The Denver Broncos have a distinct advantage simply by being the Denver Broncos.
The city of Denver sits at 5,280 feet above sea level. When teams come to the Mile High, they are working extra hard to utilize oxygen. When the Broncos travel, they almost always play at or near sea level, making exertion on the field a secondary concern.
Perhaps this plays a key in their ability to keep going at the end of games while other teams (particularly defenses) fold. The Broncos have five comeback wins under their belt this season. They have four in the last four weeks, including three overtime victories.
It’s apparent that the Broncos have gas left in their tank while other teams do not.
“Our strength and conditioning staff did an excellent job especially with the lockout,” John Fox said. “We practice at game speed. We don’t practice real long, but we practice fast and simulate a game basically every practice.”
Tim Tebow has long been known to have an intense workout regimen and that has set the pace.
“He (Tebow) causes the defense to run around more because he runs around a lot….That causes your conditioning level to get taxed some,” Fox said about why defenses seem to sputter at the end of games.
The Broncos seven wins since Tebow has become the starter have come by 3 points, 4 points, 7 points, 4 points, 3 points, 3 points, and 3 points.
“Our guys have an unbelievable spirit about them,” Fox said. “We get to that point in the game and they believe in each other and it perks you up a little bit.”
With that said why are the Broncos not able to pick up the pace at the beginning of the game and get things clicking then?
“You don’t really know how people are going to attack you,” Fox said. “Of course we add new things every week, and we adjust those things during the game. Some of it is we’re in adjustment mode and figuring out how people are playing us.”
The Bears did a great job against the Broncos in the beginning by using a Cover-1 scheme and having a linebacker shadow Tim Tebow. The Broncos were held scoreless in the first half and had 135 yards of total offense.
As the Bears dropped into prevent coverage up by 10 points with 2 minutes remaining, that’s where the Broncos hurt them.
The Broncos ended the day with 345 yards of total offense and put another mark in the win column.
That fourth quarter fuel would cost $15 per gallon at the pump in any city. It’s a price that everyone is willing to pay when it comes to performance.