It was easy to laugh about Broncos kicker Matt Prater’s pass attempt gone wrong because they won 37-6, but it also shined the light on one of coach John Fox’s career frustrations.
The notoriously conservative coach has never gotten the hang of trick plays, and he might be better off not trying any more.
Prater was supposed to run for an easy first down when the Raiders overloaded one side of the line, but when the Raiders adjusted, Prater threw a pass toward offensive lineman Zane Beadles, who had fallen down.
“In my coaching career, as a head coach, I don’t know what the production has been, but when I’ve had anybody other than the quarterback throw the ball? It’s ugly,” Fox said, via Mike Klis of the Denver Post. “It’s been terrible. You know that play Tennessee scored on last week? I tried that.”
Yeah, about that.
Fox’s Panthers tried a throwback on a punt return in Minnesota in 2006. Playing with a 13-6 lead in the fourth quarter, Chris Gamble threw a one-hopper which Richard Marshall promptly fumbled, and the Panthers ended up losing a game they’d have probably won if Fox had stuck to his by-the-book personality.
The Broncos avoided a similar embarrassment, though their lead was just 10-6 at the time of the play.
That led quarterback Peyton Manning to offer a suggestion in case it came up again.
“Hey, Coach,” Manning told Fox. “Next time it’s fourth-and-1, I’ll take my chances over Prater-Beadles.”