DENVER – The Broncos rebounded from their first loss of the season with a 45-21 win vs. Washington to head into the bye on a positive note.
Quarterback Peyton Manning threw four touchdown passes in the victory, topping the 300-yard mark for the seventh time this season.
Manning's four touchdowns were spread among four different Broncos as Demaryius Thomas, Wes Welker, Knowshon Moreno and Joel Dreessen all caught a scoring pass from No. 18 in the win.
Moreno's score came just 37 seconds after Dreessen's touchdown catch on a 4th-down conversion from the Washington 1-yard line.
The play was one of two fourth downs that the Broncos converted on the day, and capped a 16-play, 83-yard drive to tie the game 21-21.
"I felt like that drive was crucial," Manning said. "That one to make it 21-14 was critical."
Those two plays were in the middle of 38 unanswered points that the Broncos posted in the second half to turn a 21-7 deficit into a 38-21 victory.
The defense played a major role in that run, forcing five second-half turnovers, including four in a row to end the game.
Those five takeaways helped combat four turnovers — three interceptions and a fumble -- from the Broncos offense that helped the Redskins jump out to a 14-point lead.
"Well, it's disappointing," Manning said of the giveaways. "There's no question, because you feel like you put your defense in a tough spot. Those guys had a great game plan and executed it and all of a sudden we're down 21-7. The defense had not given up 21 points, they'd given up I guess seven. The offense had really, we really put our team in a tough spot. You do feel – I don't think frustrated is the word. I think determined is the word, to overcome those mistakes. And you don't do it by pressing and forcing things, you do it by going about your business and doing your job. I thought we did that and that was good to see."
On the fumble, a play in which Manning was hit before he released a pass attempt, Manning attempted to slow down Washington linebacker Brian Orakpo from recovering the ball and drew a holding penalty, which was declined.
"It's been a while," Manning said when asked the last time he was called for a holding penalty. "I saw the ball, No. 98 was in between the ball and me. I figured worst case, we recovered.
"Not the ideal situation," he continued. "That happens in football. We haven't had a ton of that, so the fact that we were able to overcome that, I thought that was critical."
After scoring a season-low seven points in the first half, the team bounced back with 38 points in the second half to tie a franchise record in that category.
"We were a little disappointed at halftime to only have seven points, but we realized we only had the ball four times and I think on three of those we were on our own 10-yard line or so," Manning said. "We knew we had to be patient, but I think being in that Dallas game and being in some of the other games we've been in where we have been down gave us confidence that we could come back. There was no panic. There was no finger pointing or whatnot. We were just determined. And I thought we went out and did a good job with two good drives to tie it and then got some turnovers and were able to take the lead."
With the win, the Broncos enter the bye with a 7-1 record and now get a week off to rest up before playing three of their next four games against AFC West opponents, including two against the undefeated Kansas City Chiefs.
"The bye week is coming at a good time for a lot of people physically, for me as well, to get some rest," Manning said. "I think I'll do it and be good to go. Expect a full practice and participation and all that starting after the bye week."