Broncos Fans on Twitter Think Team Can Run the Table After Beating Steelers

Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger after throwing a game-losing pick to defensive lineman Shelby Harris.
Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger after throwing a game-losing pick to defensive lineman Shelby Harris. NFL via YouTube
Denver Broncos fans have grown so accustomed to unhappy endings this season that the outcomes of the past two games have left some loyalists giddily dizzy. First, there was last week's victory over the Los Angeles Chargers and much-loathed quarterback Philip Rivers. Then, on November 25, the squad goaded Pittsburgh Steelers QB and future Hall of Famer Ben Roethlisberger into making the face seen above, by way of an unlikely Shelby Harris end-zone interception that cemented a 24-17 win.

Afterward, Broncos boosters on Twitter began debating whether the playoffs are a reasonable possibility —despite a 5-6 record and the likelihood that Denver will have to run the table by winning its last five games to make this dream come true.

Before you dismiss such a prospect out of hand, consider evidence from yesterday:

After a sluggish start to their 2018-2019 campaign, the Steelers have been on a roll, notching six straight Ws coming into the face-off against the Broncos and convincing commentators such as Tony Romo, who provided color on the CBS Sunday broadcast, that they're the most complete team in the AFC. Yet the Broncos' defense picked Roethlisberger twice (the first came courtesy of the brilliant Chris Harris Jr.) and recovered a James Conner fumble caused by cornerback Bradley Roby, who'd earlier given up yet another mammoth touchdown pass (snared by JuJu Smith-Schuster, it covered 97 yards).

Broncos quarterback Case Keenum took advantage of these opportunities with plenty of help from super-rookie Phillip Lindsay, who became the first running back to gash Pittsburgh for 100 yards on the ground this season. And while Roethlisberger could have tied the score late and headed to overtime with momentum, Harris made sure that didn't happen.

Denver's remaining schedule is less daunting than the gauntlet through which the players have just passed. Next they square off against the Cincinnati Bengals, whose starting quarterback, Andy Dalton, injured his thumb yesterday — and from there, the Broncos will play the mediocre San Francisco 49ers, the improving Cleveland Browns, the woeful Oakland Raiders and the Chargers again.

All of these games are winnable, and even if the Broncos lose one of them, 9-7 might get them into the playoffs. Absolutely everything has to go right for that to happen, but the door to the post-season isn't entirely closed — and that's a pleasant surprise in and of itself.

Continue to count down our picks for the twenty most memorable tweets about the chances for more Denver triumphs, capped by a hilarious take from someone who clearly doesn't have a high opinion of Broncos head coach Vance Joseph.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts