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Published on 09/25/2011 at Sun Sep 25 14:14.
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Matt Hasselbeck #8 of the Tennessee Titans looks downfield for a receiver against the Denver Broncos at LP Field on September 25, 2011 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)

The Denver Broncos had several opportunities to put the Tennessee Titans away in the fourth quarter. They just simply could not get it done.

The first near game-clincher was a bold fourth down call by head coach John Fox early in the fourth quarter. Fox called Willis McGahee‘s number on 4th and Goal from the one yard line, but McGahee was stuffed for the third straight play. The Broncos could have taken a seven-point lead with a field goal — all other things being equal, that would have sent the game to overtime.

Instead McGahee was stuffed. The turnover on downs gave the home team just enough momentum to make the difference.

While they had a lot of trouble on third downs, the defense played a phenomenal game overall, holding Chris Johnson to 21 yards on 13 carries (1.2 avg.). But the chinks in the armor were found with minutes left in the game as Matt Hasselbeck followed a 54-yard completion with a five yard touchdown toss to former Broncos tight end Daniel Graham. The Titans took the lead.

Then Kyle Orton‘s fourth quarter drive ended with a tipped ball being picked off. Orton executed a game-winning drive in Tennessee with 1:33 left in the game a year ago — he was picked off with nearly the exact same game clock this time around.

  • Darwin

    Couldn’t agree with you more. Tebow would have presented a lot more options on that 4th down play.  Also having someone like Franklin seal the edge with a mobile quarterback doing a roll-out would have spread that big line of the Titans real thin.
    Orton had two good red zone passes prior to the stop on 4th down so people are going to say he has improved in the red zone. Scoring 14 points is not going to get it done in today’s NFL.
     

  • Shipgw

    You hit the nail on the head. Right on

  • Shipgw

    Or if he puts him in he will try to make him stay in the pocket and take sacks like Orton. and thats not his style. Put him in—let him play period. Tebow has been a winner since pop warner. And will be a winner in the NFL if they turn him loose.

  • abradley

    I don’t think there’s really any question who will win next week – it’s no 50-50.  Green Bay is going to wipe Lambeaux field with Denver Jerseys.  I would think John Fox’s decision this week isn’t so much who can lead us to victory, but whose uniform he wants to see Clay Matthews turn green.

    I mean, ultimately, I think Tebow brings enough excitement to the game that he could make it interesting, and stay off his back alot more that Orton will, and perhaps even pull out the big W.  But figure the odds of Fox putting him out there without Orton being injured.  If he did, however, and if Tebow did win against the Packers, I don’t think we’d see Orton on the field again this year.

    I guess we could hope for Orton to come down with the flu or something!

  • Anonymous

    Coach Fox sucked last year because he was coaching with his hands tied behind his back.  The Carolina powers-that-be knew that the lockout was coming and they short changed Fox not giving him any of the tools he needed to be successful.

    He is sucking this year because he’s not being a man of his word.  He said that he preferred a gaming QB over a practice QB, yet he’s still playing Orton when Tebow obviously does better in game situations.

  • Broncosfanwjl

    Dude they could have kicked a FG and the game would have gone into OT! That going for it on fourth was a huge mistake! Potentially cost them the game!

  • Broncosfanwjl

    Your wrong. Are offense couldn’t score after the D stepped up. Finally looks like we have a decent D, even w/ the injuries! Last year was the opposite the Off. scored a bunch & the D couldn’t stop shit!

  • Dakota Fan

    Great reply Geno…I wish I could be a fly on the wall of the coaches meeting when they discuss why Tebow isn’t ready. Again, I’ve been railing against the PLAY TEBOW talk, but maybe it’s about time he gets a chance. I can’t blame Orton for dropped balls, tipped interceptions, etc, but he’s lost his mojo. I’m cringing knowing that they have to go to Green Bay this next week. The ONLY thing that’s comforting me through this whole thing is that they haven’t been blown out yet this year, a testament to this surprising defense.  

  • Dakota Fan

    Good point- What do you think they’ll do with Tebow? Trade, play, cut? I’m asking a helluva lot of questions of my fellow fans, but I thought I knew football pretty well. The Broncos of the last three years are making me think I don’t know squat. I hate to be a chronic bitcher, but now I know why Bengals fans are so negative.

  • 12508

    FIRE BRIAN XANDERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Dakota Fan

    Tebow’s tough, but his style tells me that he’ll get his upper separated from his lower by a Ray Lewis type if he takes off and runs too much. Then he can gripe that all NFL QBs get the roughing calls except him. Gee- where have we heard that one before?

  • David

    What suprises anyone about this, Fox is a very bad coach and will never take a chance with Tebow.  He has a hand book and never changes and never has.  The minute Elway hired him I knew we could write Tebow off.  We can’t just blame Orton both Fox and Mr. Elway are responsible for this mess

  • hyssh

    booji…..idiot

  • Guest

    You forget that the titans actually ended the game with the ball. So no… it doesn’t go into OT! It probably gets lost by a field goal in regulation.

  • Geno

    Ty Dakota.  I’m surprised by the defense as well.  I think the new DC is doing a great job, and has turned things around much sooner than anyone expected.  They’re playing very physical as well, and that hasn’t happened in a long time.  I’m hoping the confidence they’ve gained so far isn’t lost in Green Bay.     

  • Anonymous

    TAKE THE POINTS!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Anonymous

    Actually the offense didn’t score at all last year either but still an improved defense is at least something.

  • Anonymous

    I’ll drink a New Castle to that!

  • Shipgw

    We have heard that one from M. Vick. Who is getting hurt trying to stay in the pocket instead of scambling. He too like Tebow does a better job on the move. I dont think your comment fits the situation.

  • virginiabronco

    Amen

  • virginiabronco

    Herc, I expected some long rambling defense of KO and was shocked not to see more than this.  Are you feeling a bit out numbered or have you come to your senses?

  • Anonymous

    I never ramble.

    Orton wasn’t great, but I wouldn’t classify that as some kind of choke job.  He’s been average all year.  He’s an average quarterback.  The alternatives are below average.   

    He’s still the best we’ve got, and you don’t throw in the towel until you’re finished.  1-5 is finished.  

  • Anonymous

    Chan Gailey?  Come on, man.  

  • Anonymous

    It’s the drugs.  They forget how well the last offensive mastermind worked out.

  • Anonymous

    It’s the drugs.  They forget how well the last offensive mastermind worked out.

  • Anonymous

    It’s the drugs.  They forget how well the last offensive mastermind worked out.

  • Anonymous

    It’s the drugs.  They forget how well the last offensive mastermind worked out.

  • Anonymous

    Plus who cares if he gets injured, we’d just be right back to where we are now.  Maybe getting popped a few times will teach him something. 

  • Anonymous

    Notice how nobody is commenting on the 95 yard game winning drive?

  • Anonymous

    The point isn’t bad, but you can’t make it using Chan Gailey as an example.