Column: Broncos, Saints both defend teammate, unlike Cowboys

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Denver Broncos wide receiver K.J. Hamler (13) celebrates his game-tying touchdown with teammates during the second half of an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Chargers, Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020, in Denver. The Broncos won 31-30. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

DENVER – You can almost hear Mike McCarthy saying, “That’s what I’m talking about!”

The lack of any sort of on-field response to Washington linebacker Jon Bostic’s dirty hit on quarterback Andy Dalton didn’t sit well with the Dallas Cowboys coach in Week 7.

No retaliation. No pushes or shoves. No jumping in to protect Dalton or stand up for him. Now, of course the NFL doesn’t encourage tit-for-tat antics, but McCarthy believes in the heat of the moment it’s all for one and all of that.

“We speak all the time about playing for one another, protecting one another,” McCarthy said after Dalton was knocked from the game and Bostic was ejected. “That was definitely probably not the response that you would expect.”

Fast forward to Sunday when the Denver Broncos overcame a 21-point deficit to beat the Los Angeles Chargers 31-30 on rookie KJ Hamler’s first career touchdown catch, a 1-yard grab from Drew Lock.

One official waived off the catch. Another raised his hands. After consulting, it was determined Hamler got his butt down inbounds. Tie game. Then, Brandon McManus’ extra point capped the comeback.

The Chargers were flagged on the extra point for lining up seven players on one side of the center, but before the call was explained and declined, Los Angeles nose tackle Linval Joseph spun Broncos center Patrick Morris, injuring the practice squad call-up's right arm.

The chippiness seemed to be a culmination of several things: