Does Ravens-Broncos Rank as One of the Best Playoff Games?
This one belongs in the discussion of “greatest playoff games of all time.” It’s hard to give it the nod, though, because the most dramatic play and the most dramatic decision were more about one team’s mistakes than about another team’s greatness. The mistakes came from the Broncos. One was safety Rahim Moore’s failure to recognize his deep-half zone responsibilities on Jacoby Jones’ 70-yard touchdown. Another was John Fox telling Peyton Manning to take a knee with half a minute to go in regulation when the Broncos had acceptable field position (own 20 yard-line) and two timeouts. Why are you paying Manning more than $1 million a game if you’re not going to lean on him in that situation?
Somewhat lost in the aftermath of this instant classic’s drama is the epic performance of Joe Flacco…On Saturday, Flacco kept the Ravens in it early with a pair of first-half touchdown strikes to Torrey Smith. No one who watched the film on Denver’s Week 15 thrashing of Baltimore would have ever imagined the young wideout beating the future Hall of Famer’s press coverage…Flacco is the reason Baltimore pulled off one of the bigger divisional round upsets in N.F.L. history.
Now that I've had time to review some tape from Saturday and Week 15, I absolutely agree with Benoit. In Week 15, Champ was able to keep Smith at the line of scrimmage much longer and with much more force. It's hard to blame Del Rio for employing press man with Champ in the first half of Saturday's game based on what Bailey had done to Smith previously.
I'm not as quick to reward Flacco, though. He made some decent throws, but it's not as if he didn't just throw the ball up and hope for the best on more than one occasion. Of course, I'm also pissed off still, so I might be slightly biased.
As the Broncos move into the offseason a little sooner than planned, we now know they will pick 28th overall in the upcoming NFL draft.
Denver has six picks, with either a sixth- or seventh-rounder heading to Philadelphia to complete the 2011 trade for Brodrick Bunkley.
Good Morning, Broncos fans! Last week, we took what we thought was a very early peek at Denver's cap situation for 2013, and the players due to become free agents.
Unfortunately, we were only days premature - not weeks - and it's already time to think about 2013 in earnest.
To review, Denver's pending unrestricted free agents are Ryan Clady, Brandon Stokley, Kevin Vickerson, Justin Bannan, Jim Leonhard, Keith Brooking, David Bruton, Dan Koppen, Jason Hunter, Tracy Porter, Ty Warren, and Matthew Willis.
The Broncos will have a three-day period from March 9-11 to negotiate exclusively toward new contracts with these players, whose 2012 deals will expire at 4pm on Tuesday, March 12, which is also precisely when the 2013 league year and free agency will commence.
Day after, Broncos lament chance that slipped away vs. Ravens
Bailey, who was burned for two touchdowns by the Ravens’ Torrey Smith, said he had already reviewed the game.
“It’s tough because I know I’m better than what I put on that tape yesterday,” he said. “There are a couple of plays I would love to have back. But if you haven’t been beaten as a corner, you really haven’t played.”
I was listening to SiriusXM NFL Radio earlier in the evening when a caller (I assume from Denver, although I wasn't paying attention) seriously suggested that after yesterday's game Champ Bailey should consider retirement.
We're all feeling a little punch drunk about now. Even so, let's not get too carried away. The Bailey-to-safety talk I can somewhat understand after a tough loss, although that's at least a year or two premature. But retirement?
Someone's been tappin' grandpa's moonshine.
Refs make best of frigid conditions
There were 18 penalties called in the game and you could say the officiating crew got a frigid review from my Twitter followers, many indicating that the game was not called very well.
Baltimore-Denver was a tough game to officiate. There were a lot of points scored (73), a lot of passes thrown (77) and as I mentioned, it was cold. In fact, it was so cold where I was, I’m surprised my fingers didn’t go numb typing this sentence. But I have a good idea why so many people felt that way about the officials. Because the announcers weren’t always in agreement with what was ruled on the field. Which doesn’t necessarily mean that the officials were wrong.
The officials did not call a poor game. If you think otherwise, that’s just cold.
Hey Mike Pereira, I think I can speak for all Broncos fans when I say: go f#$@ yourself.
And another thing: your mother wears combat boots.
Twice yesterday, John Fox decided that thirty-something seconds and multiple timeouts wasn't enough to move downfield for a score.
The first came with 36 seconds left in the first half at 21-21 from Denver's 20-yard line, with all three timeouts in hand. He reprised that decision at 35-35 and 31 seconds remaining in regulation, and two timeouts from the 20.
In the first instance, Denver handed off to Jacob Hester. Then, at the end of regulation, Peyton Manning - the king of NFL comeback QBs - was instructed to take a knee, and you know what happened from there.
RAMSEY: Fox's cowardice dooms Broncos
Bad stuff did happen, largely because of Fox’s cowardice. He doomed his Broncos to a 38-35 overtime loss to the Baltimore Ravens. Against all odds, the Broncos found a way to lose to an inferior team.
With 31 seconds left in regulation, Fox was blessed with two timeouts, one of the top five quarterbacks to ever walk our earth and a field-goal kicker capable of launching the NFL’s first 65-yard field goal through the middle of the uprights. Fox commanded Peyton Manning to kneel, running out the clock. He surrendered to his fears, and deserved to walk off the field as a loser. He should have told his players to attack. If Manning had moved his teammates 50 yards, Matt Prater would have been asked to kick a 50-yard field goal to win the game.
A 50-yarder is a chip shot for Prater.
And if the Broncos had moved the ball approximately 35 yards, Fox could have asked Prater to attempt a walk-off 65-yarder. Would Prater have made this kick? Probably not. But there would have been little danger in the attempt.
Dave Ramsey decided to bring out the brass knuckles on this one, but there's never a wrong time for a Kenny Rogers reference.
Coach Fox, we love you. We love your easygoing manner. We love your gruff voice. Hell, we even laughed at your "cook" joke last year.
You're good with players and you're likeable as the day is long.
But, as Kenny Rogers says, "Sometimes you got to pass when you're a man."
According to NFLN's Ian Rapoport, the Cardinals have Mike McCoy atop their head-coaching wish list, and will make a 'major push' to hire him. McCoy interviewed with Arizona, Chicago, and Philly last weekend, and had been scheduled to meet with Buffalo, prior to their hiring of Doug Marrone.
The Denver OC could end up following Dennis Allen out the door to an AFCW rival, as he will interview with the Chargers tomorrow. San Diego met with former Cardinals head man Ken Whisenhunt yesterday and will interview Bengals OC Jay Gruden today.
Good Morning, Broncos fans. For the Denver Broncos, 2012 revolved completely around one person - Peyton Manning.
To Denver's players and coaches, getting Peyton meant they would have a chance to win every game, and to improve their own play, as individuals and as a team. He represented the very real possibility of capturing the franchise's third Lombardi trophy.
We heard all week that Denver's veterans - namely, Champ Bailey, Keith Brooking, and Brandon Stokely - were trying to ensure that their younger mates would value the opportunity presented by making the playoffs, and being the AFC's number one seed.
From the fans' standpoint, this season was about once again having one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history, and getting to watch his every play, series, and game in orange.
Put simply, 2012 was, for all connected to the Broncos, about appreciating Peyton.