass From Peyton Manning (Matt Prater Kick is Good)|
Drive info: 2 plays, 25 yds, 0:34
|TD||2:20||Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie 75 Yard Interception Return (Matt Prater Kick is Good)|
Drive info: 8 plays, 39 yds, 2:04
Robert Griffin III failed to complete a pass at least 15 yards downfield Sunday on seven attempts. Griffin was off-target on four of his attempts against the Broncos, with the other three either defended or intercepted.[+]
Robert Griffin III Passing 15+ Yards Downfield, Last 2 Seasons
Robert Griffin III was sacked or put under duress on 42% of his dropbacks Sunday, the highest percentage of his career. Denver's defense didn't need to get too creative- Griffin really struggled against standard pressure, especially in the second half. Griffin was 2-of-7 for 23 yards and two interceptions against four or fewer rushers after halftime. - Griffin was 4-of-11 passing with an interception when under duress, and gained only one yard on his lone scramble when pressured.[+]
Broncos Defense, 4 or Fewer Rushers
From Elias: There were 7 turnovers in the 4th quarter of the Redskins-Broncos game. That's the most combined by both teams in a quarter since the Oilers and Dolphins combined for 7 in Week 8 in 1991.
From Elias: Robert Griffin III and Kirk Cousins each threw multiple interceptions. It's the first time since 2011 that any team had multiple QBs throw multiple interceptions in the same game (Raiders - Kyle Boller: 3, Carson Palmer: 3) and the first time since 1995 that two Redskins did so (Gus Frerotte: 2, Heath Shuler: 2).
Wes Welker now has at least 1 Rec TD in 7 of the Broncos 8 games this season, marking the 1st time in his career that he has recorded at least 1 Rec TD in 7 or more games in a single season.
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