Posted Mon Jan 14th by Jon Heath
Broncos coach John Fox has taken a lot of heat for Denver’s two kneeldowns before halftime and overtime in the Broncos’ 38-35 loss to the Ravens last weekend. But should he be?
Fox is known for being conservative (often overly conservative, actually), but against Baltimore, kicker Matt Prater had already missed a field goal earlier in the game and Fox obviously did not make the decision by himself.
Fox and offensive coordinator Mike McCoy must have consulted quarterback Peyton Manning and if Manning had disagreed with the call, it seems likely that he would have gotten his way. So why did Peyton (presumably) consent to kneeling?
Was Manning O.K. physically?
We may never know. But if it comes out that Manning was playing through a minor injury, we wouldn’t be surprised.
On Monday, John Elway, the Broncos Executive Vice President of Football Operations, defended Fox’s decision to kneel before overtime.
“I thought we did the right thing at that time,” said Elway. ”I think with where the team was mentally and the situation that we’re in, I thought that it was a good move.”
“Like I mentioned before, you look around on your sideline with 31 seconds to go, even with two timeouts, backed up, it didn’t seem like the right time, being on the ropes, to try to get a knockout punch,” added Fox.
Unfortunately, “not going for the knockout punch” is what has fans so frustrated with Fox. But was there more to it? We may never know, but we will always wonder.
Update (6:02 p.m. MT): As is par for the course, Vic Lombardi was quick to shoot down our assumptions:
I can confirm, via Broncos sources, there was no concern for Manning’s hand/arm on Saturday. Not why they took a knee. He felt strong.
— Vic Lombardi (@VicLombardi) January 15, 2013
So it wasn’t his arm/hand, but was something else bothering him, besides the cold? Who knows?