Green Room

Denver coach: I’d take the knee again

posted at 12:17 pm on January 15, 2013 by

Really? John Fox says he’d choose one of the most questionable calls this season — taking a knee with Peyton Manning, the league’s fifth-best passing offense, 30 seconds on the clock, two time-outs, and needing only a field goal to win in regulation — if the same situation presented itself. And his boss, John Elway, agrees:

John Fox would tell Peyton Manning to take the knee again.

John Elway, of all people, agreed with that call.

Given the ball at his 20 with 31 seconds, two timeouts and one of the best quarterbacks in the game, the Broncos coach decided to run out the clock and head to overtime.

Result: Baltimore 38, Denver 35. End of season in Broncoland.

Fox said he felt good about the decision when he made it Saturday, toward the end of one of the most disheartening losses in the franchise’s history. After hashing it over during the last two sleepless nights, he stood by his decision.

“I’d do it again 10 times if it presented itself in that situation,” he said Monday at Denver’s season-ending news conference, where he was joined by Elway, the quarterback-turned-front office executive.

At the time, before Denver lost the game, I tweeted that this reminded me of Denny Green’s decision to take a knee at the half of the Vikings-Falcons NFC championship game ages ago, with Randall Cunningham leading the league’s best offense and a young Randy Moss on the field.  The Vikings ended up narrowly losing to Atlanta.  And ten times out of ten, that Denver scenario would look the same as the Vikings scenario, too.

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Yeah, I couldn’t believe he did it either.

Of course he’s going to say this even though we all know its shinola…

catmman on January 15, 2013 at 12:23 PM

Falcons won with 31 seconds. No reason Broncos couldn’t have done the same.

CookeyD on January 15, 2013 at 12:39 PM

Maybe Fox had a flashback to last year and suddenly thought he had Tebow at QB instead of Manning.

Bitter Clinger on January 15, 2013 at 12:41 PM

And they’d lose again, too.

changer1701 on January 15, 2013 at 12:46 PM

Panthers fans: “Say hello to Foxball Bronco fans”

You get good defense and ridiculously conservative game management.

jp on January 15, 2013 at 12:52 PM

As a life-long Cleveland Browns fan, All I can say to Denver is, NOW you know what it is like to have lived through The Drive or The Fumble. Kinda sucks doesn’t it.

turbeda on January 15, 2013 at 1:02 PM

Maybe Fox had a flashback to last year and suddenly thought he had Tebow at QB instead of Manning.

Bitter Clinger on January 15, 2013 at 12:41 PM

To date, Tim Tebow has won more playoff games in Denver than Payton Manning. I’m just sayin…

tballard on January 15, 2013 at 1:10 PM

To date, Tim Tebow has won more playoff games in Denver than Payton Manning. I’m just sayin…

tballard on January 15, 2013 at 1:10 PM

Been saying it since the boy was a ‘Gator: Knows how to win football games. It goes a long way…

JohnGalt23 on January 15, 2013 at 1:37 PM

I wasn’t sure the Ravens were going to win until I saw a pregame show in which all 14 studio guys picked the Broncos. It’s like everyone constantly forgets the Choke Field that Peyton Manning projects in the playoffs. In fact, I wonder if forgetting it every year is another side effect of the all-powerful Choke Field.

JeremiahJohnson on January 15, 2013 at 1:39 PM

Baltimore throws a 70 yd TD with 31 seconds left in the half to a guy who was double covered and got behind both defenders. I don’t think that “the knee” was the problem.

cajunpatriot on January 15, 2013 at 1:41 PM

Then why did he pass into coverage at such lousy field position?

John the Libertarian on January 15, 2013 at 1:43 PM

No guts, no glory.

kim roy on January 15, 2013 at 1:50 PM

How about attempting another 53 yard field goal, on grass, in freezing weather, with a 7 point lead and 1:20 to go before half? That one was even dumber than taking the knee.

forest on January 15, 2013 at 1:53 PM

cajunpatriot on January 15, 2013 at 1:41 PM

I think this is why they decided to take a knee in the first place. The Broncos had a QB who couldn’t throw with pace down the field, needing to break off big chunks of yardage, against a team that was flying so high it was uncanny.

Personal opinion, I agree with Fox to take a knee and try to give the Ravens a chance to cool off, and try and beat them in overtime. Just didn’t work out that way for them.

Sgt Steve on January 15, 2013 at 1:56 PM

It sure brought Bronco fans to their knees.

portlandon on January 15, 2013 at 2:14 PM

It sure brought Bronco fans to their knees.

portlandon on January 15, 2013 at 2:14 PM

Thread winner!!!

Bitter Clinger on January 15, 2013 at 2:26 PM

This from the Pittsburgh-didn’t-make-the-playoffs-Steelers Ed Morrissey that can’t stand to see any Ravens’ success. I guess that a full overtime quarter of Broncos’ inability to get into field goal position, culminating with an interception from the vaunted and losing quarterback Peyton Manning isn’t evidence enough that the number 2 offense in the NFL wasn’t really having such great success against the Ravens’ defense.

Must be doubly painful after knowing the same team led by Tim Tebow beat the bumblebees last year. Oooof.

BKeyser on January 15, 2013 at 2:39 PM

You play the game to win the game.

Fox decided not to play. And he therefore did not win.

With a lesser QB he may have a case. With Manning taking the snap, you play to win.

Jabberwock on January 15, 2013 at 3:15 PM

Fox would take another knee – and Bronco fans would take another knee to the groin.

CycloneCDB on January 15, 2013 at 3:17 PM

And I’d put the game in the hands of the greatest QB in the history of the NFL 10 out of 10 times, but that’s just me…

Knott Buyinit on January 15, 2013 at 3:18 PM

Fox must have missed Peyton putting up 20 plus points on my Bucs in the last 4 minutes on Monday night football back in 2003. Bucs had a 35-14 lead in the 4th quarter, and in the last 4 minutes, Manning tied the score at 35-35 with 30 seconds left to play.

And then he won.

I remember 2 football games with any clarity… the Bucs Superbowl win, and that Monday night game.

After watching that, I will never bet against Manning. Ever.

PointnClick on January 15, 2013 at 3:52 PM

Falcons won with 31 seconds. No reason Broncos couldn’t have done the same.

CookeyD on January 15, 2013 at 12:39 PM

Bad comparison…Atlanta was trailing, had to go for the FG…Denver was tied…

The biggest issue came in the prior series when Denver could have iced the game with a 1st down, and then committed to run 3x with a QB named Manning…should have at least mixed in some deception, even if you wanted to run clock…

hillsoftx on January 15, 2013 at 4:12 PM

After watching that, I will never bet against Manning. Ever.

PointnClick on January 15, 2013 at 3:52 PM

Post-season Manning is a different animal than the regular-season one, unfortunately.

Anti-Control on January 15, 2013 at 4:19 PM