John Fox's Decision at End of Regulation Cost Denver Broncos

By Mark Stringer
Ron Chenoy – US Presswire

I know it was a tough loss for the Denver Broncos and their fans, but did one decision by head coach John Fox end up costing the Broncos agains the Baltimore Ravens in the divisional playoffs?

There’s never just one thing that gets you beat, but the decisions made by the coaches in the latter parts of games really get criticized the most. I gave it a few days to think about Fox’s decision, and now I am ready to disagree with the call he made with 31 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter.

The story is that the Broncos had the ball first and 10 from their own 20-yard line with 31 seconds left. They also had two timeouts and QB Peyton Manning, who is very well known for his fourth-quarter comebacks–he holds the record for the most in NFL history.

Not to mention that kicker Matt Prater is well known for kicking long field goals – and I mean 60-plus-yard field goals.

The Broncos would only have had to gain 40 yards to make a field goal try reasonable, and with 31 seconds and with two timeouts, Denver would have had at least time for a couple of completions and a couple of incompletions as well.

There are those who say that you might throw an interception because you’re trying so hard to gain a big play. I’ll always go by the motto of “play for the now, not for the future.” You can’t assume you’re going to win in overtime, especially since the defense wasn’t playing well.

Those 31 seconds should have been used to try to win the game, not to try not to lose the game. I would always let Manning try to win a game with two timeouts and 31 seconds on the clock.

I will say in Fox’s case he couldn’t assume that Manning was going to make a poor decision with the football on first down in overtime that also cost the Broncos a chance for the win, but to me, that wasted 31 seconds was just as bad of a decision as Manning’s, and it happened before overtime.

If Manning is my quarterback, I wouldn’t waste 31 seconds and I wonder what Manning’s thoughts are on this topic. The problem is that he wouldn’t tell you what he really thought even if he didn’t like the decision, because he’s a classy guy. Same thing with John Elway; he has already backed coach Fox’s decision and said he would have done the same thing. Do you think he really thinks that or is just being classy and standing up for his coach?

I just hope in the future if the Broncos face a situation similar they play for the now and not the future.


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