Late denial of conversion allows Broncos to hang on

Associated Press
Published October 10, 2005

DENVER - The offense wasn't moving. Denver was facing overtime in icy, bitter rain. Linebacker Ian Gold stuck his hand out, knocked down a pass, and with that, the Broncos showed that Washington isn't the only team that can win close ones.

Gold knocked away Mark Brunell's two-point conversion pass with 1:09 left Sunday to help Denver hang on.

"Later in the season, you don't remember how they came, you only remember it's a win," said Broncos quarterback Jake Plummer, held to 92 yards passing in the driving rain.

The problems that plagued Plummer didn't bother Brunell. He went 30-for-53 for 322 yards and drove the Redskins 94 yards for the touchdown - an 11-yard pass to Chris Cooley - that pulled Washington within two.

On the conversion, Brunell spotted David Patten open for a moment in the back of the end zone. But Gold, who played with the Bucs last season, came over and batted down the pass to prevent a possible overtime and deny the Redskins, who won their first three by a total of six points, another great finish.

"You saw what his speed and athleticism will do," Broncos linebacker Al Wilson said. "It was a hell of a play."

Denver's Tatum Bell rushed for 127 yards and two long scores. His 34-yard touchdown in the first quarter was his longest career run - until the third quarter, when his 55-yard score on a sweep put the Broncos ahead 21-10.