Aqib Talib kills Broncos’ chances to defeat Colts with ridiculous eye-gouge
When you’ve got the NFL’s all-time leader in fourth-quarter comebacks on your roster, the only wrong move is not to let him touch the ball.
So why in the world would Denver cornerback Aqib Talib commit an insanely stupid penalty that, in effect, took the ball out of Manning’s hands?
Denver’s Von Miller and the Colts’ Dwayne Allen were engaged in a bit of a discussion when Talib ran over, jabbed his fingers through Allen’s face mask and into his eye, and basically cost his team a chance at victory. Talib’s late-game eye-gouge gave the Colts, who were in full clock-killing mode, a fresh set of downs. The Colts held onto the ball, Denver couldn’t stop the clock, Peyton never got his chance for a miracle comeback, and Indianapolis held on for a 27-24 victory.
(Denver further piled dirt on itself with a curious penalty, defensive holding on an Indianapolis field goal attempt with 26 seconds remaining, that allowed the Colts to kneel on the ball. But that paled in comparison to Talib’s heedless, mindless penalty.)
It was all an uncharacteristic lapse by Denver’s heretofore staunch defense, and it left Manning just three yards short of the NFL career yardage mark. The undefeated season is gone, but an AFC West title and a much-needed first-round playoff bye are still very much in play for Denver. Manning still has flashes of brilliance, but if this team is to advance against the likes of New England and Cincinnati, they’ll need a more levelheaded performance from their defense than they got down the stretch against Indianapolis.
Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Contact him at [email protected] or find him on Twitter.
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