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Demaryius Thomas not so sure about facemask penalty

CINCINNATI -- The Denver Broncos made plenty of mistakes Monday night to earn every bit of a 37-28 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals in Paul Brown Stadium.

But Demaryius Thomas isn't sure one he was flagged for should be on that list. A poor route or two, yes, a dropped ball, yes. But the facemask penalty in the fourth quarter?

Not so much.

In a game the Broncos trailed 30-28 at the time, it appeared Peyton Manning had hit Thomas for a 27-yard gain to convert a third-and-6 to move the ball to the Bengals' 49-yard line with just under seven minutes to play in the game.

Instead Thomas was flagged for a facemask penalty, a 15-yarder that negated the play and moved the ball back to the Broncos' 12-yard line. Manning was sacked on the next play and the Broncos then punted.

"I didn't grab it, I actually kind of touched it," Thomas said of the penalty. "I never saw a man call it, that was a big change of the game, that was a first down we were moving the ball. It was tough, they called it, you have to live with it."

The Broncos did have some additional penalties in the game that were just as painful. Marvin Austin Jr. was flagged in the fourth quarter for roughing the passer, a 15-yarder that gave the Bengals a first down. Derek Wolfe was flagged for unnecessary roughness, for blasting a Bengals offensive lineman after the play was over in the third quarter. The Bengals drove to the Broncos' 7-yard line after that penalty before Von Miller ripped the ball away from Bengals' running back Jeremy Hill to keep the Bengals from scoring.