ENGLEWOOD - Those who suggest Bennie Fowler III should have stopped his 76-yard touchdown reception by downing the ball at the 1-yard line, “have never played.’’
That’s what Fowler said when I set him up to fill in the blank. That’s not what I would have said. I would have said anyone who suggests Fowler should have stopped at the 1-yard line should go back to his parents’ basement and turn off the lights.
Then I saw Pro Football Talk reported Hall of Fame coach Tony Dungy was among those suggesting Fowler should go down as the receiver was running in the open towards the north end zone.
I love Tony Dungy. He is one of the nicest people I’ve met, sports celebrity or otherwise. He was not in a darkened basement when he thought Fowler should go down, but a lighted NBC studio where he is an analyst for the Sunday Night Football postgame show that was seen on Channel 9.
But, coach. Come. On.
There was 3:12 left Sunday night, the Broncos were leading Kansas City, 17-16, and it was third-and-2 at the Denver 24-yard line when Fowler became the latest Broncos receiver to burn Chiefs’ cornerback Phillip Gaines. Broncos quarterback Trevor Siemian lofted a pass down the left sideline to Fowler, who caught it, then displayed great speed in pulling away from Gaines.
Touchdown. The Broncos were up, 24-16 with exactly 3:00 remaining.
When the Chiefs then answered by driving the field for a touchdown and game-tying 2-point conversion with 12 seconds remaining to send the great AFC West game into overtime, football nerds (but not you, Tony!) made the I’m-so-smart-yet-asinine comment that had Fowler taken a knee instead of going into the end zone, there’s no OT, the Broncos win.
Such comments were made while presumably calculating the Broncos could have taken three knees to run the clock down to 1:20, and then scored a touchdown or field goal on fourth down.
First of all, the take-a-knee strategy could well have meant the Broncos coming away with zero or three points instead of 7, leaving the Chiefs a chance to win with 1:20 remaining.
Secondly, if you can score a touchdown in 3 minutes, you can hurry up a little and score in 80 seconds.
And thirdly, come on. They don’t call it, “think” football, or “calculate” football. You play football.
“Emmanuel (Sanders) says it all the time, when you’re out there, you’re a football player,’’ Fowler said. “In that situation, 75 yards out, we’re not in a “no mas’” situation where we’re thinking about that with 3 minutes left. If I had to do it all over again, I would.’’
“No mas” is a football alert for “don’t score.’’ If it was the 2-minute mark or less, Fowler said he may have taken the knee, rather than finish up his reception in the end zone.
So there is a time to think in football. But when there’s 3:12 left and the score is 17-16, good players do the smart thing by scoring a touchdown.
Bibbs injury was to neck, not head
Broncos and independent doctors made sure Kapri Bibbs did not suffer a concussion, but it was a neck and shoulder injury the Broncos’ running back suffered during the helmet-to-helmet hit he received from Kansas City safety Eric Barry.
“I didn’t have any concussion symptoms,’’ Bibbs said Monday. “I feel good now. The reason I was down on the field was because I had a stinger in my shoulder. He got me pretty good. It was my neck and my shoulder.’’
Bibbs was checked for a concussion, anyway, then was cleared to return, which he did. The blast from Barry was compounded by the fact Bibbs was tripped up and falling and couldn’t brace himself at the point of contact.
Bibbs gained 7 yards on that run, then had another eight carries for 15 yards after taking the Barry hit.
“It’s probably the – it is the biggest hit I’ve taken in the league,’’ said Bibbs, who has 12 NFL games and three seasons of NFL practices. “But I have taken big hits before. I had a similar hit like that when I was in high school where I hit heads with another kid and both us exploded back.’’
It wasn’t always bad for the Jaguars and good for the Broncos. The Broncos are just 5-6 all-time against the Jaguars, 1-3 in games played in Jacksonville. …
Former Broncos Julius Thomas and Malik Jackson are playing on rich contracts for Jacksonville. The tight end Thomas has 30 catches and four touchdowns this season. Jackson has 4.5 sacks as a defensive tackle. …
Sanders has 399 career catches.
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