Another questionable penalty hands Broncos another last-second loss

The Denver Broncos keep getting penalized at the worst possible moments. After leading for the majority of Sunday’s game against the Indianapolis Colts, the Broncos were once again doomed by a questionable penalty on the Colts’ last drive of the game.

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The play in question occurred with 1:35 left in the fourth quarter. The Colts were trying to mount a game-winning drive, and trailed the Broncos by a point. On second-and-10 from the Colts’ 46-yard line, Jacoby Brissett hit Nyheim Hines with a 5-yard pass.

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What should have been an uneventful play wound up deciding the game. The refs threw a flag on that catch, calling a horse-collar tackle by Broncos linebacker A.J. Johnson. That 15-yard penalty moved the Colts to the Broncos’ 35-yard line. The penalty put the Colts in field-goal range.

Three plays later, Adam Vinatieri hit a 51-yard field goal to put the Colts on top for good. The Broncos had 22 seconds to try and mount a miracle drive, but couldn’t get the job done.

While the penalty put the Colts in field-goal position, making the kick was no guarantee. Vinatieri had already missed a field goal and an extra point during the contest. He was in line to be the reason they lost prior to the game-winning field goal. By making the kick, Vinatieri turned around the narrative and became the hero.

For the Broncos, it marks the third time this season they have been done in by a questionable call late. In Week 2, a roughing-the-quarterback penalty caused the team to lose on a last-second field goal to the Chicago Bears. The same thing happened in Week 4 against the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Broncos again lost on a last-second field goal.

After another tough loss, the Broncos have fallen to 2-6 on the season. In a world where the refs were more hesitant to throw flags, the team could easily be sitting at 5-3 with a shot at the playoffs.


Chris Cwik is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Chris_Cwik

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