Broncos feel sting of no-call on potential game-tying play

DENVER -- The Denver Broncos' last-ditch comeback effort in a 35-33 loss to the Washington Commanders ended with a failed two-point conversion and, for the Broncos, a penalty that wasn't called.

Several Broncos players felt they should have gotten one more chance to tie the game after a pass interference penalty did not get called on Commanders cornerback Benjamin St-Juste when he pulled wide receiver Courtland Sutton’s shoulder before the ball arrived. No penalty was called and the Broncos didn’t get another attempt to tie the game from the 1-yard line.

“There are plenty of videos, plenty of cameras for everybody to see what happened,’’ Sutton said. " ... Nothing we can do now.''

“Just a bang-bang play,’’ Broncos wide receiver Marvin Mims Jr. said. “I was expecting it to be pass interference, a lot of the guys wanted it to be pass interference to give us another run at it. Unfortunately, it wasn’t.’’

It’s possible the Broncos had already used up their allotment of the improbable before the two-point attempt. Trailing 35-27 with three seconds left in the game and the ball on the 50-yard line, Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson heaved a Hail Mary pass to the endzone.

In a crowd, the ball caromed off of Commanders cornerback Emmanuel Forbes Jr., Sutton and Broncos tight end Adam Trautman before wide receiver Brandon Johnson snagged it for the touchdown. The Broncos lined up for the two-point conversion, Wilson took the snap, briefly scanned the flurry of activity in the endzone -- “I think [wide receiver Jerry] Jeudy actually comes open,’’ Broncos coach Sean Payton recounted -- before he tried to fit the ball into Sutton.

“I thought it was [pass interference], but obviously the ref made a different call,’’ Broncos cornerback Pat Surtain II said. “In the heat of the moment in a game like that, obviously I thought it would be called, but there is nothing we can do about it now … During that play, I thought he grabbed him a little bit, I thought it would be called, but they didn’t make the call, so we can’t go back and change it now.’’

St-Juste likened the play to a superhero move.

“Honestly, we practiced that play a lot,’’ St.-Juste said. “It was another play that we practiced during the week … Emmanuel Forbes was running with Courtland Sutton. [I] told him I was going to cut it, cut it, so that means I'm taking over his player, he switched over and then after that, I just made a play, friendly neighborhood Spider-Man saving the day.’’

The play was the bitter exclamation point to the game the Broncos let get away long beforehand. They scored touchdowns on their first three possessions of the game and led 21-3 with 9:01 remaining in the first half. The Commanders stormed back from there, outscoring the Broncos 32-12 from that point as Washington sacked Wilson seven times. Wilson lost a fumble and was intercepted as well in the game.

"Just very disappointing,'' Payton said.

ESPN Washington Commanders reporter John Keim contributed to this story