Brock Osweiler was prepared to take over from Peyton Manning in Hail Mary situation
With 2-minutes remaining in the game and Atlanta Falcons tightly clutching a 27-21 lead, rookie Brock Osweiler was seen warming-up on the sidelines. The Denver Broncos hoped to secure the ball during the final seconds and call in Brock Osweiler, not Peyton Manning for the Hail Mary. Peyton Manning contributed two touchdown drives that had the Denver Broncos in range for a Hail Mary attempt.
"I was going in for the Hail Mary," confirmed Brock Osweiler. "I'm not sure what the dividing line was as far as me going in, but I was getting ready to go in."
The Denver Broncos defense needed to force a punt during the final minutes, with Atlanta Falcons holding the ball at their 31, first-and-10; which could have landed Broncos the ball just about its 25-yard line at the end of the fourth quarter. However, Atlanta Falcons running back Michael Turner gained 15 yards which ended all prospects for the Denver Broncos to make a ridiculous comeback with 1:54 remaining in the final quarter. Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan ran out the clock with two end-game kneel downs.
So what distinguished Brock Osweiler to take the Hail Mary?
Well apart from the fact that Peyton Manning threw three-interceptions in the first-quarter of the game (2nd time in his 15-year career), the Denver Broncos had prior plans to implementing Brock Oswelier in such situations after he was drafted in the second-round of this year’s drafts owing to his remarkable arm strength. It put Brock Osweiler on the pedestal to take 50-60 yards throws with seconds remaining.
Peyton Manning completed 24 for 37 passes for 241 yards including a lone touchdown and the three first-quarter interceptions in the game. But when Peyton Manning was questioned if his surgically repaired neck contributed in any way to the first-quarter picks, he identified other obvious reasons.
"Decision making," stated Peyton Manning.
However, Peyton Manning lacked velocity on a few mid-range passes and threw in some wobblers, including the first-half pass to wide receiver Demariyus Thomas for a touchdown. Still Denver Broncos coach John Fox revealed Peyton Manning’s name wasn’t on the injury report as the team left for home.
Monday night’s game also drew some heated words for the replacement referees officiating the game following two to three controversial calls against the Denver Broncos, which left John Fox fuming on the sidelines and even a lot of pushing and shoving amongst players at one stage.
"I get upset with officials anytime a call goes against us," John Fox later stated. "That's not new for me. It's a competitive game played by competitive people."
A defensive holding penalty against the Atlanta Falcons resulted in an 11-yard gain instead of five for the Denver Broncos and a fumble recovery to the Falcons was also challenged.
"In this game, you win or lose, you've got to try to overcome a lot of different things," said John Fox, adding that it will remain an “in-house” discussion that be only reported to the league if it was required.