Flacco Openly Criticizes OC Rich Scangarello's Play-Calling Following Colts Collapse

Chad Jensen

The Denver Broncos went into Lucas Oil Stadium and put it to the Indianapolis Colts in Week 8. Denver led the entire game until the final 22 seconds, following Adam Vinatieri's game-clinching field goal. 

Denver's ability to get out to a lead can be credited to Joe Flacco and company doing just enough to get a couple of first-half field goals, but it was the work of Vic Fangio's defense that allowed the team to sustain it for as long as it did. 

The Broncos offense was able to sustain a few drives and they did hit pay-dirt once. But it was mostly another uneven, impotent performance with Joe Flacco under center. 

After the collapse, Flacco took to the podium for his post-game presser and unloaded with a passive-aggressive shot on offensive coordinator Rich Scangarello. 

"It's a 3rd-&-5 at the end of the game," Flacco said. "Who cares if they have a timeout there at the end or not? Getting in field goal range isn't that tough. You're just putting your defense in these bad situations, and I just feel like, 'What do we have to lose? Why can't we be aggressive in some of these situations?' That's kind of how I feel about a lot of the game today." 

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Flacco is speaking of the Broncos' 3rd-&-5 situation, nursing a 13-12 lead with the ball on the Colts' 43-yard line. With exactly two minutes left, instead of really going for it and calling a play that would have given the Broncos a true chance to move the chains, Scangarello called a dive hand-off to Phillip Lindsay up the gut, which was stopped for a short gain, bringing up fourth down.

It was a waiving of the white flag, no doubt. And Flacco has every right to question the play-call and even the ensuing decision to punt the ball instead of going for it on fourth down. But we saw last week how quickly criticizing the offensive coordinator in Denver will get you shipped out the door. 

"I mean, come on," Flacco said. "I just look at it like we're now a 2-6 football team and we're, like, afraid to go for it in a two-minute drill. You know? Like, who cares if you give the ball back to the guys with 1:40 left? They obviously got the field goal anyway. Once again, we're a 2-6 football team and it just feels like we're kind of afraid to lose the game."

If the 2-6 start wasn't bad enough, things are really beginning to get ugly in Denver when the starting quarterback openly criticizes the decision making, not only of the OC, but also of the head coach.

Flacco didn't say 'Vic Fangio' or even 'Rich Scangarello' but the Broncos' team brass will have no problem deducing who and what their starting quarterback was really talking about. Was that the last straw in starting the clock on Drew Lock? 

Was this meltdown loss the straw that breaks the camel's back and gets GM John Elway to face the reality that 2019 is a lost season and the Flacco trade was a bust? Only time will tell. 

Next up for Denver is a Week 9 homestand vs. the Cleveland Browns and then the bye in Week 10. We'll see if Lock begins practicing finally next week, and whether this front office has the intestinal fortitude to set the wheels of change in motion for their rookie QB rotting on the injured-reserve vine. 

Follow Chad on Twitter @ChadNJensen and @MileHighHuddle.

Comments (17)
No. 1-12
Erick   Trickel
Erick Trickel

Editor

Flacco is a problem, but Scangs is even more so. Never should hire a first time OC to pair with a first time HC that's defensive minded.

Frip
Frip

Anybody with half a brain knew Fangio was the first huge offseason mistake the Broncos made and Flacco was the second. They already had a better, less expensive QB in Case Keenum. The most obvious need was to strengthen the OL and bring in one more good running back/receiver. They needed the same things last season as well. No other team ever wanted to make Fangio a head coach. Now that he’s reached his 60’s, the Bronco’s decided this was the perfect time to promote him. Dumb, dumb, dumb. And, Flacco’s been over the hill for several seasons now. But, hey, he’s tall, so the Broncos said “what the hell, why not ?”.

gerig
gerig

OC stinks. Run on first down almost every stinkin time. So predictable, but then Flacco has no balls. One read in the end zone and throw the ball in the stands? Give the receiver a chance to make a play. Flacco playing the broncos for every penny. Not doing one bit more than necessary to win and lose, and still make millions. Steve Deberg had more heart than this phoney qb. OC, Fired, QB, Fired, Elaway, Fired, Please.......

CUBuffinTX
CUBuffinTX

When this OC hire was made there was rejoicing by most and again Assassin and I were the only skeptics if I remember correctly. Mike McCoy was fired for a better offense then this. Kept my mouth shut today in the live game thread because it doesn’t matter right now. Until they have a QB for the next decade on the field, an actual NFL OC this is their fate, doormat

Broncos4lyfe
Broncos4lyfe

Sort of hypocritical of Flacco because in big moments Flacco always folds. Scangarello might feel like he has no choice but to run it since Flacco always commits the worst mistakes at the worst times. I'm in no way defending Scangarello because his play calling certainly isn't great, but Flacco isn't helping the situation either. Hopefully this helps begin the Drew Lock book.

CUBuffinTX
CUBuffinTX

At this point maybe they should let Munchak call the plays. Reaching for straws here. One thing is certain I am changing my mind on Lock being put in for this play calling

J Hager
J Hager

Everything Flacco said is true. Play calling was terrible and seems like Elway might also be the problem. Lock better be in next week

broncofan55555
broncofan55555

Flacco is right. When you are already a 2-5 team, you're not going to the playoffs. Why not take some chances? Playing conservatively in an NFL where parity reigns is craziness when you are ahead by only one point, especially when facing a clutch veteran like Vinateri. Yes, he was inconsistent today, but when clutch counts you can pretty much know that Mr. V for Victory is going to do what he has done for many years and break the hearts of the opposing team and fans.

Infinity0918
Infinity0918

The last thing you want to do is throw Lock into this mess. Clean up this coaching madness before putting in a rookie who was having problems in pre-season and there is also a ? with the offensive line. Flacco isn't elite, but all your issues aren't about the QB and he called out what nobody wanted to say and now needs to be addressed.

jimtaylor
jimtaylor

Flacco is 100% right here. The coaching staff is losing games

smilinassassin
smilinassassin

3 offensive coordinators in 2 years. Maybe blame the guy choosing them.

BroncoJ
BroncoJ

I think there's a reason Fangio was never made a head coach after so many years in the league. Some people are just not head coach material. It's the Peter Principal in action. He continually looks lost out there. He also made a poor choice not hiring Kubiak because he was afraid of being second guessed by a Broncos Championship coach. But hiring a first time guy that's just old school like him was a horrible choice. No innovation whatsoever. I've literally seen high school games with a better scheme. It's like they're running an offense from 1965.


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