The Washington Redskins had been in existence for thirty-eight years, the Broncos for just ten, the first time that the two teams faced off. The game was played in Denver and was won by the Redskins. Since that first lost, Denver has gone 6-4 in the regular season versus Washington. The Broncos have gone 3-2 in their last five meetings.
The teams met in Denver on Week 3 of the 1995 season. This was a high-scoring contest which saw three lead changes and the score be tied twice. The teams combined for 830 total yards (287 on the ground and 543 through the air). There were four rushing touchdowns and five passing ones. Remarkably, there was only a single turnover -- an Elijah Alexander (Denver) interception of a Guss Frerotte (Washington) pass. The teams scored a combined 38 points in the second quarter with Denver taking a 24-14 lead into the locker room at halftime. Washington tied the score 24-24 by the end of three quarters. The Broncos went up 31-24, only to see the Redskins tie it t 31-31 with just over a minute to play. Then John Elway went to work. He moved the Broncos from Denver's 20-yard line to the Redskins' 43-yard line. With six seconds left on the clock, on a 4th and 10 play, Elway connected with Rod Smith for a 43-yard touchdown pass and a 38-31 Broncos' victory.
Three years later, the Broncos traveled to Washington on Week 4 of the 1998 season. This game was not even close. With Bubby Brister subbing for an injured John Elway, the Broncos jumped out to a 17-0 lead before halftime -- though Washington did score to make it 17-7 at the half. In the third quarter, Denver extended their lead to 31-7 before the Redskins could fight back to make it 31-10. The Broncos added one more touchdown with just over eight minutes to play in the game. Washington rallied for one more touchdown to bring the final score to 38-16.
Week 10 of the 2001 season saw another close contest take place in Denver. Brian Griese completed just 35% of his passes and the Broncos' rushing attack mustered just 88 yards in this contest. Despite this, Denver led 10-3 going into the fourth quarter. Unfortunately, the Redskins scored on the second play of the final quarter to tie the game at 10-10. Punts ended the next three possessions (two by Denver, one by Washington). Then the Redskins put together a 12-play, 54-yard drive that burned over 5:30 off the clock to take a 17-10 lead. Griese completed just one of six passes on the ensuing possession which defeated any chance of a Broncos' comeback.
The Broncos and Redskins continued the pattern of closely fought contests when Washington traveled to Denver on Week 5 of the 2005 season. In this game, the Broncos would take a lead only to see the Redskins battle back. Denver took a 7-0 lead in the first quarter then saw Washington tie it at 7-7. In the second quarter, Denver went up 14-7 but the Redskins moved closer to trail 14-10 at the half. The Broncos extended their lead to 21-10 in the third quarter but Washington moved closer (21-13) in the fourth. The Redskins were not finished. Washington got the ball back on their own 6-yard line with 4:37 left in the game following a 65-yard punt by Todd Sauerbrun. The Redskins overcame an offensive penalty and a sack to move the ball to the Denver 11-yard line with 1:15 left in the game. Then Mark Brunell connected with Chris Cooley for an 11-yard touchdown pass. The ensuing two-point conversion attempt failed, leaving the score at 21-19. Denver was able to run out the clock to preserve the victory.
The Week 10 meeting in 2009 in Washington was one of the more embarrassing showings by the Broncos. Denver had started the season with a 6-0 run before dropping back-to-back games. The Broncos marched 67 yards in 4 plays to score a touchdown on the game's opening drive only to watch the defense give up a 12-play touchdown drive by Washington on the ensuing possession. After a stalled drive by both teams, Kyle Orton connected with Brandon Marshall for a 1-play, 75-yard touchdown drive to take a 14-7 lead. Now came the embarrassing moment. In the second quarter, the Redskins had lined up showing a fake field goal attempt. When the Broncos did not take the bait, Washington called a time out. They came out of the time out and showed the same formation, then promptly threw a 35-yard touchdown pass to tie the score at 14-14. Despite that shock, Denver managed to drive for another field goal before the half -- though Kyle Orton was injured on the final play of that drive trying to run for a first down on 3rd and 10. Chris Simms came on in place of Orton in the second half and completed just 3 of 13 passes for 13 yards with an interception then saw the Redskins add 13 points in the fourth quarter for a 27-17 victory over Denver.
Overall, Denver is 6-5-0 in the regular season versus the Redskins and 0-1 in the postseason. How do you like their chances in October?