I’ll be the first to admit that the taunting penalty is one of the lamest things about the NFL. In a hyper-aggressive game like football, you’ve got to give players room to express emotions on the field, otherwise it gets held in and boils over. That being said, this taunt might have been a little extra.
Late in the first quarter, Case Keenum tossed a 44-yard pass down the sideline to Emmanuel Sanders. After making a pretty good catch, Rams cornerback Troy Hill appeared to grab a bit of Sanders’ helmet and face mask, which the receiver took exception to. The Broncos player gave Hill a piece of his mind, and was immediately flagged. Because Sanders was ruled down at the one, however, it cost the Broncos 15 yards on the following play, which put them back at the 16-yard line.
Denver was unable to convert the first down after three plays and had to settle for a field goal. Talking your shit is cool and good in football, but not when it results in hustling backwards.