Maybe it was the signs. Or perhaps the heavens were aligned.
It was looking bad in at the beginning of the fourth quarter too, with the Broncos clinging to a narrow advantage.
Ladell Betts scored on a 1-yard run with 2:44 to play, and the Redskins defense shut down the Broncos after starter Kyle Orton
left the game at halftime with an injured left ankle. The unexpected offense came when holder Hunter Smith threw a 35-yard
touchdown pass in the second quarter.
With Clinton Portis sidelined after suffering a concussion in last week's loss at Atlanta, Betts made his first start since 2006 and ran for 114 yards on 26 carries, better numbers than Portis had in any game this season.
Jason Campbell completed 17 of 26 passes for 193 yards for the Redskins (3-6), who had scored 17 points or fewer in their first
eight games. In fact, the 27-point outburst was their greatest since Week 2 of last season.
The Broncos kicked a field goal late in the half to take a 17-14 lead, but they could get nothing going with Simms. The Redskins'
offense, riding the momentum of the successful trick play in the first half, drove to Denver's 28 in the third quarter but were
stopped on a fourth-and-1 run.
The next time down, however, the Redskins kicked the field goal -- fourth-and-7 at the 12 was too risky to go for it -- and Shaun
Suisham's 30-yarder tied the game at 17 with 10:40 remaining.
The Broncos then tried for the home run to Marshall again -- and he was open for a second or two -- but Simms' pass arrived too late and was picked off in the end zone by DeAngelo Hall. Hall flipped the ball to LaRon Landry during the return, and the Redskins took possession at their own 40 and drove 60 yards for the go-ahead touchdown by Betts.
With the Redskins trailing 14-7 and facing fourth-and-20 at the 35, Washington lined up for a field goal. Tight end Todd Yoder then
split out as a receiver, signifying a fake, but the Redskins called timeout before the play was run.
Then, even though the Broncos were on notice of possible shenanigans -- and even though there were 20 yards to go for a first
down -- the Redskins still ran the fake. Yoder split out and went in motion. Smith took a direct snap, rolled right and lobbed the ball
deep -- and back across the field -- to fullback Mike Sellers for a 35-yard touchdown that tied the score at 14 and earned perhaps the
biggest ovation the home team has received this season.
The Broncos lost their third straight and had to play the second half with Chris Simms at quarterback after Kyle Orton left with an ankle injury. Denver (6-3) has struggled since opening the season with six wins.