“The reality is, we had a good season. We got to the elite eight,” coach John Fox said after the game. “I’d like to have been that team to hoist the trophy, but we’re not.”
The most inexcusable reason the Broncos lost: Fox played not to lose. He played like his quarterback was Jake Delhomme or Tim Tebow. He coached to his defense, which was not having a good day.
None of this comes a surprise to folks that have watched Fox coach a long time. But it’s a shame to not even try to win with Manning on his side. The Broncos didn’t go out swinging. They went out hoping not to lose.
Let the John Fox beatings begin. As long as they don't kill coach, we're okay with it.
How else is he gonna learn? Coaches, like dogs, need behavior modification, and they need it immediately.
Tim Tebow’s brother happy to see Peyton Manning lose
And after the Broncos lost, Peter Tebow called himself “the only one in Denver who’s happy right now.”
Peter Tebow’s Twitter account (which gives his bio as “You can have this whole world, just give me Jesus”) is not verified. But Tim Tebow has made clear on his own verified Twitter account that the @PeterTebow account does belong to his brother.
Tim Tebow usually goes out of his way to portray himself as a nice guy who always says the right thing. His big brother, however, is not above a little gloating.
I have to admit this one made me smile. It's hard to slam the guy for feeling like he has to stick up for the little guy Tim.
Hold your tweets, Broncos fans. Hit him up when the CFL starts.
AFC Divisional Round Preview
But when they really, really need to run for just a yard or two, the Broncos get it more often than not. The Broncos converted 67 percent of runs in “power” situations (i.e. third down, fourth down, or goal line with 1-2 to go), which ranks ninth in the league. Meanwhile, the Baltimore defense, which has been great against the run for over a decade, slipped badly in 2012 and ranked just 26th in our rankings. The Ravens were also awful in those short-yardage situations, allowing opponents to convert 76 percent of the time.
It's single-elimination time, which means fourth-down decisions matter more than ever. We hope tomorrow's outcome won't hinge upon such a call, but if it does, know that the Broncos are actually very good in short yardage, and the Ravens are not.
Memo to John Fox: punts and field goals are for losers.
David Cutcliffe: Peyton Manning’s recovery a tribute to hard work
And in a feature that will air Saturday on NFL Network’s NFL GameDay Morning, Cutcliffe details just how hard Manning worked to get to this point. The NFL Network feature includes footage from a simulated game Manning ran at Duke’s football facility in which he made every single throw the same way he had made them in a 2010 playoff win over the Jets, and that’s a “game” Cutcliffe says he remains very proud of “winning.”
“I don’t think I ever won a game that I felt better about what we accomplished than this ballgame that nobody watched,” Cutcliffe said. “It is really a story worth telling about hard work. Everybody says, ‘I’ll do whatever it takes.’ That’s whatever it takes right there.”
While it's incredibly frustrating waiting for these pieces to actually air, as the host teases them fifteen times an hour, but at least we won't be forced to watch Chris Berman and Frank Caliendo for this one.
Save The Black Quarterback
Broncos (-9) 28, Ravens 27: I think John Elway should be granted the next 15 NFL Executive of the Year awards for what he did this year alone. If I were Elway, I’d just walk around all day with my balls hanging out of my pants. Who’s gonna argue? He made the Broncos better AND ruined Tim Tebow’s career all in one offseason. I take back all the mean things I said about his horsey face.
Of the eight teams left, I’m pretty sure I want the Broncos to win it all. Denver Peyton still remains far more likeable to me than Indianapolis Peyton, and a Broncos ring would come at the expense of either Jim Harbaugh, Green Bay fans, Bill Simmons’s pet pick, or the Falcons. Shit, I hope he wins the Super Bowl 97-0.
Undoubtedly, Denver Peyton > Indy Peyton.
Playoffs Leaderboards Added
Did you know that Emmitt Smith has the most career playoff rushing yards? How about Aaron Rodgers owning the highest career playoff passer rating? What about Larry Fitzgerald with the most receiving yards in a single playoffs? You can find out all these & more at our new list of NFL playoffs leaders!
On the day that TD gets snubbed by the HOF votes for the sixth straight time, it's rather appropriate to remind everyone that Davis was the greatest postseason runner in history, and the only eligible player not in the HOF who was the best player on two SB-winning teams.
Peyton Manning's failed suitors suffer
The Arizona Cardinals, who hosted a visit with Manning but could not sign him, fired head coach Ken Whisenhunt and general manager Rod Graves.
The Philadelphia Eagles, who could not get so much as a visit with Manning despite their efforts, fired head coach Andy Reid.
The New York Jets, who also could not get so much as a visit with Manning despite their calls, fired general manager Mike Tannenbaum.
The Kansas City Chiefs, who tried but failed to get an audience with Manning, fired head coach Romeo Crennel and general manager Scott Pioli.
The Tennessee Titans, finalists for Manning before losing out on his services, fired chief operating officer and head of football operations Mike Reinfeldt.
The Miami Dolphins, who never advanced very far in their pursuit of Manning, didn’t reach the postseason after drafting quarterback Ryan Tannehill with their first-round pick.
Shudder to think where the Broncos and their sack of topsoil would be right now...
Doug Pederson, Bob Sutton reportedly new Chiefs coordinators
The Chiefs reportedly have hired Bob Sutton as their new defensive coordinator and Doug Pederson as their new offensive coordinator.
The 61-year-old Sutton has spent the last 13 seasons with the New York Jets, 10 as linebackers coach.
Pederson, 44, was an NFL quarterback for 12 seasons and has been an offensive assistant with Andy Reid and the Philadelphia Eagles for the past four years.
Reid interviewed Brad Childress about a non-coordinator position earlier in the week, while Ray Farmer and John Dorsey auditioned for the GM vacancy.
Lovie Smith to interview with San Diego Chargers
Former Chicago Bears coach Lovie Smith will interview with the San Diego Chargers on Friday.
New GM Tom Telesco may also meet with Colts OC Bruce Arians, who says he's interested in the San Diego gig.
Finalists for Class of 2013
Four first-year eligible nominees – Larry Allen, Jonathan Ogden, Warren Sapp, and Michael Strahan – are among the 15 modern-era finalists who will be considered for election to the Pro Football Hall of Fame when the Hall’s Selection Committee meets in New Orleans, La. on Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013.
Terrell Davis, Steve Atwater, Karl Mecklenburg, and John Lynch didn't make the cut. This was Lynch's first year of eligibility; Davis has been a semifinalist for six straight years but never went beyond that, while Mecklenburg and Atwater's hall bids have been cut short here for the second year in a row.