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Commanders Mount 18 Point Comeback in Denver Thriller

The Washington Commanders moved to 2-0 on the year after mounting a furious comeback on the road against the Denver Broncos.


Late in the first half, Washington found itself trailing 21-3 after 2 Russell Wilson touchdown passes, a rushing score from Jaleel McLaughlin and a botched snap on a Joey Slye field goal attempt that would have initially put the Commanders on the board.

With just under 7 minutes to go in the first half, the tide shifted.


With Denver driving again and already in Washington territory, Wilson was sacked by Jamin Davis and fumbled, which was recovered by Davis as well. Nine plays later, Commanders Quarterback Sam Howell found Tight End Logan Thomas in the endzone for the first Washington touchdown of the day.


Following a quick three and out forced by the Washington defense before halftime, Howell led the offense into field goal range and set up a Joey Slye 49 yard field goal to make it 21-14 after a half in which Washington was thoroughly outplayed.


In the second half, the Washington defense continued its dominance. After forcing a three and out on Denver’s first second half possession, Howell connected with receiver Terry McLaurin on a 30 yard touchdown pass to cap off a quick 5 play drive, tying the game at 21.


Following a Wilson interception by Washington’s Emmanuel Forbes, which resulted in Joey Slye’s second missed field goal of the day, the Broncos finally mounted a successful drive to retake the lead with a 31 yard field goal by Will Lutz.

Howell and the Commanders responded with a 6 play 75 yard drive ending with a Brian Robinson rushing touchdown.


After yet another three and out forced by the Commanders defense, Howell led the Commanders again on a touchdown drive, this time an 8 play 64 yard drive that once again resulted in a Brian Robinson score to make it 35-24 late in the fourth quarter.


The game had gone back-and-forth all day, but was good for one last twist.


Denver drove down the field for another field goal to make it 35-27 but was quickly running out of time.

With under 2 minutes to go, the Broncos tried for the onside kick and could not secure it. With two timeouts left, all Washington had to do was convert one first down to run out the clock.


Washington could not convert one first down and punted the ball back to the Denver offense with 48 seconds remaining and no timeouts, needing a touchdown AND two-point conversion while going 87 yards.


Denver converted a 4th and 3 from their own 20 and advanced the ball to the 50 yard line with 3 seconds left.


On the last play of the game, the Commanders surrendered a Hail Mary touchdown pass from Wilson to Brandon Johnson to make it a two point game.

Denver receiver Brandon Johnson hauls in a touchdown on the final play of regulation (Photo: Andy Cross/Denver Post)


Denver went for two to try and tie the game and Wilson’s pass to Courtland Sutton fell incomplete.

The Commanders, try as they might to blow an 11 point lead after trailing by 18, held on to secure a wild victory on the road to move to 2-0 on the year.


Up next, Washington hosts Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills for a 1:00 p.m. kick at FedEx Field next Sunday afternoon.


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