It was very late in the fourth quarter, at the two-minute warning, actually, when the Denver Broncos decided that they weren't really going to let Peyton Manning decide that playoff game Sunday afternoon against the Baltimore Ravens.
That's when, facing a third-and-seven at their own 47-yard line, the Broncos chose to ask Manning to hand the ball off to Ronnie Hlllman over right guard. It was a pure give-up play, an offensive white flag meaning that Coach John Fox would rather entrust that very big game to his defense, rather than Manning.
For me, that was a ridiculous situation at the time made worse by what happened soon after. Manning has spent a football lifetime picking up third-and-sevens. He'll get it for you a real good portion of the time. I believe when you go out and sign him to run your football team, you certainly allow him that opportunity. And yes, I know Fox repeatedly was conservative in overtime, too. But for me, on third-and-seven with a couple of minutes to play, I want Manning trying to get that first down.
If he gets it, the game is over right then and there. The Ravens are out of timeouts.
Next time, Coach, let Peyton Manning decide the game for you. If there is a next time.