Clinton Portis made his return to Denver on Sunday and rushed for 103 yards on 20 carries, but it wasn't enough as the Broncos prevailed 21-18 at rain-soaked Invesco Filed at Mile High.
It was the first time the Redskins had lost game despite Portis rushing for 100 or more yards.
Portis also caught two passes for 26 yards. His 16-yard reception in the fourth quarter led to a Nick Novak field goal.
Portis was uncertain what kind of reception he would receive in Denver. After his first carry, a 3-yard gain, his name was announced to the crowd. There was a smattering of boos from the Denver fans. The booing kept up every time his name was mentioned in the first half, but it seemed to subside as the game went on.
Midway through the second quarter, Portis sustained a leg contusion and left the game. He was replaced briefly by Ladell Betts. Portis returned to the game though and didn't appear hampered by the injury.
It's been 18 months since the blockbuster trade that sent Champ Bailey to Denver for Portis.
Portis called returning to Denver a "special opportunity," but he preferred to stay focused on team goals. "We're trying to get to 4-0," he said.
Since the March 2004 trade seems to have worked out well for both the teams, Portis didn't expect an overly hostile greeting from fans.
"The fans didn't trade me," he said. "This is a business. The Broncos felt they needed a defensive player. They felt they could add anyone into the running back position and get a spark. I think Reuben Droughns played great last year. I think Mike Anderson is playing great this year. A trade is about the team and what the team feels it needs."
As for Bailey, he was declared inactive prior to the game. He has missed the last two games due to a hamstring injury.
That meant Santana Moss mostly lined up mostly against rookie cornerback Domonique Foxworth, who played at Maryland.
Moss had a strong game, catching eight passes for 116 yards. He was instrumental in the Redskins' late comeback attempt, hauling in two first-down catches on the Redskins' final touchdown drive.