With the Kansas City Chiefs‘ loss to the Indianapolis Colts–one of the most improbable comebacks I have ever seen in my life–the Denver Broncos will now face a ‘revenge’ game in the divisional round of the 2014 playoffs, playing either the Colts or the San Diego Chargers.
The Colts are going to be everyone’s flavor of the week after their victory over the Chiefs, but the Broncos will be seeking vengeance against one of only three teams to have beaten them this season.
Back in week seven, the Colts beat the Broncos on Sunday Night Football at Lucas Oil Stadium 39-33 where the Broncos had three of the most ill-timed turnovers of their entire season. Despite the loss to Indy, it was a game the Broncos felt they could win and they had a chance to do so late in the game before Peyton Manning was hit and the result was a floating ball landing in the hands of Colts linebacker Pat Angerer.
The Broncos had another chance late in the game to pull within three and get a stop to try and tie or win the game, but Ronnie Hillman fumbled near the goal-line and has scarce been seen on the field since.
Trindon Holliday also muffed a punt, setting up an easy six points for Indy in that game.
Don’t get me wrong, I think the Colts are a very good team, but I know the Broncos didn’t flat out get beat in that game. They did a lot of beating of themselves.
The other possible opponent for the Broncos is San Diego, the most recent team to beat Denver. San Diego actually came into Denver and beat the Broncos, something that’s only been done one other time since Tim Tebow was quarterback, and we don’t need to re-hash that game.
The Chargers are a hot team, but they’re another team the Broncos would be seeking revenge against. Philip Rivers and company found a way to keep hold of the football for nearly 40 minutes in that game, limiting the Broncos offensively and keeping them off the scoreboard more than any other team has all season.
A lot of people thought the Chargers provided a ‘blueprint’ for how to beat the Broncos in that game, but the fact is Denver didn’t look like they wanted to play in that game, they’d been banged up, and they somehow had three straight drives with a three-and-out. Ill-timed penalties didn’t help. Even as badly as they played in that game, the Broncos had a drive in the fourth quarter that could have tied the game had they scored a touchdown, but Peyton Manning was hit from behind and the ball softly landed in the hands of a Chargers defender.
It was an oddly similar ending to the one at Indianapolis.
Anyway, the point is the Broncos will be seeking revenge not only for what happened in last year’s playoffs, but for what has happened a couple of times this season. These two teams managed to be one of the very few that have figured out how to beat Denver since the start of the 2012 season, so the Broncos will be prepared for a tough fight.