The Denver Broncos managed to flip the script in Monday night's epic game. For the past three weeks the team has generated an impressive first half, followed by scoreless second-half collapses. But last night, a punchless opener gave way to a dominant second half — well, except for a fumble and a "slightly wide" crucial field-goal miss that sent the game into overtime.
The 20-17 OT victory against the Cincinnati Bengals gave the Broncos the inside track to the second seed in the AFC playoff picture, and Twitter Nation responded accordingly. Much of the chatter encompassed the Bengals' reputation for bungling the big ones in prime time. Denver, it could be argued, has the same tendency, but the much-vexed Bengals wear the choke collar like a hair shirt:
And oh, the piling on:
But the Broncos' own foibles provoked plenty of snark, too. When Brandon McManus botched a gimme field goal in the final seconds of regulation, hooking the ball to the corner of nowhere, the reaction was predictably virulent:
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And what did last night's win, heavy with playoff implications, mean for the rest of the NFL? Just this: the putative Number One Seed may be playing the lowly Miami Dolphins next week, but that doesn't mean a certain duo in New England should stop looking over their shoulders: