September 13, 2009
We're only a few hours into the NFL season, but we may already have seen the craziest finish of the season.
The Denver Broncos were pinned deep in their own territory with 27 seconds remaining in their season opener against the Cincinnati Bengals when Kyle Orton(notes) threw a pass that deflected to Brandon Stokley(notes), who ran for the go-ahead 87-yard touchdown. Call it The Immaculate Reception, Part II.
Orton's underthrown ball, intended for Brandon Marshall(notes), was knocked in the air by Bengals corner Leon Hall(notes). The ball sailed about five yards down the field before it was picked cleanly out of the air by Stokley, who then sprinted 65 yards for the TD. Before going in for the score, though, Stokley ran parallel to the goal line for 25 yards in an attempt to run out the clock a little more.
It's a heartbreaking loss for the Bengals, who had scored their go-ahead touchdown with 5:23 remaining. It also figures, given that they're the Bengals. Guess the HBO cameras that followed the team around in preseason didn't bring any good luck.
For the Broncos, it gives new coach Josh McDaniels a win in his NFL debut and erases the memory of a largely forgettable first game in orange and blue for quarterback Kyle Orton.
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