The Pittsburgh Steelers traveled to Denver to take on the Denver Broncos in the 2012 NFL Wild Card round expecting the NFL's number one defense to shut down the Broncos unconventional offense. Early on in the game it did, as the Steelers injury ridden offense went down the field to take an early 6-0 lead on two drives ending in field goals.
The Broncos were persistent, however, also sporting an excellent defense that hit and harassed a hobbled Ben Roethlisberger, sacking him five times and hitting him another six times. The Broncos picked up a touchdown in the second quarter thanks to a fantastic catch by Eddie Royal on a 30-yard pass by quarterback Tim Tebow. The drive was sparked by a deep pass by Tebow to Demaryius Thomas. On the Steelers very next drive, Roethlisberger tried to get rid of the football instead of taking a sack but the ball was picked off by safety Quinton Carter setting the Broncos up in scoring range.
It didn't take long for the Broncos to add to their lead on an 8-yard run by Tim Tebow for the touchdown, putting the Broncos up 14-6 over the Steelers. Before halftime, the Broncos were able to add a couple of field goals to their lead and take a 20-6 lead into halftime. The Steelers were able to battle back in the second half however, picking up a one-yard touchdown run by wide receiver Mike Wallace put the Steelers within a touchdown of the Broncos.
Aided by a pass interference call, the Broncos were able to get in field goal range in the fourth quarter and push their lead to 23-13. Pittsburgh once again rallied back in the fourth quarter, picking up a field goal and then forcing a Willis McGahee fumble to get the ball back. With just under four minutes left in the fourth quarter, Roethlisberger connected with Jerricho Cotchery for a 31-yard touchdown pass to tie the game and eventually send it into overtime.
That's when Tebow connected with Thomas once again over the middle of the field, this time however it was for an 80-yard touchdown to win the game. The Broncos will travel to New England next week to take on the Patriots, while the Steelers will finally be able to get healthy and look toward next year.
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