Originally Posted by Beantown Bronco
He was less than 50% on passes that went over 7 yards in the game.
Agreed. The constant runs up the middle sucked and they should've gotten at least a LITTLE creative. You'll get no argument from me on that one.
No kidding. We saw in the reg season how several times that same strategy nearly backfired as teams were coming back on them and had a last gasp chance to tie. Mixing in some passes is an acceptable plan, but not according to Fox. I wonder if it was even DISCUSSED as a possibility.
Also, I wonder if the coaching staff was getting the players prepared for a possible tie. I've been on plenty of sidelines and somebody was always saying "Don't relax now, it's not over yet, be ready to go back out there, etc". And the O staff should have been prepared for situational plays, and they should have been coaching up the players for unexpected situations. Instead they were "shell-shocked".
Of course, they probably did all that, but sometimes players don't listen, fall into complacency no matter what coaches and team captains are telling them. Sometimes you just don't have the it factor or the want to, and the other team does. It's happened many, many a time, and in the end that's probably what happened to Denver.
And factor in that four of the teams best players (Manning, Champ, Von, Elvis) weren't exactly showing up bigtime. This affects other guys because your top players aren't leading by example, and so if they walk up to another player and say "You have to step up your game", or something like that, what does the other guy automatically think - "YOU step up YOUR game, then come talk to me".