Originally Posted by BowlenBall
I think you just about covered it, bpc... although if I had to rank them in terms of goat-ish-ness it would go something like this:
1) Raheem Moore: In one single play, he ruined our season, Peyton Manning's MVP candidacy, Elway's Executive-of-the-year candidacy, and possibly McCoy and Del Rio's head coaching opportunities. (and he sucked in general for most of the game, to boot).
2) John Fox, Mike McCoy, Jack Del Rio: horrible, horrible game planning and play calling. The Ravens had 8 fewer days to prepare than us, and STILL had a better game plan both offensively and defensively. Questionable in-game decisions include: trying a 52-yarder in horrible conditions at the end of the half rather than go for it on 4th down; taking a knee with 31 seconds and 2 timeouts remaining; running multiple, multiple times when the defense was expecting it (and often with Jacob Hester); and running on 3rd and 7 then punting instead of trying to finish the game with a pass at the end of the 4th.
3) Peyton Manning -- his reputation for choking is deserved. Three turnovers in all, and what was essentially the game-loser in overtime. We can now officially stop including him in the list of all-time best quarterbacks, as it's an insult to Unitas, Montana and Elway to do so.
4) Dumervil and (to a lesser extent) Von Miller: only one pressure and very few QB pressures on the day -- this probably contributed to our loss as much as anything today, as Flacco had plenty of time to wind up and hit loooooooooooong passes downfield.
5) The refs: an absolutely terrible officiating job, worse than most of the replacement refs from the beginning of the season, IMO. While they made bad calls both ways, there were two atrocious 3rd-down calls late in the game (the clearly incomplete pass, and a bizarre phantom PI call against Champ three plays later) that were... well, frankly suspicious.
6) The offensive line: gave up three sacks and multiple pressures throughout the game. Given how much fresher and healthier they were than the Ravens, and that they're acclimated to the altitude, this is a problem that should probably be addressed in the offseason -- Franklin might be better suited to guard, and we might need to go fishing for a replacement right tackle.
7) Champ -- possibly the worst game I ever saw him play. However, some of the blame lies with the safeties for being out of position on some of the plays where he got beat, and additional blame goes to the coaching staff for leaving him on an island at times without any support.
All in all, it's a complete and systemic failure by the Broncos -- it's very fair to compare this to the great bed-****ting of 1996.