ENGLEWOOD, Colo. – Fourteen Broncos are ready to make another postseason appearance Sunday.
The rest are eager for their first taste of the NFL’s second season as Denver gets set to host the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Wild Card round at Sports Authority Field at Mile High.
But whether they’re experienced or not, each member of the Broncos locker room shares the same excitement in playing for a championship.
“I’ll definitely be excited,” said cornerback
“I know personally, this is the biggest game of my life,” said defensive end
In order to advance, the Broncos must defeat the 12-4 Steelers, last year’s AFC champion.
“It’s a huge challenge,” Head Coach John Fox said of facing Pittsburgh, “and that’s why we play the game.”
The biggest challenge facing the Broncos this week will be scoring against the league’s top-ranked defense, a veteran unit that allows a league-low 271.8 total yards per game.
The Steelers have a proud history of tough, aggressive defense and this year is no different.
“They’re really good. They have a bunch of great players, a great scheme, and some of the best players at their positions in the league,” quarterback
“Everybody knows the Pittsburgh Steelers,” running back
To do that, Denver will test the Steelers’ run defense with a heavy dose of the NFL’s top-ranked rushing attack – one that features
The Broncos know winning at the line of scrimmage in the run game will make it easier to keep the Steelers off balance with plays through the air.
A balanced attack is ideal, but Tebow and the Denver offense is focused on doing whatever it takes to move the ball downfield.
“More than anything, we’re just trying to find a way to win,” Tebow said. “So, whatever we have to do, whether that’s run the ball 55 times or pass it more -- it doesn’t matter. We’re just going to find any way we can to win the game.”
Tebow’s quarterback counterpart Ben Roethlisberger has been leading the Steelers in the playoffs since he entered the league in 2004. Tomorrow he’ll attempt to win his 11th postseason start with a sprained left ankle – an injury he suffered in Week 14.
“He’s a tough quarterback. He’s able to move,” defensive end
Key to Denver’s success defensively has been a steady pass rush, and the Broncos intend on disrupting the explosive Pittsburgh passing attack by getting to Roethlisberger early and often Sunday.
But according to linebacker
“We’ll definitely try to get after (Roethlisberger), but we have to make sure we take care of business first, which is trying to take away their running game,” Mays said. “They are definitely going to try to establish that running game to take some pressure off Roethlisberger.”
For the first time since the 2005 season, when Denver lost to Roethlisberger and the Steelers in the AFC Championship game, the Broncos are back in the playoffs.
And the 2011 AFC West champions are determined to make it count.“We’ve got a huge opportunity for this organization, for this city,” linebacker