It was an inspiring play.
Trailing by 11 points with the final seconds of the third quarter winding down, the Broncos faced a 4th-and-1. Quarterback Peyton Manning turned and handed the ball to C.J. Anderson, who was immediately met by defenders in the backfield.
Then, Anderson did this:
It was an amazing play that came moments after Anderson saved offensive lineman Orlando Franklin from committing a penalty.
Heck of a guy, C.J. Anderson. https://t.co/3n8bTeXtiD— Jon Heath (@JonHeathNFL) January 12, 2015
It was an inspiring series of events from Anderson, who was determined to not give in. Unfortunately, not all of Anderson's teammates shared the same determination during the fourth down run.
While Anderson was busting his butt to just get back to the line of scrimmage, Denver's two star receivers Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders were standing around. Sanders was watching the play on the scoreboard!
Eventually, one of the Colts defensive backs realizes that Anderson is breaking away and he leaves the standing huddle. D-Thomas reacts, but he's far too late.
Anderson had a good angle on Indy's two pursuing defensive linemen, and he would have had a clear lane to the endzone had the DB been blocked.
But instead of running for a score, Anderson was brought down after a six-yard gain. A touchdown would have made the score 21-17 with an entire fourth quarter still to play. Denver would have had momentum.
Instead, Denver settled for a 41-yard Connor Barth field goal that made the score 21-13.
I know, I know. Coulda, shoulda, woulda.
Yes, the game is over. I'm not trying to beat a dead horse or even beat up two players that did not block until the whistle. But if more players had shown the same heart C.J. Anderson displayed, Sunday's final score likely would have been different.