A look back at that famous play-off overtime victory at Mile High .
For what was their first play-off victory in six years, The Broncos and Tebow went about it in as dramatic as fashion as possible. Tied after regulation, the teams went to overtime and, well, the rest is history…
Sold out to capacity, the 76,125 fans packed inside Mile High Stadium on January 8th 2012, were loud, energetic and passionate. But nobody expected the game to end up like it did that night.
After a sluggish start, the opening fifteen minutes saw only two Shaun Suisham field goals separate the sides as the teams headed to the second quarter. The going got good in the second quarter for the Broncos as they exploded for a twenty point shut out to round out the half. A Tebow TD pass to Eddie Royal and an 8 yard rush from Tebow, followed by two Matt Prater field goals saw the Broncos take a 20-6 lead. Halftime. A disappointing second half for the Broncos’ as they stumbled to the 0:00 on the clock. Only three points in the second half for them as the Steelers tallied up seventeen points to tie the game.
“Denver’s going on to New England… They win it on the first play of overtime!”
Fans were gifted with the real drama in overtime. The first play of the extra period saw Tim Tebow connect with Demaryius Thomas for an 80 yard, walk off, game winning touchdown strike. The result of the play saw ecstasy and joy spread throughout the stands and on the field. TV Cameras captured John Elway celebrating on the side-lines while the elation and the emotions of some became overwhelming. In an image now ingrained in history, Tebow fell to a knee and prayed, assumingly for thanks. His emotions clear, his joy palpable and the respect of an entire city, earned.
The Broncos playoff dream came to an end in the next round, but the memory and emotion from that January night will live on for a long, long time. The Divisional loss to the Patriots sparked the beginning of a Denver/New England rivalry which would see Payton Manning and Tom Brady fight for the AFC Championship year in, year out.
The Tebow period of Broncos history is one that many look back on with a mix of emotions. Perhaps confusion, pride and disappointment to name but a few. One of the greatest play-off finishes in NFL history, immortalised at Mile High.