Improbable 87-Yard Touchdown Lifts Broncos To Victory

David GentileContributor ISeptember 13, 2009

CINCINNATI, OH - SEPTEMBER 13: Head coach Josh McDaniels of the Denver Broncos watches the action on the field against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium on September 13, 2009 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Scott Boehm/Getty Images)

Josh McDaniels has a new claim to fame. He has one of the most unbelievable victories as a first-time head coach in the history of sports.

With all the change the Denver Broncos have undergone this offseason, the most important part of Bronco football decided to stay in town. Mile High Magic showed up in full force when the Broncos defeated the Cincinnati Bengals 12-7 on Sunday.  

Perhaps just waiting for the right time to strike, the magic kicked in exactly when Denver needed it. With 11 seconds left and Bronco hopes of a victory seemingly lost, Brandon Stokley took a pass deflected by Leon Hall 87 yards for the win.

While the final score may indicate a classic defensive struggle, it was offensive futility that kept points off the board. Kyle Orton and Carson Palmer played much better than statistics indicate, as many of their good throws resulted in dropped passes. Only three total drives went for more than 40 yards, and these drives accounted for 16 of the 19 points scored.

On the other side of the ball, new safeties Brian Dawkins and Roy Williams led their teams in tackles with 11 and nine, respectively.

Rookie's Alphonso Smith and Rey Maualuga shined in their NFL debuts, making clutch stops just beyond the line of scrimmage.

The defensive player of the game, though, was Denver’s Andra Davis, who swarmed ball carriers all day, recording three tackles for a loss.

Denver started the game with a dismal offensive effort, running only 17 plays on their first five drives, four of which were three-and-outs. When the Broncos were in scoring position, Matt Prater connected on field goals of 48 and 50 yards to give Denver a slight lead.

The one score advantage would prove to be too little for the Broncos, as the Bengals pulled ahead late on an 11 play, 91 yard drive.

The kind of drive that collectively demoralizes fans and players of the team that just lost the lead. The kind of drive that would have started a new era in Denver on a very sour note.

And then it happened. The kind of play that reminds football fans why they love the game. The kind of play that can, if only for a moment, allow Broncos fans and players to have a laugh and go absolutely nuts. Comic relief courtesy of Mile High Magic.


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