Broncos throw first challenge flag for pass interference


Well, that didn’t take long.

The Broncos threw the first challenge flag for pass interference in the first half of the Hall of Fame Game, and the NFL’s senior vice president of officiating didn’t need long to make a decision.

Al Riveron promised at the NFL’s officiating clinic last month that to overturn a call on the field, the interference had to be “clear and obvious, visual [and] significantly hinders.”

Riveron, who is in the replay booth in Canton tonight, was put to the test with 3:19 remaining until halftime. Falcons quarterback Kurt Benkert threw a deep pass intended for Russell Gage, who drew a flag on Broncos defensive back Linden Stephens.

The 43-yard penalty prompted a challenge flag from Vic Fangio.

Riveron needed only seconds to decide the call stands.

The Falcons did not score on the possession and trail 7-0.