Stokley’s circus catch gives Broncos last-second win over Bengals

For 59 minutes and 32 seconds, the Broncos and Bengals played the most boring game of Week 1. Then Cincinnati cornerback Leon Hall forgot that batting the ball straight up in the air is a horrible idea.

Check out this crazy touchdown by Brandon Stokley to give Denver an improbable 12-7 victory over the Bengals on Sunday:

At first, I disagreed with the commentator who said that Hall could have intercepted Kyle Orton’s horrid pass. It looked like he jumped at his highest point and while falling backwards, he tried to knock the ball down and instead batted it straight up.

But upon further review, Hall could have picked off the pass had he positioned his body better when the ball was in the air. Or at the very least, he should have been able to knock the ball down instead of doing his best impression of a volleyball setter by batting the football up.

Either way, this was a heartbreaking loss for the Bengals. They didn’t play a clean game, but they should have had this win locked up after Cedric Benson scored on a one-yard touchdown run with 38 seconds remaining. Plus, on the play before Stokley’s circus catch, Cincinnati had intercepted Orton but the defender couldn’t stay in bounds while he was coming down with the football. The Bengals had several opportunities to start the 2009 season 1-0 but they fell victim to a fluke play.

It was a cheap win, but Josh McDaniels will take it after all the crap he went through (some of it he created himself) this summer with Jay Cutler and Brandon Marshall.

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