The playoffs are coming early for Denver. The next two weeks are key if the Broncos want to see the post season. They control their own fate; win against Buffalo and win against Kansas City, and the Tebow led Broncos will get a home playoff game in the Wild-Card round. The margin for error is very slim with everyone in the AFC West still in the race, so Denver needs to play their best football. Unfortunately, in our Madden 12 sim, that’s not what happened. Unexpected turnovers and big dropped passes kept the magic from returning to Tebow and the Broncos. One can only hope Denver will find a winning formula as an early Christmas gift for their fans.
Week 16: Denver 14, Buffalo 21 - Things started out well for Denver. On Buffalo’s first drive, the Broncos intercepted the ball and then capped off a short drive with a 52 yard sprint by Ball for a TD. Then, on the next drive, Buffalo fumbled the ball and Denver recovered; everything was going Denver’s way.
However, as Denver drove deep into Buffalo territory in the second quarter, the Broncos dropped the ball, literally, and Buffalo recovered. Then, the Bills put together a long drive that culminated with a 7 yard TD pass to Nelson. The Broncos couldn’t get into scoring position int he waning minutes of the half, and due to some bad clock management they left just under a minute for the Bills, who had three time outs, to try and score. And they did, on a 32 yard pass to Smith.
So once again a fast start and big mistakes was rocking Denver. Still, they came out in the third looking just fine, putting together a clock consuming drive that once again got them into scoring position. However, on a pass to Royal in the end zone, the Bills made an amazing, diving play to intercept the ball. “You’ve got to be kidding me!” I yelled at the TV. Make no mistake, Royal was open but somehow the defender go there and made the play. Ridiculous. Fortunately, the defense did their job and kept Buffalo of taking advantage of that mistake.
The Broncos finally overcame their red zone woes in the fourth at Tebow found Royal on a crossing pattern for a 24 yard TD.
Once again, Denver was in the game and just need a stop by their defense; they didn’t get it. On a big third down, tacklers missed and Jackson sprung free for a 31 yard TD sprint.
There was still time on the clock, which typically means Tebow Time, but despite hitting a receiver deep down the field in the hands, they couldn’t hang on and Denver couldn’t make the magic happening in the final minutes of the game.
Tebow went 11 of 25 for 178 yards 1 TD and 1 INT. He also ran for 32 yards. Ball, meanwhile, had a monster game with 153 yards and a TD. Royal also had a big day with 114 yards and TD. Denver also got three sacks on Fitzpatrick, and yet despite all of that, the Broncos still lost. Hopefully the outcome will be a bit different this Christmas.