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Emmanuel Sanders calls NFL 'soft' for taunting penalty

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Late in the first quarter, with the Denver Broncos trailing the high-flying Los Angeles Rams, 6-0, Emmanuel Sanders appeared to score a 44-yard touchdown over defensive back Troy Hill.

Sanders got up in the end zone and approached Hill, wagging his finger at the defender. He was flagged for taunting. After review of the play ruled the receiver down at the 1-yard-line, the 15-yard penalty moved the ball back to the 16-yard-line.

Denver ended up settling for a field goal. In a 23-20 loss, the four-point swing ended up big for the floundering Broncos.

"To me, honestly, I feel like the league is getting soft," Sanders said of the flag, via ESPN's Jeff Legwold. "I'm having fun. I didn't do anything crazy to the guy besides say, 'I got you on that play,' pointing my finger at him. [The official] threw the flag, which is crazy because I feel like I've been in the league nine years and I've been pointing at guys, go back and look at my film, I've been pointing at guys all the time and saying, 'I got you on that play.'

"It was a great throw by Case [Keenum]. I came down with a big play, emotions are high. ... It's not like I walked up to him and head-butted him or something crazy. But it cost my team."

It was likely the walk toward the defender coupled with the finger-wag that drew the flag. It might be a weak call, but it's one regularly made.

The Broncos still had a chance to score a touchdown on the drive and the balance of the game to overcome the flag. Instead, they got down 20-3, and the comeback bid came up short.

The softest thing on the field in Denver on Sunday wasn't the flag on Sanders. It was Denver's run defense, which allowed 270 yards on the ground.

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