DENVER** — Quarterback Brock Osweiler is often quick to shrug off any praise, deflecting to his teammates any chance he gets in the postgame media room following a big win, and Monday night was no different.
Even after leading his Broncos to a 20-17 overtime win over the Cincinnati Bengals, Osweiler was swift to compliment and appreciate his teammates for rallying back from a 14-point deficit.
"It says a lot about our team," Osweiler said. "We're able to win football games in many different ways. Tonight, obviously the first half didn't go the way that we wanted it to, but that's football. Sometimes you're going to have tough first halves. I think what it shows is that this team didn't blink. We didn't flinch. We regrouped at halftime, we came together as a team and we got the job done in the second half."
The Broncos fall behind the Bengals in the first half of play at Sports Authority Field at Mile High.
In the first half, the Broncos floundered. It appeared their second-half struggles in recent games had transferred to the first half as they headed into the locker room with just 89 total offensive yards and a 14-3 deficit.
"Whenever offensively you're not moving the ball and you're not generating points, you want to try something different, and why not?" Osweiler said. "Our conversation at halftime was to try to pick up the tempo a little bit [and] show them a look that we have not shown on tape.
"At the same time, [Head] Coach [Gary Kubiak] really preached us all week long, 'Focus for 60 minutes. One play at a time. Whether that play is good, bad or ugly, move on to the next play and keep your focus there.' That's truly what this football team did tonight. It was a huge team win and it means a lot to this football team."
The team that stepped onto the field in the second half looked nothing like the one in the first. The defense looked like the top defense in the NFL and the offense clicked. Osweiler found wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders for an 8-yard touchdown pass to cap the first drive of the second half to snap the Broncos' December second-half scoring drought in December and put them within four points.
"There were a lot of conversations going on at halftime—talking to the running backs, talking to the offensive line, talking to the coaches, talking to the receivers—and just trying to make adjustments," Osweiler said. "Obviously the first half didn't go the way that we wanted it to, and we knew that we had to play better."
A 39-yard touchdown run from running back C.J. Anderson put the Broncos up over the Bengals before Cincinnati retaliated with a field goal, pushing the game into overtime.
A 37-yard Brandon McManus field goal gave the Broncos the lead in overtime, and a snap flying past Cincinnati quarterback AJ McCarron's hands that was recovered by outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware clinched the win.
"I think there's an old saying, 'It's not how you start, it's how you finish,'" Osweiler said. "This football team finished great tonight."