Broncos news: NFL officials admitted they screwed up Bradley Chubb roughing the passer call
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NFL officials admitted they screwed up Bradley Chubb roughing the passer call

The Denver Broncos fell victim to an officiating error late in Sunday’s 16-14 loss to the Chicago Bears. John Elway, though, is refusing to make excuses for his team’s defeat – and even expressing optimism in the face of an 0-2 start.

Speaking at the “Scoring Big In Business With John Elway” event on Thursday, Denver’s general manager said that the league office informed him the roughing-the-passer penalty on Bradley Chubb in the waking moments of Sunday’s heartbreaking loss never should have been called.

The sophomore pass-rusher hit Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky from behind just after the ball was thrown. While Chubb’s hit appeared legal to the naked eye, it’s understandable how an official with an obstructed view of the action could have mistaken it as otherwise given how close Chubb came to making contact with Trubisky’s head and neck. The flag gave Chicago an automatic first down, extending a drive that ended with a game-winning field goal.

Elway, while frustrated by the officials’ gaffe, wasn’t using it to defend Denver’s early-season play, but as an example of why he believes the Broncos are a better team this season despite early-season struggles.

“We have to be able to overcome bad plays, bad refereeing and mistakes on our part. Great teams are able to overcome these things,” Elway said, per Joe Rubino of The Denver Post. “I think Vic’s got us going in that direction and I think Joe Flacco has been a good pillar for us. He has experience. He’s won a world championship. He knows what it takes.”

Vic Fangio, beloved for years as Chicago’s defensive coordinator, was hired by Denver in January. The 61-year-old has no prior head-coaching experience.