Friday, January 6, 2012
Final Word: Steelers-Broncos
By Bill Williamson
Three nuggets of knowledge about the Steelers-Broncos wild-card game Sunday:
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 with a 12-3 record.
Can the Broncos be this year’s Seahawks? In the locker room last Sunday, after the Broncos 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 year. 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 may have trouble turning around his fortune Sunday. Pittsburgh had the NFL’s No. 1 ranked pass defense this season and it allowed just 171.9 passing yards a game.