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Gazette Premium Content Sunday's Broncos breakdown

FRANK SCHWAB Updated: November 15, 2009 at 12:00 am

REVIEW OF THREE THINGS TO WATCH

1. Block Haynesworth

The Broncos decided that the easiest way to negate Redskins tackle Albert Haynesworth was to run away from him. Denver got chunks of yards running to the outside the tackles. Denver finished with 120 yards on the ground.

2. Who’s running the ball?

Clinton Portis was out for Washington, and Ladell Betts was questionable with a foot injury. But Betts said he knew once his adrenaline started pumping he would be fine, and he rushed for 114 yards. Rock Cartwright chipped in with 41 yards.

3. Stretch the field

There wasn’t any complaining about a long passing game after the first quarter, when quarterback Kyle Orton became the 10th Broncos quarterback to throw two 40-yard touchdowns in a game, and receiver Brandon Marshall became the third Broncos player to catch two 40-yard touchdowns in a game.

PLAYER OF THE GAME

Redskins RB Ladell Betts. Betts admitted he didn’t know early in the week if he was going to play because of a foot injury. He rushed for 114 yards on 26 carries and his 1-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter was the game-winning score.

PLAY OF THE GAME

The Broncos could have held Washington to a fourth-quarter field goal and still had more than 4 minutes remaining, down three points. But on third and 3, receiver Devin Thomas made a short catch and made cornerback Andre Goodman and linebacker Andra Davis miss, weaving his way for 27 yards to Denver’s 5, setting up a touchdown.

TURNING POINT

Quarterback Chris Simms said he felt he had receiver Brandon Marshall open deep on a first and 10 fourth-quarter play from Washington’s 46-yard line. But he was late delivering the pass and it floated up in the air, allowing Washington cornerback DeAngelo Hall to recover and pick it off.

MATCHUP FOCUS

Tight end Tony Scheffler had 101 yards against San Diego, then 12 yards in the two games after. Against Washington, Denver decided Scheffler presented a matchup problem. He played a lot, catching three passes for 28 yards before Kyle Orton’s injury, and on both of Brandon Marshall’s long touchdowns the safety came up to defend Scheffler on a short route, leaving Marshall open.

KEY COACHING CALL

The Redskins had a fake field goal called in the second quarter and had a receiver split wide, but had only 10 men on the field. So they called timeout but didn’t change the play. Broncos coach Josh McDaniels said he was aware something might be coming but he didn’t know what. Fullback Mike Sellers ran downfield and caught a 35-yard touchdown from punter and holder Hunter Smith.

SUBSTITUTION PATTERN

The Broncos inserted benched left guard Ben Hamilton into the game for a key third and 1 play, and new left guard Russ Hochstein lined up at tight end. Per NFL rule, Hochstein then had to come out for a play before he could reenter on the line, which he did after Hamilton took another play at left guard.

QUOTE TO NOTE

“Until we start to play smart football, tough football, coach well and do it for four quarters, we’re going to struggle.” – coach Josh McDaniels

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