Thoughts on the wild win over the Pittsburgh Steelers at Mile High Stadium (In no particular order):
- During the 6-game winning streak in the regular season, The Denver Broncos always seemed to get good bounces or big breaks that helped them to victory. Yesterday, almost every bounce of the ball or bad call by the refs went against them. The thing that impressed me the most was how Denver overcame all those things and still won it in the end. They had to fight for the full 60 minutes (and then some) against one of the most feared playoff teams of the last 10 years. They battled through adversity and never gave in even when the Steelers tied it up late in the game. In a way it was a microcosm of their season. Despite all the odds stacked against them, the Denver Broncos never wavered and won a huge playoff game, and now they get to move on to the Divisional Playoffs in what is really a no-lose situation. The nation is on Broncos overload and they are on every TV channel and radio station in service this morning. I couldn’t imagine a better time to be a member of Broncos Country!
- For as many times as I’ve slammed Mike McCoy this season, I have to give him credit today. He finally changed things up and got creative with his play calling. The amazing 80-yard DeMaryius Thomas touchdown in overtime worked because McCoy got aggressive on first down and threw it. The game started out with a lot of the same old bland game plan, but he finally flipped the switch and it resulted in a huge 2nd quarter where the Broncos outscored the Steelers 20-0. I knew this team had that type of offense in them and it was fun to see them execute it on the field.
- Of course it’s this Broncos team that wins the first ever overtime playoff game with the new rules. It was like it was meant to be. And then they go out and end it on a single play that set a record for the quickest overtime session in league history. Some things just defy explanation.
- The defense deserves a ton of credit for how well they played. Not only did they pressure Ben Roethlisberger all game (they finished with 5 sacks and 6 tackles for loss), but they stopped Pittsburgh cold when they had a chance to drive for a winning field goal late in the contest. That was a season-defining defensive stand and it’s what made the overtime heroics possible. I wish Champ Bailey would have held on to that interception in the end zone before Pittsburgh’s tying score, and I wish they would have gotten the 2 turnovers that were overturned by the refs, but none of that matters now because they hung tough in the biggest moments of the game.
- That was a team victory in every sense of the word. Tim Tebow played possibly his best game as a pro, the defense made huge plays and played great in crunch time, DeMaryius Thomas and Eddie Royal made some big catches, and the offensive line paved the way for 131 total rushing yards. Even in light of big injuries to guys like Brian Dawkins, Chris Kuper and Eric Decker, this group keeps fighting and plays hard for each other. That is what makes them dangerous in these playoffs.
- The Denver-Pittsburgh game is a great example of why we love sports. That overtime play made the entire country scream in unison. I am not sure why these Broncos have such a flair for the dramatic, but I love it!
- I was so relieved when Demaryius Thomas made it into the end zone on the overtime catch. If he would have been tackled short it would have provided quite a conundrum for the coaching staff. Stay aggressive and score a touchdown to end it or play it safe so you guarantee the field goal. That would have given Pittsburgh a possession in OT and who knows what happens at that point? Luckily, Thomas made it easy on everyone and used his speed to take it to the house.
- I cannot give Thomas enough praise this morning. He looked like a beast yesterday and stepped up in the biggest game in the season. He looked fast and strong on that last play, and more importantly he looked like the big time playmaker that the Denver offense needs.
- I love Willis McGahee and there is no doubt that he has been a key component to the team’s success this season, but he has to hang onto the football in clutch situations. His fumble late in the 4th quarter nearly cost Denver the game.
- Tim Tebow finished with 316 yards passing against the best pass defense in football while the entire country watched. There is really not much more to say about that. He looked like a franchise quarterback and he will absolutely be the starter in 2012.
- Mile High looked awesome on TV; you could feel the energy in that stadium. It hasn’t looked like that since John Elway was under center.
- That game goes to show that you just have to get into the playoffs and anything can happen. Where are all those negative Broncos fans who were upset that we backed in last week? None of that matters anymore. The Broncos are AFC West champs and they’ve won a playoff game that people are going to be talking about for a long time. They ended the losing streak and the franchise has now officially turned the page on all the negativity of the past few years.
- The New England Patriots wanted the Broncos, and now they’re going to get them. I hope they’re ready, because Denver is not going to be an easy out by any stretch of the imagination. The Broncos have nothing to lose at this point so the pressure is completely off, and that is a great way to enter a playoff game. I wouldn’t be surprised if Denver pulls off another shocker.
- Enjoy this one Broncos fans! Playoff victories are tough to come by in the NFL and Denver is one of only 8 teams in the league that are still playing. Go Broncos!
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Topics: Ben Roethlisberger, Brian Dawkins, Chris Kuper, Demaryius Thomas, Denver Broncos, Eddie Royal, Eric Decker, John Elway, Mike Mccoy, Mile High Stadium, Pittsburgh Steelers, Tim Tebow, Willis Mcgahee