The Denver Broncos blew a 20-0 halftime lead and lost 27-23 to the Minnesota Vikings this afternoon. Denver still had a chance to salvage a win late.
On the final possession of the game, Broncos quarterback Brandon Allen picked up a clutch first down with his legs. He was tackled inside the Minnesota 5-yard line after a 10-yard run.
Allen was tackled with 27 seconds left. Denver was out of timeouts, so they had to hurry to the line to presumably spike the ball.
However, the Broncos instead took their time getting lined up, and the clock wasn’t stopped until the Vikings curiously called timeout with 10 seconds remaining.
Broncos should have had more than enough time to run one more play, but look how much time they wasted after the 4th down conversion…. pic.twitter.com/dX0uSCruDk
— Zach Bye (@byesline) November 17, 2019
Denver would run three plays in the final 10 seconds, with Allen throwing incomplete all three times. Not surprisingly, their clock management came into question.
Broncos are clueless in clock management right now.
— Jon Ledyard (@LedyardNFLDraft) November 17, 2019
What the hell were the Broncos doing? CLOCK THE BALL STUPID.
— James Neveau (@JamesNeveau) November 17, 2019
— Takeo Spikes, M.B.A (@TakeoSpikes51) November 17, 2019
First of all, Allen might have been able to run out of bounds after picking up the first down, but he didn’t, so let’s look at what the Broncos could’ve/should’ve done under the circumstances.
IF Denver had hurried to the line and spiked the ball with say, 19-20 seconds left, they still would have only had three downs to score.
But, with more than 10 seconds on the clock, perhaps the play calling would have been a little different. Instead of trying to get rid of the ball as quickly as possible, Brandon Allen might have been able to hold onto it longer and let some things develop.
Also, if Denver had hustled and forced Minnesota to burn the timeout sooner, they would have had first and goal with more than 10 seconds remaining. That would have enabled the Broncos to run four plays, if necessary.
There were a few different ways the Broncos could have executed those final seconds. They seemingly chose poorly.