There's just something about fourth quarter comebacks and the Denver Broncos. Despite the fact that the Broncos looked vastly over-matched for most of the game Sunday against the Houston Texans, the Broncos certainly were one good defensive play away from giving Peyton Manning the ball back at the end of the game with enough time to score a game-winning touchdown. Despite the 31-35 loss to the Texans, the Broncos should be very happy with how they finished the game and gave themselves a chance to win.
Fourth Quarter Magic Still Present In Denver
When Tim Tebow was traded away in the offseason, many of the Broncos fans I know felt that the special fourth quarter magic that seemed to be engineered by Tebow alone was gone. However, as we've seen in all of the Broncos games this season, that's simply not true. In the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 1, the Broncos won after trailing 19-14 early in the fourth quarter. In Week 2 against the Atlanta Falcons, the Broncos were down 20 points in the first half before coming back to lose by just six points. Today Manning tossed two touchdowns passes to bring the Broncos to within six points with three minutes to play. I don't think any fan should count this team out of any game, no matter how far they are down.
Manning Continues To Show He's Just Fine
Manning will never give up on a game, and that fighting attitude fits right in with this Broncos team. What's different between this team and last year's team is the quick strike capability that Manning has with his arm. Anyone who watched today's game could see that there's nothing wrong with Manning physically. Any attempt to label last week's three-interception game as anything other than a lapse in mental judgement should have been erased with Manning's performance today.
By the end of the game, Manning had 323 yards passing for his 64th game where he passed for more than 300 yards. That now gives him yet another all-time passing record to his name. I'm quite sure that Manning would much rather have had the victory today but things just never clicked well on offense til the final quarter.
I never expected the Broncos to have a chance to win this game. To me, the Texans look like one of the best teams in the AFC and a very balanced team on both sides of the ball. They dominated this game through the first three quarters, but then something seemed to change about halfway through the fourth. Whether the Texans relaxed, or the Broncos finally started playing up to their abilities, there was a definite 180-degree shift in momentum to the home team. Now, if only that fourth quarter play would translate to the rest of the game. At some point, I believe it will.
Julie is a featured NFL contributor who writes about the Denver Broncos for the Yahoo Contributor Network. A lifelong NFL fan, she started following the Broncos after moving to Colorado in 2001.
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