Not even Charlie Batch could save the Detroit Lions' sagging playoff hopes.
Denver rookie Olandis Gary rushed for 185 yards today, all but 11 in the second half, to lead the Broncos to a 17-7 victory, extending Detroit's losing streak to three games.
"In the first half, I think we were just warming up," Gary said. "Our offensive line blocked well for me today. We came out in the second half and played Broncos football."
Gary, a Riverdale Baptist graduate who rushed for 183 yards last week in a win over Seattle, scored on a 45-yard run for the Broncos (6-9).
The Lions (8-7) still will earn a wild-card spot in the weak NFC if they win their final game next Sunday at Minnesota. But that's a big if for this team, which has lost five of seven since a 6-2 start.
"We have some weaknesses, but that's not the point," Lions Coach Bobby Ross said. "You overcome those things with fire and intensity, and I just don't like it."
Batch, making his first start since fracturing his right thumb in a Nov. 7 game against the St. Louis Rams, looked rusty, completing 21 of 40 passes for 267 yards.
Brian Griese, who completed 22 of 30 passes for 171 yards with one interception, threw a one-yard touchdown pass to Dwayne Carswell early in the fourth quarter.