The Broncos have been criticized for choosing to take a knee with 31 seconds left in regulation on Saturday and the score against the Ravens tied at 35.
And since success has a thousand fathers and failure is an orphan, Broncos receiver Eric Decker was asked during Thursday’s PFT Live whether he knows who made the decision.
Decker didn’t specifically identify any one person, calling it a decision made by the coaches. He also said that quarterback Peyton Manning expressed no disagreement with the decision — or any inclination to override it. (Yes, I specifically asked whether Manning made that face he makes when he’s frustrated.)
Coincidentally, the Falcons also had 31 seconds on the clock after the Seahawks claimed a late one-point lead. But the Falcons had no choice but to try to get into field-goal range.
Still, the decision to play it safe in Denver remains confusing. The Broncos paid Manning $18 million in 2012 and will give him another $40 million over the next two years. One of the best quarterbacks who ever played the game shouldn’t be taking a knee when there’s still a chance to win the game.
But No. 1 seeds tend to play a little tighter and more careful when hosting their divisional-round games. The Broncos in that moment were playing not to lose. When playing a team with nothing to lose, that can backfire.
Decker addressed plenty of other issues in an appearance conducted in conjunction with his role as a finalist for the Vizio Top Value Performer Award, which goes to the best players who aren’t paid very much money in relation to their peers.