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Who's to Blame for Broncos' Divisional-Round Loss to Ravens?

Zach KruseSenior Analyst IJanuary 12, 2013

Who's to Blame for Broncos' Divisional-Round Loss to Ravens?

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    The Denver Broncos, complete with a 13-3 regular-season record and the No. 1 seed in the AFC, fell to the Baltimore Ravens in the divisional round of the 2012-13 NFL playoffs Saturday. 

    Rookie Justin Tucker's 47-yard kick snuck inside the right upright early in the second overtime and sent the Ravens to the AFC Championship Game. 

    The Broncos now have nine months to figure out what happened during a game most expected Denver to coast through comfortably. 

    In the following slides, we'll break down who is most to blame for the Broncos' collapse in the AFC divisional round Saturday against the Ravens. 

QB Peyton Manning, 40 Percent

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    The numbers for Manning weren't exactly horrendous (290 yards, three touchdowns), but his final interception will likely be the defining play of the Broncos' offensive season in 2012. 

    Throwing across his body, Manning was intercepted by Ravens cornerback Corey Graham on a second-down throw late in the first overtime. Six plays later, Tucker's 47-yard kick split the uprights, and Manning and the Broncos were eliminated from the 2012-13 playoffs. 

    Manning, who played with gloves on both hands, fell to 0-4 in playoff games played when the temperature is below 40 degrees. 

S Rahim Moore, 30 Percent

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    The signature play of Joe Flacco's career in Baltimore will also be remembered as one of the biggest collapses an NFL safety has ever suffered through in an NFL playoff game. 

    Up seven points with the game all but under wraps, Moore allowed Jacoby Jones to get behind his coverage and catch the game-tying touchdown with 31 seconds left in the fourth quarter. 

    Moore misread the trajectory, and he made a horrible attempt at swatting the pass, allowing Jones to easily make the catch-and-run in to the end zone to tie the game. Moore should have intercepted the prayer and ended the contest.

Head Coach John Fox, 30 Percent

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    Fox's decision to pass on a potential game-winning drive with 31 seconds left in the fourth quarter will likely be criticized for the rest of the offseason. 

    Despite having two timeouts and half of a minute to work with, Fox sent Manning out to kneel down and get the game to overtime. 

    There's no way of knowing whether or not the Broncos would have marched into field goal range, but Fox's decision to send the game to overtime voided Manning of any chance to win the game before his final interception in the final period.

    With a quarterback as accomplished as Manning, Fox should have at least given his offense a chance to set up a field goal in the Denver altitude. 

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