Vic Fangio defends failure to use two time outs

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The Broncos lost on Monday night by two points. Coincidentally, they exited the Week One game against the Titans with two time outs left.

So why didn’t coach Vic Fangio stop the clock more often on the drive that resulted in Tennessee kicking the game-winning field goal with 17 seconds on the clock?

“It was two-fold,” Fangio told reporters after the game. “One, their field goal kicker obviously been having his problems so I didn’t want to extend the drive where they could get closer. Number two, we would have used a timeout, but we got the running back out of bounds. We would have used a second timeout, but they threw an incompletion which would have given us one when we got the ball back so that was part of the thinking there.”

He’s technically right, but by then it was too late. The first time out should have been used after a 13-yard run by Titans tailback Derrick Henry put the ball in the Denver 16 with 1:27 to play. Instead, Tennessee — now in extra-point range — let the clock run. And run it did until the next play started with 49 seconds remaining.

After that play, a four-yard Henry run up the middle, 45 seconds remained. Fangio didn’t call a time out. Fourteen seconds later, Titans coach Mike Vrabel finally did.

At that point, the Titans had the ball on the Denver 12, second down and six, with 31 seconds left. That’s apparently when Fangio would have started using time outs, because that’s when Henry ran out of bounds (stopping the clock) followed by quarterback Ryan Tannehill and receiver A.J. Brown not connecting in the end zone (stopping the clock).

After those two plays, 20 seconds remained. After the game-winning field goal, 17 seconds were left.

All other things being equal, if Fangio had used two time outs after the two Henry runs that finished in bounds, the Broncos would have gotten the ball back with 1:07 to play and a time out on the board.

With only 17 seconds, the Broncos got to their own 43 — close enough for what would have been a 74-yard field goal attempt in the thin air. For some reason, the possibility of the kick was never considered or mentioned, even though McManus once kicked a 73-yard field goal in a live practice setting with 21 other players on the field and fans in attendance.

Even if the Broncos had time for only one more play from scrimmage, they could have gotten close enough for McManus to send a football flying through the mile-high air. They didn’t, in large part because they didn’t use two of their time outs when they should have.

42 responses to “Vic Fangio defends failure to use two time outs

  1. Agreed. In fact a handful of kickers have said as of late that 70yard field goals were makeable, but that the chance to attempt such a kick is rare due to field position, the game situation would need to be perfect etc etc. Well, you can’t get more perfect then on the final play of the game! Even more weird is that McManus DID IT in a live practice. Seems the odds of that are much better than a Hail Mary, which Btw never even happened because the Broncos inexplicably gave up too much pressure. What a god awful, infuriating last few minutes of game is must’ve been for Bronco fans

  2. It’s amazing to me how many coaches botch clock management late in games and then try to rationalize the irrational. Even Bill O’Brien would say this was awful.

  3. Definitely….. poor coaching & clock management….. I was questioning that very same thing as I’m sure were most others that seem to know more than their coach….. Denver’s offense was offensive

  4. I understand it is a lot easier to play head football coach from your couch, but any person that has even only played a football video game was telling the TV to take a timeout with 1:27 left on the clock.

  5. Given how often clock management issues seem to crop up, why do coaches not have a person/assistant strictly to watch clock management and make suggestions? I am not suggesting it would be one of the other coaches, who already have responsibilities. Rather, they would have a person whose only job is tracking time outs, field position, etc. in those late situations and pointing out that a timeout in this spot or that spot would help leave time on the clock. It seems like clock management should be easier, but head coaches do have a lot going through their heads at moments like that, and clock management may not be at the forefront. But, it seems like you could employ someone to help with that pretty cheaply.

  6. Belichick “mismanaged” the end of Super Bowl 49 in similar fashion, the media didn’t dare call him on it. It is a fine edge between genius and buffoon.

