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WP: Best & Worst week 5


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Best & Worst


Worst weather: A steady rain made conditions sloppy in Denver. Wide receivers fell trying to make cuts. Slippery balls were off-target on several throws by the quarterbacks. A chance of snow was in the forecast, too, but it never materialized.

Worst injury: Broncos cornerback Champ Bailey did not play because of a sore hamstring, and the Redskins took advantage by passing for 322 yards. Bailey played his first five seasons with the Redskins before the club dealt him to the Broncos for running back Clinton Portis before the start of last season.

Best runner: The Redskins were hoping Portis would make the Broncos regret trading him, but he wasn't the best tailback on the field, at least yesterday. Denver's Tatum Bell had his way with the Redskins, gaining 127 yards and scoring two touchdowns on 12 carries.

Best distribution: Mark Brunell spread the ball around, completing passes to eight players. Wide receiver Santana Moss and H-back Chris Cooley each had eight receptions.

Worst exchange: The Redskins had an early miscue on a botched handoff between Brunell and Portis. The Broncos recovered at the Redskins 43, and four plays later Bell scored on a 34-yard run.

Best leg: Place kicker Nick Novak converted a 34-yard field goal in the second quarter and a 36-yarder in the fourth quarter. His 53-yard attempt, which would have been good, was negated when H-back Mike Sellers was penalized for a false start.

Worst throw: With the ball at the Broncos 41-yard line, the Redskins tried a desperation throw two seconds before halftime. But Brunell never gave his wide receivers a chance, flinging the ball well out of the end zone.

Best official: Umpire Garth DeFelice, who works as a distribution director for a beverage company during the week, took a wicked shot in the second half and lay motionless as other officials and players tended to him. DeFelice was able to make it to the sideline, then later came back into the game.

Worst run defense: The Redskins and Broncos both entered the game stingy against the run. Denver was allowing 79 yards per game, Washington 83.3. But neither defense was up to the task yesterday, as the Redskins ran for 125 yards and the Broncos 165.

Best anticipation: The Redskins had just scored a touchdown and were going for a two-point conversion to tie. Brunell executed a play-action fake, then rolled left. Wide receiver David Patten was open in the back of the end zone, and Brunell threw his way. But linebacker Ian Gold stuck out his arm, tipping the ball to force an incompletion and preserving Denver's fourth straight win.

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