Denver Broncos OLB Baron Browning called for questionable penalty

This was an... interesting call.

Cleveland Browns v Denver Broncos
Cleveland Browns v Denver Broncos / Jamie Schwaberow/GettyImages
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During the Denver Broncos Week 12 victory against the Cleveland Browns, OLB Baron Browning got flagged for a very questionable roughing the passer penalty. It's safe to say that throughout the entire NFL this season, there have been some very questionable calls by the officials. I guess it'd be unprofessional of me to use my platform to call them out, so instead, I'm just going to talk about it with a neutral lens.

Well, Baron Browning got flagged for a roughing the passer penalty during the Broncos Week 12 victory. Denver now sits at 6-5 and has the same record as the seventh-seeded Indianapolis Colts, who hold the final playoff spot. The Broncos will now have three straight away games against the Houston Texans, Los Angeles Chargers, and Detroit Lions. The team surely needs to go at least 2-1 during this stretch to keep themselves firmly in the mix.

They'd be 8-6 with three games remaining, two of which would be at home. The Broncos got two crucial wins during this mini-homestand in Weeks 11 and 12, but it wasn't without some drama. Here's the hit that Baron Browning got flagged for:

So, to me, this seems like a textbook-clean hit. Browning does not lead with his head. Browning hits him in his shoulder, specifically on his throwing shoulder. He also does not land on him at all. In fact, Dorian Thompson-Robinson falls to the ground on his own. Overall, it was a pretty puzzling call I think. I'm just confused about where Browning did something illegal here.

Regardless, the penalty did not impact the game. In fact, Denver went on to win by 17 points and truly dominated the Cleveland Browns. It was a crucial win that also keeps them somewhat alive in the AFC West race. They sit just two games behind the Kansas City Chiefs. While I don't think KC relinquishes their division lead, it's still worth mentioning that the Broncos are in striking distance there.

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Anyway, Baron Browning couldn't have done anything differently here. To me, it was a clean hit and there's really no argument otherwise. Here's hoping that the Denver Broncos do not keep getting called for penalties on what appear to be clean hits.

Next. Predicting the score of every remaining Broncos game. Predicting the score of every remaining Broncos game. dark