John Elway defends Denver Broncos coach John Fox's decision to run out clock, Fox blames it on 'shock'

6:50 PM, Jan 14, 2013   |    comments
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Baltimore, a 9-point underdog, ultimately won the AFC division-round playoff game 38-35 in double overtime at Sports Authority Field at Mile High.

A play earlier, the Baltimore Ravens tied the game at 35-35 when quarterback Joe Flacco threw to wide receiver Jacoby Jones for a stunning 70-yard touchdown pass. Fox and Elway said Broncos players were "in shock," and it was best for the team to run out the clock and regroup for overtime.

"That [70-yard Ravens touchdown] was pretty devastating," Fox said. "There is a certain amount of shock value. It's like a fighter being on the ropes - it didn't seem like the time [for Manning to take any chances and] to go for a knockout punch. It didn't seem to be the right time to go for the jugular. I'd do that again 10 times out of 10 if faced with that situation."

Elway agreed.

"Our guys were in shock [after that 70-yard Ravens touchdown,]" Elway said. "I thought [running out the clock] was the right move."

Fox did not blame one player on the team or one play in particular for the loss.

"The thinking on 3rd and 7 prior to that, and again, personally I'd do that again," Fox said. "If I had known a 70-yard touchdown, I might have gone for it on 3rd and 7. You know what they say about hindsight."

Fox started to throw out statistics to support his decision on the play call.

"The situation was we run the clock, make them use all their timeouts, punt it away," Fox said. "They get the ball with 1:09, they have to go 77 yards in 1:09 and to make matters worse, we had 41 seconds with 70 [yards] to go. I think if you gave a coach or players that opportunity 10 out of 10 times to win a divisional-round playoff game, they would take it. The percentages prove true - it's 97 percent that you're going to win the game. The second one at 41 seconds is 99.9 [percent] because of us, but I wish we had done a better job of coaching."

In light of failing to win a playoff game, Elway was asked if he considered this season to be a success.

"Yes. If you look at two years ago to where we are now, we made a lot of strides," Elway said. "But (the way the season ended) was disappointing."

Karma may be a Buddhist tenet, but that didn't stop Tim Tebow's older brother from enjoying the Broncos' overtime loss.

The elder Tebow, a 28-year-old ministry leader based in Colorado, went on Twitter right after the game to share some good news that his local congregation might not have been as eager to receive.

Via @petertebow:
"Am I the only one in Denver who's happy right now?"

While Tebow stopped short of pointing out that yes, his brother did happen to win a playoff game in overtime as a member of the Broncos last season while Peyton Manning failed in his quest to do so, he clearly relished the moment, retweeting another Tim Tebow fan's quote of "That's karma, Elway!"

By Monday, he apologized for his gloating.

"My comment after the game was uncalled for. I may root for another team but I should never gloat about anyone's misfortune. I'm truly sorry," the elder Tebow said on his twitter page.

Elway says their goals as a team have not changed.

"The goal is still to be world champions. We played well enough to put ourselves in position this year. We were on a roll. But we made some critical mistakes [Saturday.] This will be a motivating piece. By the time training camp comes, this is something we can use as a battle cry for next season," Elway said.

Reporters were already looking forward to next season and were asking questions about the aging Manning - who obviously cannot play forever.

"I like [rookie, back-up quarterback Brock Osweiler's] temperament. I feel real positive about [him,]" Fox said.

Elway agreed and said he was "thrilled with his progress."

(KUSA-TV © 2013 Multimedia Holdings Corporation with The Denver Post)

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