The Broncos had all three timeouts at their disposal when they got the ball back on their final drive of Monday’s game against the Titans, trailing 16-14, which is normally a situation teams want to be in.
However, this particular scenario was far from ideal, as the Broncos had only 17 seconds to work with.
It really was shocking that head coach Vic Fangio didn’t use any of their timeouts on the Titans’ final drive, to potentially leave more time on the clock. Furthermore, he didn’t even use one before Stephen Gostkowski came out to attempt the game-winning field goal. That decision was particularly curious, as he had missed four of the five kicks he had attempted beforehand — including one extra-point attempt.
Gostkowski drained the game-winning field goal, and the Broncos mustered only three plays on offense on their final drive — not even crossing midfield. As such, Fangio drew a lot of criticism for how he managed the clock, specifically his timeouts, to which he responded by saying he didn’t want to “extend the drive.”
“It was two-fold there,” Fangio said, via Ryan O’Halloran of the Denver Post. “One, their field goal kicker had obviously been having his problems so I didn’t want to extend the drive to where they could get closer.
“And we would have used a timeout but we got the running back out of bounds, and we would have used the second timeout, but they threw an incompletion.”
Fangio can say what he wants, but his decision-making in a close, winnable game, deserves plenty of criticism.