Broncos coach says he hasn’t lost faith in his kicker
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Brandon McManus has been anything but money since signing an $11.25 million extension last month.
The fourth-year pro has missed a field goal in each of Denver’s three home games so far, including a 29-yarder Sunday that would have removed much of the drama from the Broncos’ 16-10 win over the Oakland Raiders .
Instead, the Broncos sealed it on safety Justin Simmons’ interception in the closing minutes.
All three of his misses have come in warm weather, too.
Against the Chargers in the opener, he pushed a 50-yarder wide right with four minutes left and the Broncos clinging to a 24-21 lead. Shelby Harris bailed him out by blocking rookie kicker Younghoe Koo’s last-second field goal that would have tied it.
Against the Cowboys, the Broncos special teams captain pushed a 49-yarder wide right, but it didn’t matter because the Broncos won 42-17.
Against the Raiders, he had a chance to put Denver up 19-7 early in the fourth quarter but after nailing his first three kicks — and making 50 consecutive field goals from inside 40 yards — he hit the left upright.
“He has to make that kick,” coach Vance Joseph said Monday right after saying he wasn’t concerned about his scuffling kicker. “That kick would have been critical for us to be up by three scores and that game is basically put away. He understands that. He’s been told that.”
Joseph, however, still sees the kicker who set an NFL record by making all 10 of his field goal attempts during the Broncos’ Super Bowl run two years ago.
“Moving forward, I feel good about B-Mac. He’s a talent. I’m not down on him,” Joseph said. “Things happen from time to time. I haven’t changed my mind about how I feel about B-Mac. He’s fine.”
McManus was the last restricted free agent to sign his tender this summer, waiting until June 15 to put his signature on a one-year, $2.75 million deal after making $600,000 last season. He did it in hopes of getting a long-term deal, which he finally got last month just hours before kickoff against the Chargers when he agreed to a three-year extension that included $6 million guaranteed.
At the time, McManus was tops in team history with an 84.8 percent conversion rate on field goals, but with three misses in 10 attempts this season, his clip is now 81.5 percent, slightly behind Matt Prater’s 82.9.
NOTES: QB Paxton Lynch said his return to the football field isn’t imminent as he continues his recovery from a sprained throwing shoulder. Joseph said he has no timetable, either. “As far as his next step, it’s throwing the football. That may take a while. I’m not sure of how much time he needs.”