DENVER -- The Denver Broncos found a new running back, then lost him just as quickly. They kept their postseason hopes alive, but looked nothing like a playoff-worthy team.
Tatum Bell ran for 123 yards and Jason Elam kicked a 50-yard field goal with 2:50 left yesterday to help the Broncos eke out a strange and less-than-satisfying 20-17 victory over the Miami Dolphins.
Bell replaced fumble-prone Reuben Droughns early in the game and ran for two scores, but shortly after, he left with a sprained shoulder that could end his season. That forced Droughns back into the backfield after he had fumbled twice -- losing one -- on his first four carries.
Droughns finished with 62 yards on 18 carries to surpass the 1,000-yard mark for the season.
Jake Plummer threw for 219 yards and two interceptions, yet the Broncos (8-5) kept pace with Baltimore for the AFC's final wild-card spot.
But this performance couldn't have fooled anyone. The lowly Dolphins (2-11) took this game to the wire -- not bowing out until A.J. Feeley (170 yards, TD) threw incomplete on fourth down with 1:59 left. Miami hosts the Patriots a week from tonight. The Dolphins lost at New England, 24-10, Oct. 10.