Brian Burke with Deadspin lays out not one but three 'risk-averse' moves Fox made in hopes that the other team would not get lucky:
Fox's first conservative decision came after a Baltimore touchdown tied the game at 21 near the end of the first half. Denver had a first-and-10 at its own 20 with 36 seconds left on the clock and all three timeouts—five more seconds and one more timeout than the Falcons had when they drove for the winning field goal on Sunday. Even so, the Broncos elected to call a throwaway run play and head for the locker room.
:36 seconds with 3 timeouts and you don't even try? Three points there would have been much bigger in the 4th quarter.
Fox's next risk-averse decision came late in the fourth quarter. With the Broncos up 35-28, the Denver coach chose to run the ball five straight times. Fox's strategy succeeded in gaining one first down and forcing the Ravens to burn their last two timeouts.
The key play was a running play instead of letting the HoF QB try to convert on 3rd and 7. Burke essentially runs the statistics to show that the risk Fox was averting was minimal at most.
Conservative call no. 3 came at the end of regulation, after Jacoby Jones got past Denver safety Rahim Moore to tie the game with his 70-yard touchdown catch. With 31 seconds to play and 2 timeouts, Fox repeated his decision from the end of the first half, electing to take a knee at his own 20 rather than let Peyton Manning try to maneuver into position for a game-winning field goal.
Again, why not try? It's not like you have some rookie out there with the ball. I saw that Manning actually tried to take responsibility for the running play on 3rd and 7. But Fox corrected him and said it was not Mannings' audible...it was his call.
Yeah, no kidding. Denver got just what they asked for when they hired him.