The Denver Broncos were on the verge of blowing the biggest lead of Russell Wilson’s Hall of Fame career when their prayers were suddenly answered. Denver trailed the Washington Commanders by eight points with three seconds left on the fourth quarter game clock and the ball on the 50-yard-line. Wilson dropped back to the pass and ripped a Hail Mary throw.
Wilson’s pass landed about five yards short of the end zone, was tipped back twice, and somehow landed in the hands of Broncos wide receiver Brandon Johnson. This was the most amazing play of the young NFL season so far, but Denver still needed the two-point conversion. They didn’t get it.
The Commanders beat the Broncos, 35-33, in a Week 2 thriller.
Watch Wilson’s Hail Mary throw here:
When the Broncos lined up for the two-point conversion, Wilson appeared to know where he wanted to go with the ball. He threw a pass to Courtland Sutton that would have forced overtime if he caught it. Instead, Benjamin St-Juste forced an incompletion, and the Commanders won.
Watch the two-point conversion play here. Did St-Juste interfere with Sutton? It sure looked like it.
Here’s another look at St-Juste’s defense:
NFL fans were convinced this should have been defensive pass interference. Here’s a small sampling of posts on the social media platform formerly known as Twitter:
The #NFL certainly changed what is PI since James Bradberry in SB (Bradberry admitted it was PI).
Week 2 alone — NFC East games
– A.J. Brown brought down by end zone (no call)
– Trevon Diggs hooks Garrett Wilson (no call)
– Courtland Sutton held by Benjamin St-Juste (no call)
— Jeff Kerr (@JeffKerrCBS) September 17, 2023
Terrible no call for Courtland Sutton
— Shelby Manning (@ShelbyManningPO) September 17, 2023
I cannot believe there wasn’t a flag on Benjamin St. Juste on the 2-point try.
Got away with a PI. The Commanders will take it. Winner, winner chicken dinner.
— Grant Paulsen (@granthpaulsen) September 17, 2023
25 (St. Juste) was shocked there was no flag on that. Looked everywhere for one after the play. And these dingbats in the booth are saying he made a great play.
— Jimmy Kempski (@JimmyKempski) September 17, 2023
The game never should have come down to a two-point conversion for Denver. The Broncos led 21-3 early in the second quarter after Wilson and Johnson hooked up for their first touchdown of the day. Washington proceeded to score 18 consecutive points to tie the game, and took the lead for good on Brian Robinson’s 15-yard run midway through the fourth quarter.
The Commanders are somehow 2-0 to start the year with Sam Howell at quarterback. Howell was pretty damn good in this one, finishing with 299 yards, two touchdowns, and no interceptions. Wilson, meanwhile, was pretty average until the final drive. He ended the game with 308 yards, three touchdowns, and one interception.
Things are getting dark quickly for Sean Payton’s Broncos. This time, though, the refs played a big part in a game-deciding call that went against them.