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Thriving Under Pressure

Posted Nov 27, 2011

The Broncos completed another come-from-behind victory Sunday in San Diego.


SAN DIEGO -- With 5:27 left in the Sunday's game, the Broncos found themselves in a familiar predicament.

They trailed in the fourth quarter with a shot at a final drive to decide the game.

“I think there’s kind of a feeling of calmness, surprisingly enough," said Dante Rosario, who caught a crucial 23-yard pass in the game-tying drive. "Because we’ve been in that position before and it’s nothing new for us. Especially these positions that we keep landing in in the fourth quarter – a lot of them are in the road, divisional games, and it doesn’t get much bigger than that."

Eric Decker, who had another big catch on Denver's final drive of regulation -- a 39-yarder -- said the team relishes the chance for that late-game comeback.

"We know it’s not going to be the prettiest way, but we know that we’re going to find a way," he said. "And if you give us a chance in the fourth quarter, we feel like it’s to our advantage.”

The Broncos proved that to be true again on Sunday, as the offense put together a nine-play, 68-yard drive at the end of the fourth quarter, capped off by Matt Prater's game-tying, 24-yard field goal.

After the Chargers ran the clock out to bring the game to overtime, the Broncos finished the job with another Prater field goal -- a 37-yard game-winner on the offense's third possession of the extra frame.

"It’s incredible," said Von Miller, who had a sack in the game. "The moments that we have, the wins coming in this locker room – this is why I play the game. It’s incredible when we go out there and work so hard during the week and it shows up.”

Sunday marked the fifth time the Broncos won after entering the fourth quarter trailing or tied with Tim Tebow at quarterback.

And while Rosario said it's a calm huddle, Tebow admitted there's "a little pressure" to perform at the end of the game, but the approach of his teammates makes the job easier.

"I'm just having fun and surrounded by a great bunch of guys and great coaches," Tebow said. "We're just believing, and it's such a positive atmosphere."

After the game, no one in the locker room was quite sure what it is about the fourth quarter -- and overtime -- that makes this team that much more dangerous, but Miller said it's just an attitude.

"I’ll tell you this, no matter what the score is, we’re going to keep fighting," he said. "We’re going to keep fighting and keep pushing and keep driving. That’s just our mentality."

Tebow said that has led to a tight-knit squad.

"It's a special team when you got a bunch of guys that when things aren't going good, we get closer instead of pulling apart," he said. "I think that's really special and I think that's hard to find. I think the number one reason we're like that is because we believe in each other and believe in the coaching staff. That's something special."

So now, as the 6-5 Broncos have made their way above .500 for the first time all season, they'll look to win more games without dramatic comebacks. But at just one game back in the AFC West, as long as the end result winds up in the win column, no one is complaining.

"I think as we progress and get better on offense, hopefully we won’t be playing every single game in those scenarios," Rosario said. "But as long as we win, I think that everybody is pretty happy with that."

“Winning is contagious. And it’s fun," Decker added. "When it comes down to it and we’re winning football games, it doesn’t matter how you’re doing it."