New Orleans Saints
Kubiak kicks himself for not benching Manning
New Orleans Saints

Kubiak kicks himself for not benching Manning

Published Nov. 16, 2015 6:56 p.m. ET

For all the choices an NFL coach must make, there aren't many more challenging or complicated than sticking a star player on the sideline.

Gary Kubiak, take a deep breath.

Benching Peyton Manning at home in Denver before he was about to break Brett Favre's career mark for passing yards, even with an instinct that the 39-year-old quarterback wasn't quite right, would have been a difficult move for anyone to make.

''This one is on me. I probably should have made a decision not to play him in the game,'' the Broncos coach said after Manning threw four interceptions in a 29-13 defeat Sunday by Kansas City.


Manning gained the record with his first completion, but just about every play after that was a setback.

Insisting he felt fine despite a sore right foot, throbbing ribs and aching right shoulder, Manning finished the afternoon with 35 yards on 5-for-20 passing, no touchdowns and an unsightly 0.0 passer rating. Kubiak finally called for backup Brock Osweiler late in the third quarter to replace Manning, ''protecting him'' because he ''was worried about him.''

Manning was held out of practice Wednesday and Thursday with the foot injury. He practiced Friday. Then he reported sore ribs Saturday, and Kubiak lamented later he should have made the call for Osweiler then instead of Sunday, when it was too late to beat the Chiefs.

''He felt like he could go, but I'm disappointed in myself,'' Kubiak said.

Here are some other notable decisions made around the league during Sunday's games in Week 10:

TAKE THE TOUCHBACK!: For an NFL record-tying third consecutive game, Miami gave up a safety. The ball slipped out of Ryan Tannehill's hands while he was sacked in the first quarter against Philadelphia, but the blame for the play traced back to kickoff returner Damien Williams.

Williams fielded the ball more than halfway into the end zone and fumbled it forward before recovering it. Undeterred by the delayed start, Williams continued to bring the ball out, despite teammate Jay Ajayi's motion to safely down it behind the goal line for the touchback.

Williams kept running, though, and Ajayi's arm caused him to duck, slip and stumble straight down onto his rear end at the 1-yard line, where he was quickly touched by the Eagles.

Fortunately for the Dolphins, they rallied for a 20-19 victory.

SAINTS, IT AIN'T SO: New Orleans wound up losing 47-14 to Washington, the worst defeat since Sean Payton took over as coach and Drew Brees was acquired to be the quarterback in 2006. But the Saints still had plenty of hope when the second half started.

Trailing by 13 points, the Saints were driving and faced third-and-1 at the 31. With regular running back Mark Ingram receiving treatment for an injury sustained before halftime, the handoff went to Tim Hightower, whose last carry in the league was in 2011.

No gain.

Payton decided to go for it, eschewing a 49-yard field goal try, and C.J. Spiller was stuffed on the same side of the line.

Goodbye momentum.

''I'm not their coach, I'm not in their head, but that was kind of a shock for me,'' Redskins linebacker Perry Riley Jr. said.

WHAT'S THE CATCH?: The confusion has continued this season around the NFL about the definition of a catch, and the latest controversial play came during a crucial moment for Odell Beckham Jr. and the New York Giants in their unsuccessful quest to hand the New England Patriots their first loss.

The call on the field was a touchdown from 5 yards, but the word from the replay booth was that Malcolm Butler's strip of the ball from behind was enough to prevent a reception. The Giants settled for a field goal that gave them a 26-24 lead, but the Patriots had plenty of time to drive the other way to kick the winner.

Beckham acknowledged he didn't fully grasp the rule about the completion of a reception.

''I mean, I caught it. I trust in my hands,'' Beckham said. ''I go up and catch it. You come down with two feet.''



AP NFL website: and AP NFL Twitter feed:


Get more from New Orleans Saints Follow your favorites to get information about games, news and more