Wide receiver Courtland Sutton views the Broncos' receiving corps as a catalyst for the offense, and with the Broncos trailing the Houston Texans 16-3 late in the third quarter, Denver needed its playmakers to act as exactly that to swing momentum back in its favor.
"[It was important] just being able to go out there and be momentum-changers," Sutton said after the game. "Like I talked about a couple weeks ago, being the spoon, man. Being the group that goes out there and turns regular milk into chocolate milk — that's on us."
Sutton responded to the challenge by making his longest catch of the season, a 45-yard touchdown reception he corralled while falling to the ground in between two Houston defenders.
According to NFL Next Gen Stats, the play had a 26.4 percent probability of completion, marking the league-best fourth touchdown Sutton has recorded with less than a 30 percent completion probability. Sutton has now caught a touchdown pass in each of the Broncos' five road games and is tied for third place league-wide with nine receiving touchdowns.
Most importantly, the touchdown and ensuing extra point cut the Broncos' deficit to a score and swung momentum in the Broncos' favor after a quiet first half on offense. Despite the catch's degree of difficulty, Sutton said he wouldn't be denied from making the big play Denver needed.
"I missed some early ones, and them boys would have had to pin me to the ground for me to not be able to try to make that catch," Sutton said. "It was nice to be able to go out and get some momentum. You can feel the tide switch over making those plays, and that's what we pride ourselves on in our room and the playmakers in general."
Sutton continued to be a crucial part of the Broncos' comeback attempt through the second half. Quarterback Russell Wilson found Sutton down the middle for a 32-yard gain to spark Denver's final drive of the game, and after the game Wilson said the offensive traction in the second half was evidence of his unit's big-play ability and belief in itself.
"In the second half, we started to get it going," Wilson said. "But I think at the end of the day, anytime you're in these situations, close games and everything else, we always believe we're going to win. We always believe we're going to find a way – done it a lot before and been able to accomplish that."
While Sutton was disheartened with the Broncos' 22-17 loss and the end of their winning streak, he said Denver has a prime opportunity over the next month to get back in contention and improve its offensive performance. The Broncos will continue their stretch of road games with matchups against the Chargers and Lions.
"It's not the end of the road," Sutton said. "We've got more opportunities ahead of us, and it's on us to correct what we didn't do well today, to minimize that, and to keep moving forward. We've got a lot of opportunities going forward."