It’s something you dream about, that first NFL game, that first NFL touchdown.
Broncos rookie quarterback Paxton Lynch experienced both Sunday coming off the bench after starter Trevor Siemian went down with a shoulder injury.
The TD toss went to Emmanuel Sanders off the scramble at the 8:55 mark of the 4th quarter, giving the Broncos that 27-7 lead.
“Oh yeah, that was very exciting, especially for it to be to a guy like Emmanuel,” Lynch said. “Got me out of the pocket, moving a little bit down there in the red zone so I could have a chance to run it too. And Emmanuel just popped open and did his cartwheel.”
Sanders joked his cartwheel should have been scored a 10, but it’s the six that of course mattered most.
“It felt good. Obviously we didn’t do with the ball what we were supposed to do with it, but he came in and threw his first touchdown. I remember him coming in the huddle and telling me, ‘I got to go at it, I want to throw a touchdown pass.’ We were able to connect on a five-yard pass. That’s the first of many.”
The issue was, during the cartwheel, the ball fell to the ground and before Lynch could run down and grab it, Demaryius Thomas tossed it into the stands to a fan.
“I’m usually throwing all the balls in the stands most of the times, even my balls,” Thomas explained. “They went back and got it for him because you know his first touchdown pass. I was going to give him my touchdown because I actually kept it, but he’ll be all right. He’ll throw a lot more in his career.”
The good news is the story had a happy ending as the Broncos were able to get that special football back.
“I think they went back and got it. There was a little confusion going on, but I think it’s back home,” said a relieved Lynch.
Sanders joked that one day Lynch will realize those milestone footballs are no big deal, but on this day, the one Lynch threw for his first touchdown does.
He was happy he threw it, and thrilled despite the original toss to the stands, he’ll now have it forever.