For a brief window in the second half, Washington looked like it might be capable of giving Denver a real challenge on Sunday.
Then, that window slammed shut.
After falling behind by 14 with 11:34 left in the third quarter on Redskins CB DeAngelo Hall’s 26-yard interception return, the Broncos scored on each of five of their next six possessions to pull away to a 38-21 fourth-quarter lead.
First, Montee Ball’s four-yard TD run cut Washington’s lead to 21-14 close to midway through the third quarter. Then, after a Washington punt, the Broncos strung together a 16-play, 83-yard drive ending in a Peyton Manning-to-Joel Dreessen one-yard TD on a fourth-down play to tie the game.
On the next series, the Redskins went three-and-out, and punter Sav Rocca’s 15-yard punt set up Denver on the Washington 35-yard-line. On the next play, Manning hit running back Knowshon Moreno a little screen pass, and Moreno did the rest, rolling to a 35-yard TD to give the Broncos a 28-21 lead with 14:29 left.
Then, the Broncos’ defense made a big play, with Broncos outside linebacker Von Miller sacking Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III and forcing a fumble recovered by Broncos defensive end Derek Wolfe. The Broncos would capitalize with a field goal, taking the 10-point lead.
Later in the quarter, after a Chris Harris interception of Griffin, Manning would connect with wideout Demaryius Thomas on a 35-yard TD pass to give Denver a 38-21 lead with 6:43 left.