If you need to check into the emergency room for chest pain, you’re not alone. If you need to schedule an appointment with your barber to put a little more color in your hair, step in line. The Broncos make hearts sputter until they flutter, and they put more grey hairs on Coach Fox’s head than a teenage daughter would.
The Broncos once again had the world on standby as they overcame a ten point fourth quarter deficit to beat the Chicago Bears 13-10 in overtime. Every Sunday Broncos fans around the country have a reserved seat at “The Edge.” The edge of their plastic seats, the edge of their bar stool, the edge of their couches, perhaps the edge of history.
If you could bottle the scoreless first half, ambien would go out of business. If you could bottle the last quarter which is typically a kerosene doused Tim Tebow package, you would have the Fourth of July every Sunday in November and December.
“I think we are rewriting the book on ‘keep fighting,’ John Fox said after the game. “Our guys never blink.They remain positive. As bad as it looked today – we didn’t play well – we had some drops, but that guy that dropped a couple passes caught the winning touchdown. That’s kind of the M.O. of this bunch.”
The Broncos didn’t put their first points up on the board until there was 2:08 left in regulation. It came on a Tim Tebow-to-Demaryius Thomas 10-yard touchdown pass. That put the game at 10-7 and that made Tebow’s eyes widen even more. The team could sniff this win out.
On the ensuing Bears possession, Marion Barber ran out of bounds to extend the game and give the Broncos a chance to tie the game.
“That was tough,” Bears QB Caleb Hanie said. “You always want to stay inbounds in those situations. He was making a tough run, trying to get a couple more yards. You’d like to stay inbounds, obviously, but that didn’t lose the game for us. We lost by not scoring more points.”
The Broncos marched the ball to within field goal range within 58 ticks left on the clock. Matt Prater booted a 59-yard field goal through and Rocky Mountain Thunder could be heard all the way in Chicago, Guam, and the Philippines. Any time the Broncos send a game into overtime, it has other teams on their heels even when things appear to be working against the Broncos.
The Bears took the ball down into Broncos territory, but Barber made the biggest mistake of the game. He coughed up the ball thanks to Wesley Woodyard, and Elvis Dumervil fell on it at the 34-yard-line.
“We were moving pretty good there,” Caleb Hanie said. “We were down to the 30-something. It’s just unfortunate.”
Call it luck, call it the Mile High Miracle, call it whatever you want, but the Broncos believe that their good fortune is due to hard work meeting opportunity.
The story is as good as written. The Broncos marched the ball into position for Prater to kick a 51-yard field goal.
“I try not to think about anything, just kick,” Prater said of his mindset going into the final field goal. “I just draw a line – when you have a pressure situation like that you just want to think about keeping your technique and rhythm the same.”
Prater’s philosophy worked. Game, set, match.
Season, playoffs, beyond?
With the win and a Raiders loss today, the Broncos sit squarely at the top of the AFC West.
The North Pole may be nothing but white this time of year, but Denver, CO is nothing but orange. Christmas has come especially early for Broncos fans who have been gift wrapped six consecutive wins. The team becomes just the third team in NFL history to win six straight after starting with a 2-5 record.
This season has been something that the Broncos can’t believe, explain, or change. Neither can opposing teams.
“I don’t know what they changed,” Julius Peppers said on what the Broncos did differently at the end of the game. “I didn’t see anything that they changed. It was pretty much the same offense that they were running the whole game.”
Lovie Smith looked more like the Grinch walking away from this loss. Tim Tebow looks more and more like an NFL quarterback late in the game. Even with Brian Urlacher shadowing Tebow the entire game, his offense couldn’t be stopped.
“He’s a good running back,” Urlacher said. “He does a good job for them. They have a good offense with him back there. They do some different plays. I thought we did a good job overall.”
Even as the wins keep piling up, the jabs at Tebow do too. Running back? Thanks, Urlacher.
“Coming from a really good player, it means a lot,” Tebow said of Urlacher’s comment.
That’s typical Tebow. Today was a typical Tebow day.