Broncos complete comeback vs. Bengals, win in overtime


The Denver Broncos completed their third comeback this season of 14 points or more, the most in the NFL, and beat the Cincinnati Bengals to clinch a playoff berth for the fifth consecutive season.

It was a wild game, and it ended like this…

The Denver Broncos faced a 14 point deficit against the Bengals to start this game, and a team that simply needed a victory any way they could get it got it done. The way this game came about was absolutely ridiculous. The Bengals looked like they were well on their way to shutting the Broncos down with two long, sustained, pretty looking drives that featured catch after catch on third down that the Broncos could simply do nothing about.

The catches the Bengals receivers were making was nothing against the Broncos’ secondary, it was simply the fact that when you put the ball in an absolutely perfect spot and a receiver makes a great catch, there’s nothing you can do about it. The Broncos trailed 14-3 at halftime after a nice late drive in the first half ended (essentially) when Brock Osweiler took a sack on second down and couldn’t get the ball in on 3rd and goal from about a dozen yards away.

The second half started with a bang for the Denver offense, a nice drive ending in an Emmanuel Sanders touchdown. The Broncos scored 17 unanswered points to take a 17-14 lead before the Bengals answered back with a 52-yard field goal from Mike Nugent in the 4th quarter. Brock Osweiler made the necessary plays to get the Broncos down the field with less than two minutes remaining in regulation, and they were well within Brandon McManus’ field goal range when this happened…

McManus shanked the ball as time expired, and the Broncos won the toss in overtime and elected to receive, unlike the New England Patriots on Sunday. The decision to receive paid off for the Broncos, who had some really big time throws from Brock Osweiler and a couple of clutch catches (yeah, we said it) from Demaryius Thomas before Brandon McManus hit a field goal to give the Broncos a 20-17 lead in overtime.

The defense pinned its ears back as the Bengals got the ball back, and Von Miller made an incredible play on A.J. McCarron to force what appeared to be a fumble. The ball was clearly dislodged from McCarron’s hand upon review, and he pushed it forward without control, and it was ultimately ‘recovered’ by Derek Wolfe. The officials blew the play dead, but the booth reviewed it and decided to let the play stand. They didn’t want the game to end on their terms, so the next play did the rest…

Ball don’t lie.

We’ll discuss the ramifications of this game at length, but the Broncos have clinched a playoff spot and are currently the #2 seed in the AFC. They have also kept their one-game lead over the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC West with one game to play, so there is still plenty of work to do on Sunday against the Chargers.