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Broncos 23, Rams 16

©Associated Press
September 9, 2002

DENVER -- The Broncos were a field goal away from replacing Brian Griese with Steve Beuerlein in the fourth quarter. Then St. Louis kicker Jeff Wilkins missed.

Griese went on to lead a 71-yard drive for the deciding score and had 202 yards passing and two touchdowns overall.

Griese played a solid first half (10-of-16 for 110 yards) but was booed after two interceptions and a fumble in the third quarter.

Beuerlein began warming up as Wilkins lined up for a tying field goal midway through the fourth, but was called back when the kick came up short.

"Well, thoughts went through my mind in the third quarter when we were a little flat," Broncos coach Mike Shanahan said. "If they had kicked that field goal, I felt we would have needed a spark."

Shanahan left Griese in and he hit 4-of-4 for 56 yards on the winning drive. Griese capped it with a 23-yard touchdown pass to Ed McCaffrey that put the Broncos up 23-13 with just under six minutes left.

Denver pressured Kurt Warner and held Marshall Faulk mostly in check. Faulk had a career-high 14 catches for 91 yards, but had just 19 yards rushing on 10 carries. Warner was 32-of-41 for 315 yards, but didn't have a touchdown, was sacked three times and threw an interception.

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