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On second thought, Fangio admits he should have called timeout

The Broncos' head coach allowed 52 seconds to tick off, which left Drew Lock and the offense with only 17 seconds to operate.
Credit: AP
Denver Broncos head coach Vic Fangio, front, watches the action during the first half of an NFL football game against the Tennessee Titans, Monday, Sept. 14, 2020, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

ENGLEWOOD, Colo — Vic Fangio owned it.

The Broncos’ head coach didn’t double-down on his postgame explanation, where he offered Stephen Gostkowski’s struggles as a placekicker as reason he didn’t call a timeout as nearly a minute was needlessly ticking away late in the Broncos’ 16-14 loss Monday night to Tennessee. A couple winks sleep and review of the film revealed his error.

“I did miss calling a timeout after the second down play from the 29-yard line when (Derrick) Henry got 13 yards down to our 16,’’ Fangio said Monday in his day-after-game Zoom press conference. “I should have called timeout there. That’s the one I missed.”

After the Henry run Fangio referred to, there was 1:27 remaining. The next play wasn’t snapped until 49 seconds remaining – 38 seconds that were wasted.

“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.”

The next play was a 4-yard run by Henry who was tackled at the Broncos’ 12 with 45 seconds remaining – and Fangio still didn’t call timeout. Tennessee did with 31 seconds left – which allowed 14 more seconds to waste. Use two of the three timeouts he had left and Drew Lock and his offense could have had an extra 52 seconds on top of the 17 seconds they had left after Gostkowski made his 25-yard field goal.

Plenty of time to drive within Brandon McManus’ field goal range.

It begs the question: If Fangio was thinking defense, who was upstairs thinking clock management?

“All the coaches chip in on that,’’ Fangio said. “The offensive coaches when we’re on defense. And vice versa. It’s easier obviously when we’re on offense because I’m not calling the plays. But yeah, it was just my miss on that one, nobody else’s.”

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