The Baltimore Ravens are heading to the NFL‘s AFC Championship game. In my mind, this game will forever be remembered as the Denver Broncos choking a game away in historic fashion. The blame can easily be spread through three the different areas of offense, defense and of course dreadful coaching.
Peyton Manning‘s play on Saturday was utterly embarrassing. All year, I went to bat for Manning as he showed me he could play regardless of in-climate weather. He did throw 22 touchdowns to just three interceptions in Denver this season, so it wasn’t too farfetched. However, those numbers didn’t transfer into the postseason as he threw two interceptions versus the Ravens. The most crucial was a pick that hit Raven cornerback Corey Graham right in the numbers–Manning also lost his second fumble in 20 playoff starts as he was obviously a shell of himself in this one.
Moving on, Mike McCoy, the Broncos Offensive Coorinator, chose to play a style of football that had not been played in Denver all season.
With starting running back Knowshon Moreno going down in the third quarter, McCoy still saw it fit to give backup running back Ronnie Hillman a lions share of the ball. Hillman, the youngest player in the NFL, had 22 carries in a game that was win-or-go-home for the Broncos.McCoy should have put more faith in Manning as he is the focus of the Broncos offense.
Last but not least is the dreadful play of the Broncos defense that has been hyped as a top five squad the entire season. With names like Champ Bailey, Von Miller and Elvis Dumervil it’s easy to see why they were so successful during the season. However, letting Joe Flacco come out and throw for 331 yards, three touchdowns and zero turnovers is nothing short of embarrassing.
The Broncos mental gaffs can be summed up with one name. Rahim Moore. His angle on 70 yard touchdown to Jacoby Jones will forever go down as the worst play in NFL playoff history.