Broncos' Vic Fangio: Failure to Call Timeouts vs. Titans 'Totally My Fault'

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistSeptember 15, 2020

Denver Broncos head coach Vic Fangio looks on from the sidelines against the Tennessee Titans during the first half of an NFL football game, Monday, Sept.. 14, 2020, in Denver. (AP Photo/Justin Edmonds)
Justin Edmonds/Associated Press

Denver Broncos head coach Vic Fangio didn't call any timeouts during the Tennessee Titans' final drive on Monday night in the 16-14 loss, allowing them to run out nearly all of the clock before Stephen Gostkowski hit a game-winning, 25-yard field goal. 

On Tuesday, he took responsibility for the blunder. 

"I didn't think the 'ice the kicker' was worth it because he had been struggling anyway," Fangio said of Gostkowski, who missed three field goals and one extra-point attempt prior to converting, per Jeff Legwold of ESPN. "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. I should have called timeout there; that was the one I missed."

The Henry run in question came with 1:33 left, and Tennessee bled the clock until just 49 seconds remained before running another snap. Denver could have used those 44 seconds elapsed to get into position for a game-winning field goal of its own. Instead, it received the ball with just 17 seconds remaining and only were able to run three plays. 

The Broncos had timeouts to spare, with all three remaining when Tennessee started its game-winning drive. 

"It was totally my fault there, I had too much thought there on what I was going to call on defense," the second-year head coach told reporters. "I missed it. ... All the coaches chip in on that, the offensive coaches when we're on defense ... [but] it was just my miss on that one, nobody else's."

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Not surprisingly, Denver's clock management was a popular topic on Twitter after the game:

Fangio's clock management saved Gostkowski from being the game's primary storyline. It was a shocking performance from the four-time Pro Bowler and three-time champion, who had only signed with Tennessee on September 3. 

"You don't always get that lucky to get a chance to redeem yourself," the 15-year veteran told reporters. "But I'm just happy that the guys got to celebrate. I'm disappointed in myself and embarrassed and frustrated, but at the end of the day, we won, and luckily, guys are happy going home."