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Friday, January 6, 2012
Final Word: Steelers-Broncos

By Bill Williamson

» Wild-Card Final Word: Bengals-Texans | Lions-Saints | Falcons-Giants | Steelers-Broncos

Three nuggets of knowledge about the Steelers-Broncos wild-card game Sunday:

Tim Tebow
Will Tim Tebow be able to pull out of his recent slump during his first postseason NFL game?
Can Denver enjoy a home-field advantage again? Remember when Denver used to be one of the most difficult places in the NFL to play? That’s no longer the case, as the Broncos were just 3-5 at home this season. Perhaps the postseason will rekindle the old Mile High magic. According to ESPN Stats & Information, Denver has the fourth-best home record in postseason history at 12-3.

Can the Broncos be this season’s Seahawks? In the locker room this past Sunday, after the Broncos had backed into the playoffs with three straight defeats, multiple Denver players brought up Seattle’s win over New Orleans in the wild-card round last season. Seattle was 7-9, but it stunned the defending Super Bowl champions. Denver, 8-8, spent the week believing it can duplicate the Seahawks’ feat against the defending AFC champions. According to ESPN Stats & Information, Denver has more motivation. Four of the past five teams that have reached the playoffs without a wining record have won a game, dating back to 2004.

Can Tebow turn it around? Denver quarterback Tim Tebow is entering the playoffs in a major slump. He completed just 46.5 percent of his passes -- the worst completion percentage since 2000 of any quarterback to start at least 10 games. He might have trouble turning around his fortune Sunday. Pittsburgh had the NFL’s No. 1-ranked pass defense this season and allowed just 171.9 passing yards a game.