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.
Earlier in the year, Peyton Manning was mic'd up and remarked that it was bad to throw across the body.
He should have heeded his own advice.
Today he did it again for the second time--a time too many. And in the freezing, uncompromising cold of Denver (the wind chill was well below zero) Manning's arm--and the ball--went completely dead.
So did the Broncos' playoff chances.
One and done. All that work, shattered. Shattered like the dreams of Broncomaniacs everywhere. All those pretty little stats, gone. Gone like your breath into the chilly night. All that talk of going all the way, numb.
Numb like it's 1996 all over again.
It's official--the Ravens are coming to Denver for a rematch.
After dispatching the Colts 24-9, the Ravens now bring their slightly-less injured team to altitude next Saturday on only six days of rest.
Since the game was something of a bore, here's what you need to know, summarized by Barry Wilner of the Associated Press:
[Anquan] Boldin set a franchise record with 145 yards receiving, including the clinching touchdown in the Ravens' 24-9 victory over Indianapolis in an AFC wild-card game.
Happy Friday, friends. I have some thoughts about the hiring of Andy Reid by the Kansas City Chiefs. The more I think about it, the more deeply ambivalent I become about the move. It affects us directly as Broncos fans, though, so let’s give it a think.
First off, the talent pool in Kansas City is atrocious, and it’s poorly fitted to the kinds of schematic approaches that Reid has historically favored.
In terms of the offensive skill positions, the only players that Kansas City can even consider to be real keepers are Jamaal Charles and Tony Moeaki, and Moeaki is overrated. Dexter McCluster is a useful guy as a matchup problem, and he’ll be in his last year of his rookie deal. Jonathan Baldwin looks like a giant bust, not that I am surprised.
The Chiefs have no QB and no speed at WR, and Reid likes to go deep with speed guys as much as any coach in the NFL. There are a few guys with some promise on the offensive line, but as a group, today, they’re not good. If Juan Castillo becomes the OL coach, I see a couple of them (Rodney Hudson, Donald Stephenson) not being great scheme fits, because Castillo has tended to favor larger players, and asked them to do a lot more drive blocking than zone blocking.
Dan Fouts finally said something I agree with.
The Broncos' ass kicking has become a broken record to the AFC.
Let the music play--three more times. Whoever comes to Denver won't be getting away.
Not this time; not with this defense; not as the number-one seed.
Did we mention we've got Peyton Manning, too?
Santa Claus is real. I don't care what your parents told you.
How do I know?
Because I heard him on the roof, dropping gifts down your orange-and-blue chimney.
The first gift? A ten-game winning streak.
The second? A quarterback more accurate than Santa's naughty/nice list.
Well, that came from Santa's little helpers, the Minnesota Vikings. Because of their win, the Broncos just might get the #1 seed.
Well, well, well. Look what we have here.
It's 10pm here in Denver. The Broncos haven't played a down in almost eight hours, yet they find themselves--if the playoffs were to start today--with a first-round bye.
Win the next two games, Broncos fans, and it's a reality.
Awesomeness happens. And it's not even Christmas yet.
Somewhere, right now, Peyton Manning is smiling. He once said he was going to make his decision to come to Denver the right one.
Thanks to Jim "Jack Frost" Harbaugh going balls out against Bill "Old Man Winter" Belichick, Manning's decision is looking better and better.
I believe it was scholar Michael Gerard Tyson who once said: "Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face."
The Ravens had a plan. That plan probably included a healthy dose of Ray Rice.
Then they found themselves bloodied to the tune of 17-0. The plan shifted to the arm of Joe Flacco. And we all know that's no plan at all.
Somehow the Ravens confused this year's Broncos with Denver teams of the past. It began with a push of Eric Decker by Cary Williams and didn't stop until Decker beat Williams like he was Gerry Cooney. The rest of the Ravens were pushed all over the yard and buried.
The Ravens are no longer the physical bullies they believe they are. After most of the plays in the first half, the Ravens were pushing and shoving like it was the year 2000--you know, when Ray Lewis might really murder you.
Raise your hand if you thought the Broncos were in danger with a halftime lead of only six points.
That's exactly two hands, including John Madden's.
I guess pirates just aren't that frightening anymore--if they ever were in Oakland.
Either that, or this Broncos team is that good. Even when they play sloppy and sluggish in the red zone, they adjust. A one-score game quickly turnes into a three-score game.
By the fourth quarter, the Broncos' opponents might as well put on their pirate shirts.
As least then, the attire would keep it interesting.
Last year it took the Broncos until Week 17 to win the division.
What a bunch of drama queens.
This year, the Broncos clinched the division so fast, there was still time to hit the links.
Okay, how about a seven-game winning streak?