Broncos fans have suffered through such a miserable season that they deserved the unexpected happy ending to Denver's game against the Los Angeles Chargers on December 1 — a 23-20 victory, thanks to a last-second pass interference penalty that prompted L.A. boosters on social media to complain as loudly as their favorite quarterback, the legendarily whiny Philip Rivers.
Prior to this play, the Broncos seemed on track to replicate a slew of prior choke jobs. The squad was under the alleged direction of their third QB of the campaign — rookie Drew Lock, newly freed from injured reserve. And like Joe Flacco and Brandon Allen before him, Lock proved capable of getting off to a fast start, pacing Denver to a 14-0 lead by way of two touchdown passes to the suddenly spectacular Courtland Sutton.
But then, as we've seen all too often in 2019, the offense stalled and the defense gave up late first-half points. After halftime, the Broncos' O went into suspended animation, managing just fourteen yards in the third quarter — and that gave Rivers the chance he needed to notch two TD heaves of his own.
In the final seconds, Denver and Los Angeles were knotted at twenty, and even though the Broncos had the ball, broadcaster James Lofton was certain Lock would take a knee in preparation for overtime. Instead, the University of Missouri product hurled a bomb to Sutton, whose goal was clearly to bait Chargers defender Casey Hayward into a penalty — and Hayward complied, setting Brandon McManus up for the winning field goal. This turn of events caused Hayward and Rivers to react with the sort of shock and disgust that thrills Broncos Country.
Granted, the victory wasn't without its downside. When Denver beat Los Angeles earlier this season, plenty of the Broncos faithful complained that the win would result in a lower draft position — and that's certainly the case again. Still, it was nice to see Lock, who looked (mostly) competent in his regular-season debut, get a win, despite the bizarre circumstances, and even better to watch another fan base experience the sort of misery to which those of us in Colorado have become all too familiar.
See what we mean by counting down our choices for the most memorable post-game tweets.
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