With the first-ranked Pittsburgh Steelers facing the declining cult Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow, this game doesn’t look pretty for the Broncos. Eighth-ranked Denver Broncos Willis McGahee might be able to change the face of the game, but he shouldn’t be a significant factor against a dominating defense. However, a hurt Ben Roethlisberger could be a factor for the Pittsburgh Steelers offense and for that matter, the Denver Broncos defense.
Now the post-game analysis:
- With the Pittsburgh Steelers first drive, they stalled, and kicker Shaun Suisham made the field-goal from 45-yards out at 11:19 in the first quarter to give them the 3-0 lead.
- With the Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger leaning on his running back Isaac Redman in this series, Shaun Suisham kicked another field goal from 38-yards out at with 27 seconds left in the first quarter to bring the Steelers to a 6-0 lead.
- Denver Broncos Tim Tebow threw two successive bombs to wide receiver Demaryius Thomas and Eddie Royal. With a 30-yard touchdown pass to Eddie Royal, the Denver Broncos take the lead 7-6 at 13:31 in the second quarter.
- After a 58-yard bomb to Broncos wideout Demaryius Thomas, the Broncos score again with a 8-yard rushing touchdown by Tim Tebow at 10:41 in the second quarter. The Broncos upped their score 14-6.
- At 9:54 in the second quarter, Broncos defensive end Robert Ayers sacked Ben Roethlisberger and aggravated the quarterback’s ankle. After that incident, Roethlisberger threw an interception to Broncos safety Quinton Carter at the Steelers 27-yard line.
- After the interception, the Broncos drive stalled at the Pittsburgh 2-yard line. Broncos kicker Matt Prater kicked an easy 20-yard field to bring the score 17-6.
- After a 40-yard strike to his tight end Daniel Fells,the drive stalled again at the Pittsburgh’s 10-yard line. Matt Prater kicked another field goal to bring the score 20-6 at 1:08 until halftime.
- With a 32-yard pass to Steelers running back Isaac Redman, wideout Mike Wallace rushed in for a 1-yard touchdown at 4:33 in the third quarter. The Steelers closed the score 20-13.
- Continuing their drive from the third quarter, Broncos kicker Matt Prater kicked another field goal to bring the score to 23-13 at 13:14 in the fourth quarter.
- After running back Isaac Redman’s 28-yard rush, Steelers kicker Shaun Suisham kicked for a field goal to bring the score to 23-16 at 10:03 left in the last quarter.
- At 7:43 in the fourth quarter, Broncos running back Willis McGahee fumbled the ball on Pittsburgh’s 45-yard line. Capitalizing on McGahee’s turnover, Pittsburgh Steelers wideout Jerricho Cotchery 31-yard touchdown reception tied the score 23-23 with 3:56 left in the fourth quarter.
The first half was the battle of defenses as Denver Broncos and the Pittsburgh Steelers brought pressure relatively easily on Ben Roethlisberger and Tim Tebow in the first few series in the first quarter. However, Tim Tebow relaxed the Steelers defense by throwing bombs to his wideout Demaryius Thomas and other receivers. Simply put, Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow shredded the thin secondary of the Steelers in the first half. With the aggravated ankle injury to Steelers Ben Roethlisberger, the Denver Broncos defense sensed it and feasted on the damaged quarterback. The Steelers burned secondary, the driven Broncos defense and Roethlisberger’s ankle injury culminated in 20-6 Broncos lead into the half.
The second half began with the Denver Broncos and Pittsburgh Steelers surging at times. The Pittsburgh Steelers defense performed well at stopping Tim Tebow’s drives in the redzone, and through sheer will and accurate passing, Ben Roethlisberger willed his Steelers to tie the game with the Denver Broncos. Steelers running back Isaac Redman did his fair share in this game with 121 rushing yards during regulation.
This playoff game was the first playoff game with non-sudden death regulations established during the tumultuous off-season. However, in an instant, Denver Broncos scored a 80-yard touchdown from Dimaryius Thomas to win the game 29-23.
Overall, Broncos Tim Tebow performed better than injured Steelers Ben Roethlisberger with his 125.6 quarterback rating on 356 passing yards and 2 touchdowns. Broncos wide receiver Dimaryius Thomas was exceptional as he had 204 receiving yards and a touchdown in this game.
With some Tim Tebow magic in overtime, the Denver Broncos win the Wild Card playoff game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Now Tebow will face New England Patriots Tom Brady with his third-ranked quarterback rating at 105.6 and second-ranked quarterback in terms of passing yards with 5,235. At Brady’s side is his wideout Wes Welker who had 1,569 receiving yards during the regular season and ranked second in terms of receiving yardage. However, Wes Welker is recovering from an injury, and that may hinder Tom Brady slightly in their game against their game against the Denver Broncos. Tim Tebow better bring some of his magic in the next game as he will face the New England offensive juggernaut. On the bright side, both the New England Patriots and Denver Broncos defenses are average at best.
- Steelers Vs. Broncos, NFL Playoffs 2012: Will Tim Tebow’s Legend Grow? (sbnation.com)
- Steelers, Broncos limp into playoffs (sports.nationalpost.com)