  7. Not calling timeouts in the final Titans drive was a critical error by Fangio but his play calling in Denver’s final two drives was also abhorrent. The Broncos took very little time off the clock because they threw the ball instead of running it. Those decisions gave the Titans much more time on their final drive and also overtaxed the Denver defense when they got back on the field.

    Fangio’s overall clock management, play selection and use of timeouts was amateurish at best.

  8. pauldeba says:
    September 15, 2020 at 9:19 am
    Belichick “mismanaged” the end of Super Bowl 49 in similar fashion, the media didn’t dare call him on it. It is a fine edge between genius and buffoon.

    5 13 Rate This

    ——————

    Umm, how did he do that exactly? You probably think the pandemic isna hoax, too.

  9. It seemed he was playing to the certainty Gostkowski could not, would not, make that kick. There was no back up plan and with .17 seconds it was basically ball game. He should be roasted for not using the timeouts to save time but I dont blame him for not attempting a 74 yd field goal.

  10. Maybe he did attend Andy Reid’s clock management school, but he sure isn’t advancing on to Andy’s graduate school of winning.

  11. Here in Denver, we’re lukewarm on Fangio. He’s been the HC for 17 games (7-10) and had awful QBs (Flacco, Allen) for the first 12 games. Nobody is ready to run him out of town yet…but a few more games like this and the #FireFangio bell will start to ring much louder in Broncos Country.

  12. This game was painful to watch but still entertaining. Neither team seemed to want to win. Fangio deserves some blame but not all of it. The fumble by Melvin Gordon wrecked a lot of momentum for the Broncos early on. And the drop on third down by Jeudy on their first 2nd half drive was horrible as well.

    The conditions were perfect for a 70 yard FG attempt. Too bad it didn’t come up. Warm September evening in Denver. A lot of long kicks are made in such conditions. Janikowski hit a 63 yarder here on opening night in 2011.

  13. pauldeba says:
    September 15, 2020 at 9:19 am
    Belichick “mismanaged” the end of Super Bowl 49 in similar fashion, the media didn’t dare call him on it. It is a fine edge between genius and buffoon.

    ==========

    Different scenario. The Seahawks needed a touchdown. In this situation, the Titans only needed a field goal. I believe Belichick said that he didn’t want to take a timeout, because the Seahawks didn’t have any timeouts left, and he didn’t want to give them extra time to figure out their play-calling.

    In this situation, on this part of the field, a field goal is considered to be a sure thing (even though it isn’t exactly). The Titans were deliberately trying to either score a touchdown or run down the clock before taking the field goal. The objective of the Broncos should have been to prevent the touchdown and force the field goal with enough time on the clock to allow Denver a chance to score their own field goal.

  14. pauldeba says:
    September 15, 2020 at 9:19 am
    Belichick “mismanaged” the end of Super Bowl 49 in similar fashion, the media didn’t dare call him on it. It is a fine edge between genius and buffoon.

    UMMMMMMMMM are you serious, the patriots were up by 4!!!!!
    a field goal doesnt even beat them or tie!
    Broncos were only up 1 point!

    You sir are an idiot!

  15. This is a huge pet peeve of mine when coaches are set in their ways and never adjust. Coaches supposedly work 80+ hours a week but never take the time to master clock management. Even though you could absolutely have that down pat with just a bit of study and practice. (And if the head coach is too busy what about one of the numerous assistants or coordinators?) And they’d rather try a 1% chance Hail Mary play than a super-long field goal that would be far more probable because “that’s just how things have always been done.” And it just goes on: You constantly see franchise QBs needlessly risking injury playing to the final snap in blowouts because to pull him earlier would somehow send some sort of wrong message. (In a loss, maybe I can see that thinking yet the winning QB plays to the final snap 95% of the time even with huge leads.)

  16. There is no defense of that sequence. Sorry, Vic. You blew it. And my fantasy game, incidently, with lock as my qb 2 and gordon as my flex and i lost by 1.9 pts.

  17. I’m surprised Elway didn’t find a way to phone in the timeouts himself. He had to have been SCREAMING “CALL TIMEOUT!!!!”

