Well, it finally happened.
The very day after I was considering writing an article about how the Denver Broncos were digging themselves into too deep of a hole to comeback from every week, even with monstrous fourth quarters that had outscored their opponents by a total of a whopping 51 points through just six games, it happened (that ranks second in NFL history by a team through six games).
They actually came back… to win!
However, it was of the same variety of game described above. They were down again… 20 points, at halftime! And they hadn’t scored a point until the third quarter. That is deep, but this game, they had time to do it— they didn’t wait until the fourth quarter when the game is theoretically over to begin the ascent. They started in the third quarter… which isn’t a great time to start a game, but it was sufficient for the team with the most comeback victories in the league this past calendar year (by a gap the size of the Atlantic Ocean).
It was the greatest comeback of the year. This is nothing new for Denver though. Last season, led by Tim Tebow, they came back to win six games in the fourth quarter. When they were down in what should be the land of no return, they found a way.
But this year, without the help of Tebow— or as some would say, the help of God— they weren’t getting enough time on the clock to eke out the victory. “Eke” may very well describe last season, where they somehow would mount a comeback. This year, it is much more conventional, due to a state of the art, mechanic-savvy quarterback, by the name of Peyton Manning.
Their comebacks have been big; they have been fast… just not big or fast enough. Case and point is Week 2, at Atlanta. The Broncos found themselves down 27-7 at the end of the third quarter. They ended up with 21 points, just shy of the opportunity for the comeback drive. And against Houston, in the final quarter they outscored the Texans 14-0. In both games, two more minutes is all they needed and surely, they would’ve won.
However, this week, on Monday night, no one would call it eking out a win. Denver pulverized San Diego in the second half 35-0. That’s right, thirty-five. My friend, a lifelong Broncos fan, had turned the game off at halftime in disgust.
Sucks for him, eh?
As amazing as that comeback was, one has to wonder, can Manning do it six times and lead Denver back to the postseason?
He’s shown he can do it anyway. For that ability, Denver fans, are feeling the promise for the rest of the season. The thing that’s different about Manning, is that he probably won’t need to. The rollercoaster of Tim Tebow, that we came to love, probably won’t be necessary for an elite quarterback.
One thing’s for sure though, with the ability to put up 35 points in the second half and give up none, it probably doesn’t even matter.
It’s not how you start anyway; it’s how you finish.