Refs helped the Denver Broncos seal win vs. Packers

Did the officials inadvertently help the Denver Broncos win the game?
Denver Broncos
Denver Broncos / Jamie Schwaberow/GettyImages

The Denver Broncos got a much-needed jolt of life playing in front of the home crowd and getting a close 19-17 against the Green Bay Packers. That 19-17 victory against Green Bay included a controversial decision by the officiating crew on a hit made by the often-penalized (and often-fined) Kareem Jackson.

The hit by Jackson has drawn a lot of mixed reactions from fans and analysts alike. It's not the first time Jackson has been ejected from a game this season but this one seemed particularly odd. You be the judge:

Broncos players who were asked about the hit after the game weren't happy about the officials' decision to eject K-Jack from the game. Jackson has already been fined over $90,000 this season by the league, and with this ejection against the Packers, it seems like he's in line for a possible suspension from the league.

The decision by the officials to eject Kareem Jackson from the game led to the Denver Broncos replacing him on the field with PJ Locke, who was activated off of injured reserve a few weeks back. Locke made some big plays last year for the Broncos in a reserve role and has made some big plays in the past on special teams, but injuries have prevented him from carving out a more full-time role.

Locke came into this game against the Packers and had three tackles, but most importantly, he sealed the victory for the Broncos with an interception off of Jordan Love late in the fourth quarter.

First of all, this play featured excellent coverage from Justin Simmons who was in perfect position on that play before Locke came screaming into frame from the other side of the field. But second, how about that range from PJ Locke? I mean, that is a brilliant play.

And it wouldn't have happened if the officials hadn't ejected Kareem Jackson. That's not to say Kareem Jackson couldn't have made that play or wouldn't have made it if he had the same opportunity, but the reality is that Locke may have a bit more spring in his step at this point and wouldn't have been on the field in that situation unless Jackson was ejected from the game.

So, inadvertently, the officials may have "helped" the Denver Broncos seal the deal in this game. They certainly didn't mean to do it, and having Jackson ejected from the game wasn't really a "good" thing for the Broncos, but it allowed a good young player in PJ Locke to come up with a big play in a big opportunity. And he took advantage of that opportunity in a big way.

Locke, by the way, had some choice words for the decision to eject his teammate from the game...


We'll see where the NFL ultimately comes down on Kareem Jackson after that hit on Packers TE Luke Musgrave, but it obviously doesn't look good. His availability for the Chiefs game next Sunday, barring an appeal of any possible suspension, is in doubt. Perhaps more opportunities for PJ Locke will be on the way.

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