Teddy Bridgewater’s decision to not disrupt a pivotal play in Sunday’s loss to the Eagles subjected the Broncos quarterback to a wave of criticism in the media.
The moment in question — a Melvin Gordon fumble which manufactured an 83-yard Darius Slay scoop-and-score — saw Bridgewater give a half-hearted effort to slow the speedy corner down as he blazed his way downfield and into the end zone.
On Monday afternoon, Broncos coach Vic Fangio offered a rather poignant two cents regarding Denver’s response to the play before zeroing in on his QB’s actions.
“I’d like to see us all pursue it a little bit better offensively and try to get that guy down,” Fangio said, per TheDNVR.com ” … I’d like to see Teddy at least make a play at the guy.”
With Denver trailing 20-13 prior to Slay’s TD, it’s hard to look past the fact that Bridgewater, who explained after the game that he was trying to “force the ball back” to the middle of the field, had arguably the best shot at shutting the play down, given his proximity.
At that same token, NFL fans have seen what can happen when a QB — i.e. Baker Mayfield in Week 2– attempts to make a tackle he’s not properly prepared for. Still, Fangio’s frustration is understandable, especially with the circumstances being as they were.
Upon reviewing the film, Bridgewater expressed Monday that he’s aware of what he should’ve done and held himself fully accountable for not doing more.
“Rewatched it today as a team,” he shared. “Coach pointed it out, He said, ‘My effort had to be better there.’ And I totally agree. That’s not the type of tape that I want to put out there. It’s one of those situations where you get pissed after you watch it because you know how much this game means to you.
“You know guys out there trying to make a play. It’s like you feel like you got a little help running toward the sideline to try and force a cutback, but when you slow it down, it’s like, ‘Man, just give more effort.’ You watch it and you walk away from it pissed at yourself at the effort.”
Currently sitting at 5-5 and in last place in the AFC West, Denver can ill afford to let game-changing plays of any kind slip through the cracks. Luckily for Bridgewater, his business decision won’t cost him his starting spot as Fangio said he will remain under center moving forward.
Up next for the Broncos is a post-bye week home game against the Chargers, a top-notch opponent that is sure to give them fits on both sides of the ball. But, until then, there’s little else Bridgewater can do besides prepare for the next opportunity to atone for his Week 10 shortcomings
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