Here's why Bennie Fowler might have cost the Broncos the game against the Chiefs
If the Broncos receiver had done one thing differently, Denver might have defeated Kansas City
After Denver's 30-27 loss to Kansas City on Sunday night, Broncos coach Gary Kubiak wasn't the only one being second-guessed. Fans on Twitter were also focusing on Broncos wide receiver Bennie Fowler.
On one of the most pivotal plays of the game, Fowler scored on a 76-yard touchdown pass with just three minutes left in the fourth quarter.
Although scoring a touchdown seems like a good thing to do in that situation, it wasn't necessarily the smart thing to do, and that's definitely not what Broncos fans wanted Fowler to do.
Broncos fans and hundreds of other people on Twitter thought the receiver should've taken a knee after making the catch, which would've given Denver a first down on the third-and-2 play.
If Bennie Fowler takes a knee. There's no OT and the game is over. You have to have player awareness of that.— Ronnie K (@RonnieKRadio) November 28, 2016
If Bennie Fowler takes a knee by the goal line on that long pass from Siemian in the 4th quarter, the game is over and no OT— THE African American (@bluestdeuce) November 28, 2016
If Broncos WR Bennie Fowler had just taken a knee near the end zone instead of going into the end zone, there's no OT and this game is over.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) November 28, 2016
Even Chiefs fans were pumped that Fowler didn't take a knee.
Shoutout to Bennie Fowler for running in for the 76-yard TD instead of taking a knee after his catch when we had 0 timeouts left! 😏😏😏— Colin Wright (@colincwright) November 28, 2016
After the game, Fowler was actually asked if he thought about taking a knee on the play. Amazingly, he did point out that it was something the Broncos had worked on before.
"We practice situations like that, but all I wanted to do was score," Fowler said, via MilehighSports.com.
Although kneeling with the ball would've been the smarter move, it wouldn't have ended the game. However, it would've likely meant a Denver win.
Let's take a look at what happened.
If Fowler had kneeled at the 1-yard line, there would've been roughly three minutes on the clock, which would've kept running because the Chiefs had no timeouts.
Denver would've had 40 seconds to run its next play, which means the Broncos could have run a first-and-goal play at the 2:20 mark. After that, the clock would hit the two-minute warning.
On second-and-goal, assuming they didn't score, the Broncos could run the clock down to 1:20. After third-and-goal, the Broncos could run the clock down to 40 seconds (There would actually be about 35 seconds since each play would take two or three seconds).
At that point, Denver could have either attempted a field goal or gone for a touchdown. If the Broncos kick a field goal, then they would lead 20-16, and the Chiefs would have roughly 30 seconds to drive for a touchdown on the ensuing possession.
If the Broncos scored a touchdown on second or third down, Kansas City would have still needed eight points, but they would have had much less time to work with.
Instead, Fowler scored on the play, giving the Chiefs a full three minutes to drive the length of the field to tie the game and send it to overtime
If Fowler had taken a knee, there's no guarantee the Broncos would have won, but the odds would have definitely been about 99 percent in their favor.
It's fair to think that if Peyton Manning was the Broncos quarterback, he would've told anyone to go down after getting a first down that late in the game. Veteran players are well aware of how to use the clock, and it usually shows.
If Fowler had taken a knee at the 1, he wouldn't be the first player to do so. In the past 10 years alone, both Brian Westbrook and Maurice Jones-Drew have taken a knee with the ball at the 1 to ensure a victories.
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