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Joe Flacco: Broncos offense was 'afraid to go for it'

An upset seemed to be the Broncos' for the taking in Indianapolis on Sunday.

Instead, Joe Flacco was sacked on the final play, fumbled and time ticked away to end the Broncos' second loss in a row, a bitter 15-13 defeat to the Colts in which the offense bumbled away as has become commonplace.

With just one rushing touchdown to show for the Sunday, Flacco took his shots in the postgame, delivering criticism in regards to the Broncos' lack of offensive aggression.

"I mean, come on. 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?" Flacco told reporters after the game. "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."

Grasping a fragile 13-12 lead that had been nine points larger early in the third quarter, Denver faced third-and-5 from the Indianapolis 43-yard line at the two-minute warning. The ensuing call was a Phillip Lindsay run into the teeth of the Colts' defense that produced zero yards as the second-year back was gobbled up.

"It's third-and-5 at the end of the game, who cares if they have a timeout there at the end or not?" Flacco said. "Getting in field goal range isn't that tough. You're just putting your defense in these bad situations and I just felt 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."

The Colts expended their final timeout following the failed third-down conversion and the Broncos punted it away.

Perhaps a pass on third would've worked. Perhaps a fourth-down try would've produced a better result.

Instead, the punt gave the Colts a shot and they marched for the win, which was had via a 51-yard Adam Vinatieri field goal.

Though Denver led until Vinatieri's game-winner, a Royce Freeman four-yard run stood as the only Broncos touchdown of the day out of 63 plays that netted only 279 yards in offensive coordinator Rich Scangarello's offense.

The Broncos' early 6-0 lead was had due to a pair of short Brandon McManus field goals. Both were set up after failed passes on third-and-long situations that came to be after runs on first and second down. It was conventional and predictable for a Broncos offense that entered the week with the 29th-ranked scoring offense.

Denver, which was a miserable 2-for-12 on third down, never went for it on fourth down, had no turnovers and was rather ho-hum aside from an impressive 33-yard reception by Courtland Sutton that stood as the longest gain of the game for the Broncos.

Denver clung to a 6-0 lead until the final seconds of the first half when it was cut to 6-3. Following Freeman's score, the Broncos held a 13-3 advantage. Those leads and hopes of a victory were expunged by the educated foot of Vinatieri with a little aid, in Flacco's mind, from the Broncos playing not to lose rather than playing to win.

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