The Denver Broncos are cleaning up against the Carolina Panthers, with Peyton Manning tying Dan Marino’s all-time touchdown mark and the defense generally dominating Cam Newton. Things are so one-sided in Carolina that the Broncos are literally getting away with things like flipping the ball before crossing the goal line.
That’s exactly what punt returner Trindon Holliday did on a massive punt return he took to the house in the first half. As video replay clearly shows, Holliday began to flip the ball before he crossed the endzone. So what was a 76 yard punt return for a touchdown should have been a touchback for the Panthers, but there was no review.
You’ll remember that DeSean Jackson did a similar thing in Philadelphia not long ago, and that was called for what it was — needless and premature showboating. However the Broncos and Holliday dodged a huge bullet in the game when the officials clearly missed the call. What’s interesting to note here is that some media outlets like Big Lead Sports are claiming that officials didn’t review the play, but all scoring plays are reviewed upstairs.
So either protocol was not followed, or the referees missed an insanely easy call to make.
As it turns out, the Broncos used an interception return for a touchdown in the third quarter to take an even more commanding lead so the (non)punt return for a touchdown will likely end up not playing a huge factor in the final outcome. It could be argued that the punt return sucked the gravity out of Bank of America Stadium but come on, the Panthers are just no good.