Just as the Denver Broncos fans began celebrating Emmanuel Sanders’ clutch catches and sat just seconds away from victory, the officiating crew dealt them a brutal blow.
The Chicago Bears were pinned to their 25-yard line with less than 40 seconds left in the game. Quarterback Mitchell Trubisky completed a short pass for five yards, but Broncos outside linebacker Bradley Chubb was called four roughing the passer to gift Chicago an additional 15 yards.
Trubisky and the Bears would take advantage of the gift from the officials. After two incompletions and a penalty, Trubisky completed with 25-yard pass to Denver’s 35-yard line to set up the game-winning field goal.
While the NFL is emphasizing protecting its players, especially quarterbacks, this was an ordinary hit by Chubb. He took Trubisky down around his chest and the two then fell to the turf. The 15-yard penalty proved to be fatal for Denver’s chances on Sunday.