The day after a game, head coaches have typically moved on from what transpired on the field. They’ve turned the page, win or lose, and are on to thinking about the next task at hand. It’s how they’re wired; they don’t dwell on the past, as what’s done is done.
This is even more the case when it comes to bad calls. In a postgame press conference, a coach might get caught up in the emotion of the moment and say something critical about the officiating. But by the next day, when cooler heads have prevailed, they rarely point the finger of blame at the referees.
Such was not the case for Vic Fangio on Monday. Less than 24 hours after a heartbreaking loss to the Bears, the Broncos head coach wasn’t backing down when it came to two critical calls that cost his team a victory.
“You can’t control the officiating or bad calls,” Fangio said when asked about a roughing the passer penalty that was called on Bradley Chubb with 24 seconds left in the game. The flag not only gave Chicago 15 critical yards as they tried to get in position for a game-winning field goal, but it also stopped the clock. Both things proved deadly for Denver, as the Bears booted a 53-yard field goal with one second to play in the game to pull out an improbable victory.
“At that point in the game, it better be pretty damn obvious,” Fangio said earlier in the day during his weekly radio show. “If not, that’s troubling.”
Even more concerning was the way the officials allowed the Bears to call a timeout with one second remaining on the clock. Facing a fourth-and-15 with nine seconds to play, Mitchell Trubisky found Allen Robinson for a 25-yard gain, after buying time in the pocket to avoid the pass rush. Robinson hit the ground right as time expired, but the referees said that Chicago called a timeout with one second left on the clock.
“Nothing in life in the world happens simultaneously,” Fangio said. “There was lag time there.”
In other words, the clock should’ve expired, the Broncos should’ve won and Fangio should’ve spent last night celebrating his first-ever victory as a head coach. Thanks to two highly questionable calls, however, none of those things happened.
And the day after the bad calls, Vic Fangio wasn’t letting the officials off the hook.
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