While most of the sporting world is looking at just how good the Packers were (specifically Brett Favre, since he is anything and everything good in this mixed up world), I’ve come to a concrete theory regarding the inability of the the Broncos to score in the red zone when necessary: Mike Shanahan’s poor play-calling.
Who else calls a QB draw on the final play with 20 seconds left on a 3rd down and has to rush a field goal out in order to send the game to overtime? Brandon Marshall is fairly tall and Brandon Stokley is no slouch as a receiver — hoist one up to the back of the end zone and see what happens. Get an incomplete and you kick the FG anyway on 4th down; get picked off, oh well, at least you gave it a shot. But to have Jay Cutler rush from four yards out, miss the end zone, and rush for the FG only to lose on the first play in OT — it reeks of playing not to lose, which is inevitably what winds up happening.
Yes, Cutler shows flashes of Jake the Fake every now and then, but it’s becoming less and less frequent, and there was good stuff from Selvin Young late in the game. But it’s becoming clear that Mike Shanahan is out-thinking himself yet again, and it’s costing this team easy opportunities to get six points rather than three.
Photo: AP/Jack Dempsey