'Pathetic': NFL quarterback slammed for 'bad look' decision

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·Sports Reporter
·4-min read
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Trent Bridgewater (pictured right) not making a tackle during an NFL game.
Teddy Bridgewater (pictured right) was slammed for failing to make an attempted tackle in the Broncos’ 30-13 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. (Images: @NFL)

Denver Broncos quarterback Teddy Bridgewater has come in for heavy criticism after making a ‘business decision’ on a game-changing play in the Broncos’ 30-13 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.

With Denver on the attack trailing 20-13 late in the third quarter, Bridgewater handed the ball off to running back Melvin Gordon on fourth and short, only for Gordon to fumble. 

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Eagles cornerback Darius Slay picked up the loose ball, zig-zagged cross field, before straightening up and making a beeline for the Broncos’ end zone.

Bridgewater was one of the few Broncos who had an opportunity to stop Slay, but the 29-year-old opted to not even attempt a tackle, instead allowing Slay to return the fumble 82 yards for an Eagles touchdown.

Slay’s score saw the Eagles extend their lead to 27-13 and the Broncos didn’t score another point for the remainder of the contest. 

Had Bridgewater attempted a tackle and managed to stop the fumble return, the Broncos would have at least had a chance to keep the margin to one scoring play.

Bridgewater’s lacklustre effort caused a major stir on social media, with it being labelled ‘egregious’ and ‘pathetic’ by fans, media and former NFL players.

Teddy Bridgewater defends tackle decision

Speaking after the game, Bridgewater defended his decision not to try and bring Slay down.

"As I see it, I see a guy trying to put a block and then I'm thinking maybe I could force the ball back inside and one of our guys will make the tackle," Bridgewater said.

Broncos head coach Vic Fangio acknowledged the play was a ‘huge’ moment in the game, but stopped short of laying blame on Bridgewater.

“We self-destructed with the fumble returned for a touchdown,” Fangio said.

“Obviously it was a big play. We’re down there and even if we get stopped you hope for a field goal.

“All of a sudden it was a 14-point game, so it was huge.

“I know Teddy. If he thought he had a chance to at least throw at the guy, he would have.”

Bridgewater completed 22 of 36 passes for 226 yards as the loss saw the Broncos fall to last place in the AFC West with a 5-5 record.

“Teddy was like the rest of us, inconsistent,” Fangio said.

“But I think overall he played good enough, but we just needed to make some more plays.”

The Eagles, featuring Australians Jordan Mailata and Arryn Siposs, moved into second place in the NFC East with a 4-6 record. 

Mailata was once again a standout on the Eagles’ offensive line, while Siposs had three punts for a 51.3 yard average.

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