  18. The game management for that situation was absolute failure. But what was equally shameful was the play calling when they did get the ball back after the kickoff. 17 seconds, two time outs and Tennessee was gifting Denver the first 20 yards. So take those 20 yards, call a time out and the ball is at the minus 45, that leaves 9 seconds to pick up another 8-10 yards and you are in the kicker’s range. But Denver was throwing Hail Mary on first down??? Pretty poor composure by the play calling.

  19. pauldeba says:
    September 15, 2020 at 9:19 am
    Belichick “mismanaged” the end of Super Bowl 49 in similar fashion, the media didn’t dare call him on it. It is a fine edge between genius and buffoon.

    UMMMMMMMMM are you serious, the patriots were up by 4!!!!!
    a field goal doesnt even beat them or tie!
    Broncos were only up 1 point!

    You sir are an idiot!
    ——————————————————-

    Do you see “quote” marks around “mismanagement”? Do you know what that means? You need to look in the mirror before insulting others.

  20. I’m surprised Elway didn’t find a way to phone in the timeouts himself. He had to have been SCREAMING “CALL TIMEOUT!!!!”_________________________

    Because Elway isn’t Jerry Jones.

  21. pauldeba says:
    September 15, 2020 at 9:19 am
    Belichick “mismanaged” the end of Super Bowl 49 in similar fashion, the media didn’t dare call him on it. It is a fine edge between genius and buffoon.

    UMMMMMMMMM are you serious, the patriots were up by 4!!!!!
    a field goal doesnt even beat them or tie!
    Broncos were only up 1 point!

    You sir are an idiot!
    ——————————————————-

    Do you see “quote” marks around “mismanagement”? Do you know what that means? You need to look in the mirror before insulting others.
    _____________________________________________________
    I noticed you said, “in similar fashion.” Do you know what that means?

  22. _____________________________________________________
    I noticed you said, “in similar fashion.” Do you know what that means?
    ————————————————————————

    pretty clear you have less chance than I do of ever being an NFL head Coach or even second guessing an NFL Head Coach, that’s what that means.

  23. Not only that, but the Broncos took 37 sec off the clock when they were leading. Three crappy play calls and snapping the ball with 12 seconds still on the play clock. Utterly inexcusable.

  24. Baseball teams have a bench coach to help analyse situations and make suggestions. Fangio could use one. All the teams could.

  25. fanfrommontreal says:
    September 15, 2020 at 7:56 am
    Not his fault, he went to Andy Reid’s School of Clock Management.
    ========================================================================================
    Hold, up wait a minute!!! That’s Superbowl Champion Coach Andy Reid to you, sucker!

  26. This coaches need to hone their skills with analytics and clock management. It is clear many coaches just don’t understand clock management. They need to run simulations and be challenged to make the right decisions quickly. I can’t believe he is defending it after the fact too.

  27. Since Vic Fangio took over for the Broncos they have lost 23.5 percent of their games, leading with 30 seconds left in the 4th quarter. This is a problem!

  28. Coach knows what he’s doing. Monday morning QB’s are funny. At least if you’re going to second guess the coach, be kind enough to list your won-loss record as an NFL coach.

  29. Texans place Kahale Warring on IR, promote Pharaoh Brown
    Famous cities that aren’t actually capitals
    Broncos Wire logoBroncos coach Vic Fangio admits mistake: ‘I should have called timeout’

    Late in Monday’s game against the Titans, Broncos coach Vic Fangio opted not to call timeout after Tennessee running back Derrick Henry carried the ball into Denver’s red zone with the clock ticking down below one minute.

    © Provided by Broncos Wire
    “I should have called timeout there,” Fangio said during his Zoom conference call on Tuesday.

    In hindsight, Fangio admits he made a mistake — and he admitted that all of the blame falls on him.

    “It was totally my fault there,” Fangio said. “I had too much thought into what I was going to call next on defense and I missed it.”

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