The Catch That Saved the Broncos

September 2009
stokley-brandonWe're going to have to come up with a name for the odd series of events that capped off yesterday's 12-7 Broncos win over the Cincinnati Bengals. Let's keep it simple: Call it "the Catch." So whenever you talk about the 87-yard touchdown catch hauled in by wide receiver Brandon Stokley (pictured) off a tipped pass to Brandon Marshall, call it the Catch. The Catch ensured rookie head coach Josh McDaniels' first winning game (that counts) as head play caller, even though the Broncos probably should have lost. The offense was anemic for most of the game, amassing a grand total of six points on two Matt Prater field goals, notes The Denver Post (free registration required). The Broncos defense played well, though, holding the Bengals scoreless for the majority of the game, before allowing a touchdown with less than a minute to go. Down 7-6, the Broncos tried to move the ball upfield to get into field-goal range. One pass by Broncos quarterback Kyle Orton was nearly intercepted, and another seemed headed for the same fate. That's when a Bengals defender tipped the ball in the air, allowing Stokely to grab it and take it in for the winning score. It's the longest game-winning play from scrimmage in the final minute of the fourth quarter in NFL history, writes The Associated Press. There is a lot for this Denver team to work on, most notably an offense that can actually score non-fluke points. One way to do that is to hold on to passes, which the Broncos receiving corps had a hard time with yesterday. Fullback Peyton Hillis dropped a pass, and so did Stokely. Marshall dropped two and seemed to be out of sync the whole game. Let's hope they can gel before the Cleveland Browns come to town next Sunday.