NFL: Broncos QB Bridgewater admits 'effort had to be better' on season-defining play
- Teddy Bridgewater admits he shouldn't have surrendered on Sunday's game-changing play
- He chose the role of bystander over barrier as the Eagles cornerback swept past him
- “Coach pointed it out that hey, my effort had to be better there,” Bridgewater recounted
Teddy Bridgewater admits he shouldn't have surrendered on Darius Slay's game-changing, season-defining 83-yard touchdown return of Melvin Gordon III's fumble Sunday.
The Broncos quarterback said he actually appreciated coach Vic Fangio calling him out in a team meeting Monday for choosing the role of bystander over barrier as the Eagles cornerback swept past him at midfield for the score that sealed Philadelphia's 30-13 upset.
“Coach pointed it out that hey, my effort had to be better there,” Bridgewater recounted, "and I totally agree. That's not the type of tape I want to put out there.”
Bridgewater said that in the heat of the moment he thought funnelling Slay back inside was the right thing to do, but watching in slow motion made him realize why he's been getting criticized on social media ever since.
“We've got guys diving, trying to make the tackle, and I just needed to lay it all out for the guys in that moment," Bridgewater said, adding he hopes the play doesn't come to define him.
It certainly epitomizes Denver's discordant season and the Broncos' inability to make a move in the wide-open AFC West.
Incapable once more of navigating their way out of an interminable funk that's stretched into its sixth season, the Broncos showed they couldn't handle success very well, either.
They failed to parlay their clobbering of the Cowboys in Dallas a week earlier into a crucial win over a 3-6 Eagles team, which would have tied them with the Chiefs atop the division.
Instead, they stumbled into their bye at 5-5 following their third home loss by double digits this season and seventh in the past two seasons. Never before in the 62-year history of the franchise have the Broncos had that many home blowouts in a two-year span.
With the Broncos going in for the tying touchdown, Gordon fumbled after gaining the first down on fourth-and-1 from the Eagles 23.
“It sucks because this was a winnable game," Gordon said.
So were the losses to the Steelers, Raiders and Browns last month, and there doesn't appear to be many of those left on the schedule that features just one losing team and five division games.
“There’s still a lot of football left, and there are still a lot of games left," Gordon said. “We can still win the division. It’s still up in the air. It’s not over.”