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Broncos win over Chargers punctuated with passion

What happens when players and coaches desperately want to win in spite of each other?


In the NFL, discipline is king, but when you’re floundering with just three wins to show for a disappointing season, interesting things can happen. After back-to-back disappointing losses against the Minnesota Vikings and Buffalo Bills, the Broncos showed their desire to win... in spite of each other.


With :01 to play in the 1st half, Brandon McManus trotted out on the field for what would have been a 65-yard record-breaking field goal attempt... but Vic Fangio had different ideas. After not being allowed to kick, McManus was angry and threw his helmet to the ground in a grandiose display of frustration seldom seen from a kicker.

Much will be made of McManus’ tantrum over not being allowed to make the attempt, but you have to respect the confidence McManus displayed in wanting to try. Here is a guy that believes in himself so much that before the start of the 3rd quarter, he wanted to show the world that he was capable of making the record-breaking kick.

Instead of kicking the field goal, the Broncos took a 5-yard delay of game penalty and passed over the middle to close out the half with no additional points. No matter how many swear words you place in front of the word ‘disappointing,’ it still won’t encapsulate just how awful the final series of the 1st half was. They say you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take and that McManus was having none of it. I wish they’d let him try. Heaven forbid Broncos fans get something positive like a record-breaking kick out of this awful season. I admire Brandon McManus for standing up for himself... and the Broncos.


After calling an inspired game that put the Broncos up 14-0 in the 1st quarter, something happened to Rich Scangarello. After experiencing success, the Broncos offensive coordinator became super conservative and, as the box score shows, the offense atrophied, allowing the Chargers to ultimately tie the game late in the 4th quarter. With mere seconds left in the game, Scangarello wanted to take a knee to send the game into overtime. We all saw it coming.

Much to the surprise of frustrated fans, Vic Fangio wasn’t about to let this one go so easily.

Taking a knee got John Fox fired. Not taking a knee got Fangio the 4th win of his young head coaching career. Like every fan watching, he saw that with an ineffective offense and momentum swinging toward the Chargers, he would need to take matters into his own hands.

Now, will there be fallout over publicly disclosing that he overruled his offensive coordinator? Hopefully. The Broncos can’t have their offensive coordinator calling feeble plays that all but assure yet another loss.

The Denver Broncos finally a 4 win team. Unfortunately, this ain’t October and the Broncos aren’t going to the playoffs. Now’s the time we figure out who really wants to win and who is just along for the ride. Make no mistake, Brandon McManus and Vic Fangio want to win and are willing to stand up to make it known. You have to respect that.


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