While we saw several questionable calls from this game, the no-call two-point conversion in the fourth quarter took the cake.
With the Chargers leading, 19-14, the Broncos were in the wildcat formation on the two-yard line with first-and-goal. Running back Phillip Lindsay ran the ball in to score a touchdown, making the score 20-19 in favor of Denver. But the Broncos wanted a bit more padding on the scoreboard, so they decided to go for two points.
Quarterback Case Keenum attempted to run the ball into the end zone, and he was tackled as he stretched out to extend the ball over the goal line. However, the officials decided it was a failed attempt.
Looking at the tape, the ball broke the plane before Keenum’s knees hit the ground. Broncos head coach Vance Joseph thought it should have counted too, but he didn’t throw the challenge flag.
“I’m talking to our staff in the press box because obviously I can’t see the replays,” Joseph said. “Those guys give me the evidence to challenge, so if it’s not clear, they tell me, ‘Coach, it’s not clear. We can’t tell.’”
If the officials deemed the two-point attempt successful, it would have been automatically reviewed. But since they said it wasn’t a score, Joseph would have needed to challenge the call — and potentially lose a timeout if he was wrong — for the call to be reviewed.
“I would prefer if the officials are not sure if it’s a positive or negative play, just call it on the positive side because it’s a built-in fix for him,” he said. “It was more important to keep our timeout there without having clear evidence.”
That no-call was just the beginning of an intense fourth quarter. The Chargers kicked a field goal to add to their score. But ultimately, the Broncos scored a game-winning field goal with just three seconds left on the clock.
There is some good news for fans. We’ll have part two of this rivalry to look forward to in Week 17.