Week 5 – Pro Football Crisis Management Award Winner

Studies have shown that the most effective leadership style during times of peace and normalcy is a participatory style in which leaders include participation of others, listen to alternate ideas and behave in a democratic way to make decisions based on consensus and majority vote.  But, at time of war and crisis, the most effective leadership style is one of Command and Control, where the leaders make quick, concise decisions, lead with confidence and assurance and give succinct commands to be followed by others.  Football games are often compared to the act of war; fighting over control of the land, trying to take it in battle, 10 yards at a time.  The successful football teams are usually those with a confident on-the-field leader; one who can lead with a Command and Control leadership style.   The winning team of the Week 5 Safe Harbor Consulting Pro Football Crisis Management Award has such a leader in quarterback Peyton Manning, a sure Hall of Famer who is experiencing one of his best years in a career full of great years.

In business crisis management programs, it is sometimes necessary to train business leaders, who have been successful as participatory-style managers throughout their careers, to lead at time of crisis with a Command and Control approach.  It is not always achievable and why some companies, at time of crisis, do not handle the situation as well as others.  Safe Harbor Consulting has helped companies in developing Business Continuity and Crisis Management plans that assist leaders with developing task lists and guidelines to help them be effective at time of crisis.  But now, back to football.


The NFL Week 5 schedule had 4 teams sitting at home with byes and 14 games being played.  Nine out of those 14 games were won by teams that trailed in the game at one point or another.  Of those 9 games, 5 of them were won by the visiting team and 3 teams overcame deficits of more than 7 points.  Of the 5 games in which the winning team never trailed, 4 of those were won by the home team.

For the 2nd time this year, the game that produced the Safe Harbor Consulting Pro Football Crisis Management Award winner, had comebacks by both teams that would have earned either team the award for this week.  Denver came back from 14 points down at one point in the game to take the lead and Dallas came back from 15 points down at one time in the game to retake the lead.  Both of those achievements bested the 12 point comeback victory secured by the Indianapolis Colts over the Seattle Seahawks.


DEN DALDenver came into Dallas’s AT&T stadium with a 4 – 0 record and riding the hot hand of QB Peyton Manning.  The Cowboys were looking to improve on their 2 – 2 record and take an early, commanding lead in a rather weak-ish NFC East.  This game had all the markings of an NFL barn burner and would not disappoint those offensive minded fans in its outcome.

Although the Cowboys took an early 14 – 0 lead, scoring on their first two possessions of the game, no one was foolish enough to believe this was enough of a margin to hold back the Bronco scoring machine.  Indeed, just three plays and 50 seconds after DeMarco Murray’s 4 yard touchdown run put the Cowboys up 14 – 0, the Peyton Manning led Broncos hit on a 4 yard TD pass to Julius Thomas following a 57 yard bomb from Manning to Eric Decker that set it up.

A 43 yard Dan Bailey field goal put the Cowboys back on top by 10, but the Broncos scored touchdowns on each of their 3, 2nd quarter possessions and went into halftime with a 28 – 20 lead.

When the Broncos scored another touchdown on their first possession of the 3rd quarter, it was starting to look like a Bronco route, but the Cowboys and Tony Romo were not going to go down without a fight.  Now down by 15 at 35 – 20, the Cowboys would mount their own comeback to make this a game.

The Cowboy comeback would start just as quickly as the Bronco comeback did way back in the 1st quarter.  Just 2 plays and 55 seconds after the Broncos went on top by 15, the Cowboys struck with a long 82 yard TD pass from Romo to Terrance Williams to make the score, 35 – 27.

The Broncos upped their lead to 38 – 27 on a 48 yard Matt Prater field goal, but the Cowboys would continue their comeback; first on a 2 yard Tony Romo to Dez Bryant touchdown pass at the end of the 3rd quarter (2 pt conversion attempt failed) and then on a Romo to Jason Witten 10 yard pass (2 pt conversion attempt successful) to take a 41 – 38 lead.

After the Broncos tied the score up at 41 – 41 on a 50 yard Prater field goal with 9:37 left in the game, we were in position to anoint either team with the Safe Harbor Consulting Pro Football Crisis Management Award.  Either one team would have overcome 14 point deficit or the other would have overcome a 15 point deficit to finally win this see-saw affair.

The Cowboys would break the tie on another Romo TD pass, this one to Cole Beasley from 4 yards out, but the Broncos would come right back on the on arm of Peyton Manning and a 1 yard touchdown run by Knowshon Moreno.

When Tony Romo was intercepted at the 24 yard line in their next possession, the Broncos were able to run the clock down and set up a game winning, 28 yard, Matt Prater field goal to remain undefeated on the year and win the Week 5 Safe Harbor Consulting Pro Football Crisis Management Award.


To learn more about how Safe Harbor Consulting can help you prepare for your greatest comeback, please visit our website at www.safeharborconsulting.biz; visit us on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Safe-Harbor-Consulting/204353729604053; or, call us at (253) 509-0233.

Week 4 – Winner  (To read the Week 4 article, click here.)

Seattle coming from 17 behind to beat Houston 23 – 20


Week 3 – Winner  (To read the Week 3 article, click here.)

Cincinnati coming from 16 behind to beat Green Bay 34 – 30


Week 2 – Winners  (To read the Week 2 article, click here.)

Buffalo coming from 8 behind to beat Carolina 24 – 23

Houston coming from 8 behind to beat Tennessee 30 – 24

Arizona coming from 8 behind to beat Detroit 25 -21


Week 1 – Winner  (To read the Week 1 article, click here.)

Houston coming from 21 behind to beat San Diego 31 -28

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