Reid Fischer's World of Rants

Looking at the sports world through orange colored glasses

Sometimes Being Lucky Counts Too

Posted by mizzou1028 on September 14, 2009

Watch the Broncos-Bengals highlights Here.  (Content courtesy of nfl.com)

StokleyI have to admit right up front, I thought the Broncos had lost the game with 27 seconds remaining.  There didn’t seem to be much hope that they would get a quick drive going, even just to get into field goal range, considering they were starting on their own 13 yard line.  Granted, they were only down one, and a field goal would win it, but even that seemed like a very tall order indeed.  After all, the offense only had six points.  Kyle Orton had barely thrown for 150 yards.  The running backs collectively had less than 60 yards.  The Bengals were sure to play a defense that would guard against sideline throws and the big play.  The Broncos only had one timeout.  There just didn’t seem to be anything at all that would indicate the Broncos were about to snatch a road win to open the season.  In fact my thought was how unfortunate it was that a great effort by the new look Broncos defense was about to fall by the wayside because the offense couldn’t score a touchdown.

These thoughts were not alleviated on the first play of the drive when for a split second I thought that Orton’s pass had been picked off by Jonathan Joseph.  Fortunately for the Broncos, Joseph’s foot was out of bounds.  Still, this did not inspire any confidence, for it was now clear that the Broncos would need every ounce of luck and then some to pull this one out.  The crowd at Paul Brown Stadium could sense it too, that the Bengals were about to escape with a hard fought win in a low scoring game.

Then came the inevitable deep throw by Orton.  The Broncos had no other options, they had to throw it deep and hope that somehow one of their receivers would come down with it.  Orton’s pass perhaps not surprisingly  found an area with more white Bengals jerseys than blue Broncos jerseys.  In an effort to intercept the pass, Cincinnati’s Leon Hall tipped it up in the air (a big no no for a defensive back, you ALWAYS knock the ball down!).  As the ball twirled in the air, the odds were still against a Bronco coming down with it.  Even if he did, the clock was ticking, and the Broncos would still need another play or two to get into realistic field goal range.   Suddenly, the ball somehow falls into the waiting arms of Brandon Stokley, who somehow is not surrounded by any Bengals.  Next thing anyone knows, he’s taking off running and no one is chasing him.  I ceased to believe what my eyes said I was seeing, for Stokley ran untouched to the goal line, then had the presence of mind to take more time off the clock by running alongside it, before crossing it to give the Broncos the lead.

Needless to say, this play will likely be the highlight of the year for the Denver Broncos no matter what else happens in 2009.  To win the game on an 87-yard touchdown in the final seconds when all seemed lost, well that automatically goes in the archives for any team.  This is the type of win that could really boost the Broncos going forward.  Considering the Broncos host Cleveland next week and then travel to Oakland, they could well start the season 3-0 before they head into the rigorous part of their schedule.  For the Bengals, this could have a devastating impact on their season, for they will have to quickly overcome the shock of such a defeat.  It doesn’t help them that they must go to Lambeau Field to play the impressive looking Packers next week.

This is not to say that one game makes the season for either Denver or Cincinnati.  The Broncos still have a lot of questions.  Will Brandon Marshall be an impact player this year? (He had four catches for 27 yards in the opener).   Will Knowshon Moreno post better numbers than the 19 yards he got yesterday?  Is the lack of point production a sign of things to come under the Kyle Orton led offense, or do we give him the benefit of the doubt that his finger is not yet fully healed?  Is yesterday’s performance by the Denver defense an indicator that the Broncos unit is much improved, or was yesterday a poor performance by the Cincinnati offense?  (The Bengals did have seven dropped balls yesterday).  Lots of questions still remain in week one, but at least for now there is optimism again in Broncos country.  If nothing else, yesterday’s amazing play by Stokley will go down as one for the ages in Broncos’ history.

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