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On This Day in Broncos History: December 13

A One-Point Win Is Still A Win

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

December 13, 1986 - this date is notable for two reasons: (1) it was the last time that the Broncos have played a home game on December 13 and (2) it was the last time that the Broncos won a game which they played on December 13. On that date, the 10-4 Broncos were hosting the 11-3 Washington Redskins with the Redskins favored to win.

Both teams started slowly in the first quarter with Denver punting twice and Washington punting once. Then on the Redskins' second possession, they drove 77 yards for a touchdown -- the point after attempt failed and Washington led 6-0 at the end of one quarter. The teams exchanged touchdowns in the second -- Denver's coming on an 11-yard run by QB John Elway -- for a 13-7 Washington advantage at the half.

The Denver defense forced Washington to punt on their first possession of the second half and the Broncos marched 72 yards for a touchdown on a 6-yard run by RB Sammy Winder. DB Mike Harden ended the Redskins next drive by intercepting a pass at the Washington 36-yard line. Four plays later, Elway and WR Steve Watson connected for a 19-yard touchdown pass to give Denver a 21-13 lead. The Redskins missed a field goal so the score stood at 21-13 at the end of three quarters. The teams exchanged scored on their first possessions of the fourth quarter -- Washington getting a field goal and Denver's Winder getting his second touchdown. The Redskins added a touchdown of their own on their next possession to make the score Denver 28, Washington 23. Rich Karlis added a field goal to give Denver a 31-23 advantage, but Washington scored again to make the score 31-30 with 1:42 remaining in the game. For some reason, Washington decided to not try a 2-point conversion, nor an on-side kick and as a result, the Broncos were able to run out the clock to preserve the win.