We’re having difficulty containing our excitement for the start of the NFL season. In an effort to cope with that delirium, each day until the Sept. 4 kickoff, the Buzzer will post about one crazy moment in NFL history. "Crazy" is subjective, so what does that mean here? In this series we won’t be highlighting the most outstanding plays or statistical feats — but those plays that make your jaw drop and cause you to blurt out, "holy $*%", that was crazy!"
Make no mistake about it: This entry made The Buzzer’s list of the "NFL’s Craziest Moments" because of the play AND the call.
On Sept. 13, 2009, the Broncos visited the Bengals. With 28 seconds remaining in regulation, it looked like Cincinnati had a 7-6 win in hand as Denver was backed up to its own 13 yard line. Clearly, the Broncos would need a miracle just to get in field-goal range.
Guess what? They got a miracle. And it had nothing to do with field-goal range.
Quarterback Kyle Orton heaved a throw to receiver Brandon Marshall, who was surrounded by three defenders. Bengals cornerback Leon Hall ended up deflecting the pass at Denver’s 40-yard line. However, the ball shot into the air and landed right in the hands of Marshall’s teammate, Brandon Stokley, who took off and sprinted toward the end zone for the 87-yard touchdown.
This caused play-by-play man Gus Johnson, who was calling the game for CBS, to go full Gus Johnson. Enjoy.
As you saw, Stokley not only put the knife in the Bengals, but he was also smart enough to run parallel to the goal line until a defensive player got near him to chew up even more clock. Cincinnati was left with 11 seconds, but couldn’t pull off its own miracle, losing 12-7.
After the game, Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer said, "I’ve never seen anything like that. I’ve played football since I was 7 or 8, and I’ve not seen that."