- WHEN: Sunday, Oct. 27; 2:25 p.m. MDT.
- WHERE: Sports Authority Field at Mile High.
- TV: FOX.
- SERIES RECORD: Broncos lead, 6-5 (Washington leads 1-0 in the postseason).
- JOHN FOX'S RECORD: 2-1.
- PEYTON MANNING'S RECORD: 3-1.
- SERIES STREAK: Washington has won two of the last three.
- LAST TIME: Washington 27, Denver 17, Nov. 15, 2009. When Kyle Orton went down with a left ankle injury, the Broncos' chances of stopping a two-game losing streak went with him. He suffered the injury while scrambling to set up the
Matt Praterfield goal that put the Broncos in front 17-14 at halftime, but Denver wouldn't score again as Chris Simms failed to move the offense, finishing with a 7.5 rating on 3-of-13 passing for 13 yards. Given the opening, struggling Washington took the lead for good with 2:44 remaining on a LaDell Betts 1-yard touchdown plunge. Betts' run capped an 11-play, 60-yard drive that followed a DeAngelo Hall interception of Simms at the Washington 3-yard-line. Simms and the Broncos had one final chance to tie the game, but four passes fell incomplete on the drive after Betts' score.
- LAST TIME IN DENVER: Denver 21, Washington 19; Oct. 9, 2005. The Broncos never trailed, but couldn't finally breathe easy on the raw, rainy, 50-degree day until Ian Gold knocked away a two-point conversion pass from Mark Brunell to David Patten with 1:09 remaining. Former Broncos running back Clinton Portis had a nice return to Denver, gaining 103 yards on 20 carries. But he was out-dueled by Tatum Bell, who the Broncos selected with a draft pick they acquired in the Portis-for-Bailey trade in February 2004. Bell ran for 127 yards on 25 carries, including a 55-yard touchdown gallop that put Denver in front 21-10 in the third quarter. Bell's day allowed the Broncos to overcome a lousy aerial performance; they were held to 92 passing yards and averaged just 3.6 yards per attempt.
NOTING THE GAME:
- The Broncos' all-time winningest coach, Mike Shanahan, will coach in Denver for the first time since being dismissed following the 2008 season, which was the third year of the Broncos' streak of five seasons without a playoff berth that was their longest since 1960-76. While Shanahan's departure came amid a period of declining results, the performance of his first 11 seasons as Broncos head coach will always be remembered: in those years, the Broncos had just one losing season, made the playoffs seven times and won a pair of Super Bowls.
- Shanahan's Washington staff includes a handful of former Broncos assistants: linebackers coach Bob Slowik (who coached the secondary in Denver), running backs coach/assistant head coach Bobby Turner, defensive line coach Jacob Burney and special teams coordinator Keith Burns, who joined Washington this offseason after serving as a special teams assistant under four Broncos head coaches (Shanahan, Josh McDaniels, Eric Studesville and Fox).
- It has been 34 years since an ex-Broncos head coach defeated his former team. Ray Malavasi, who was head coach for the last 12 games of 1966, led the Los Angeles Rams to a 13-9 win at Denver on Sept. 6, 1979. Since then, ex-Broncos head coaches have lost all five games against their old team: one for Malavasi (27-24 with the Rams in 1982), three for Dan Reeves (29-21, 34-19 and 42-14 with the Falcons in 1997, Super Bowl XXXIII and 2000) and one for Wade Phillips (17-10 with the Cowboys in 2009). The only other time the Broncos faced a former head coach was in 1975, when Lou Saban's Bills throttled the Broncos, 38-14.
- For the second consecutive week, the Broncos will face one of the quarterbacks taken at the top of the 2012 draft, with Washington's Robert Griffin III following Indianapolis' Andrew Luck.
- Washington has started a different quarterback in each of its last six games against Denver, and it will become seven this year. It will be six quarterbacks in as many games in this series for the Broncos after 2013; Elway is the last Broncos quarterback to start consecutive games against Washington (1992, 1995). He would have made it four in a row, but after leading Denver to a 31-30 win in 1986, missed the 1989 game following a bad meal at the White House. Gary Kubiak started and led Denver to a crucial 14-10 win.
- Denver has never had a losing season in a year where it beat Washington. In the five years the Broncos lost to Washington, they've never finished better than 7-6-1.