Broncos Safety P.J. Locke Steps in for Ejected Kareem Jackson, Secures Game-Changing Play
Denver Broncos safety P.J. Locke intercepted his first career pass late in Sunday's win against the Green Bay Packers.
When P.J. Locke began the season on injured reserve with a toe injury, his teammate Kareem Jackson offered words of encouragement, telling him not to get discouraged. However, in Sunday's game against the Green Bay Packers, Jackson was ejected in the fourth quarter for unnecessary roughness, leaving Locke to step up in his absence.
Locke, a four-year veteran, made the play of the game when he intercepted a deep ball from Jordan Love with just 1:52 left on the clock. It was Locke's first career interception, and he felt a surge of emotions as he celebrated with his teammates. He credited his resilience and the support of his teammates, including Jackson and safety Justin Simmons, for helping him through his injury and recovery.
Locke's interception sealed the win for the Broncos, but it could have been a different story if one call had gone their way earlier in the game. In the third quarter, a touchdown pass from Love to Romeo Doubs was ruled a touchdown, despite both cornerback Pat Surtain II and Doubs getting their hands on the ball in the end zone. Surtain and Broncos coach Sean Payton believed it should have been ruled an interception, but the referee saw it differently and upheld the touchdown call.
Another notable moment in the game was the return of Broncos outside linebacker Baron Browning, who had missed the first six games due to a knee injury. Browning was excited to be back on the field with his teammates and made an impact, although he was penalized twice for being offsides.
The Broncos also made a change in their starting lineup, benching cornerback Damarri Mathis and giving Fabian Moreau his first start of the season. Moreau had a solid performance, with four tackles and a pass defended. Safety Justin Simmons praised Moreau for his play and ability to contest deep balls.
The Broncos' running game was a key factor in their win, as they had a season-high 145 rushing yards. Rookie running back Javonte Williams led the way with 82 yards on 15 carries, while Jaleel McLaughlin added 45 yards on five attempts. The offensive line was pleased with their success in the running game and hopes to continue forcing more run calls in future games.
Head coach Sean Payton also commended kicker Wil Lutz for his performance, as he made all four of his field goal attempts, including the game-winning 52-yard kick. Payton believes Lutz has the potential to become a great kicker in the future.
Wide receivers Courtland Sutton and Jerry Jeudy had solid performances, despite being the subject of trade rumors. Sutton caught a 33-yard pass and an 18-yard touchdown, while Jeudy had five catches for 64 yards. The offense was energized by their playmaking ability.
Rookie wide receiver Marvin Mims Jr. did not see much action in the game, with just one target that was not a reception. After a strong start to the season, Mims has struggled to make an impact in recent games.
Overall, the Broncos had a successful game, with contributions from various players on both offense and defense. They will now wait to see if Locke will start in their next game against the Kansas City Chiefs, as Jackson could potentially be suspended.