The best performances often come from the times that you bring everything you have and leave everything that you came with. That’s exactly what the Denver Broncos did in their 29-23 overtime win against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The tears flowed like the Nile and the smiles were a Mile
High wide after the game. In baseball, there’s the walk off home run. In Broncos’ playoff football, there’s the Tim Tebow to Demaryius Thomas run off touchdown. The clock struck ‘Tebow Thirty,’ and it was his 80-yard touchdown pass to Thomas on the first play of overtime that rocked the city and the nation as most believed that the Broncos would have their season ended on Sunday.
Against the Steelers No. 1 ranked pass defense, Thomas had 4 catches for 204 yards and the game winning TD. In fact, he set a team playoff record for receiving yards in a postseason debut thanks in large part to his running after the catch.
“It is amazing because I haven’t played explosive like I did in college in a long time,” Thomas said. “To come out and make plays tonight, and win a playoff game is just amazing.”
Call it magic, call it a miracle, call it whatever you want, but this is nothing short of what Tebow Mania has been preaching. The second-year QB went 10-for-21 for 316 yards and 2 TDs in his first NFL playoff game. He also added 10 carries for 50 yards, and a rushing touchdown. With that, Tebow set a playoff record for passing yards in a postseason debut.
Camera pans over to a smiling John Elway.
Although the game’s most thrilling and talked about play came at the end, it was the Broncos defense who held their ground when they needed to.
It appeared that the Steelers, notoriously known as being a relentless playoff team, stole the momentum in the fourth quarter. Ben Roethlisberger scored the game tying touchdown with 3:48 remaining.
Despite the Broncos getting the ball back in their seemingly favorite part of the game, they couldn’t turn on the Mile High magic in regulation. The Steelers got the ball back with less than two minutes remaining, but Denver’s defense shut them down faster than a steel factory closed in the 1970s.
“You have a good feeling,” Roethlisberger said after the game. “But they’re a good team. It’s hard to win when they beat you and you beat yourself.”
Denver forced the Steelers into one turnover, a Roethlisberger interception by Quentin Carter, and they sacked Big Ben 5 times for a loss of 45 yards.
With that, the Broncos who started the season 1-4 knocked off the returning AFC champions. The game and the win is fitting for how the season played out. They were 3-0 in overtime games during the regular season and they are 1-0 in overtime in the playoffs.
“This is why you do it,” John Fox said. “It’s not about money. It’s not about whatever, it’s moment like tonight.”
It’s about bringing everything you have and leaving with everything you came with.
Job well done, Broncos.