Wait­ing to win in heart-stop­ping fash­ion

Seven of Den­ver’s 13 vic­to­ries this sea­son have come with am­ple anx­i­ety

The Denver Post - - SPORTS - By Nicki Jhab­vala Week 2, at KansasCity— Sept. 17, 2015: Week 4, vs. Min­nesota— Oct. 4, 2015: Week 6, at Cleve­land — Oct. 18, 2015: Week 12, vs. New Eng­land — Nov. 29, 2015: Week 16, vs. Dec. 28, 2015: Cincin­nati — Week 17, vs. San Diego — Jan. 3,

Th­ese Bron­cos have lit­tle re­gard for their fans’ health. Seven of their vic­to­ries have been de­cided with fourth-quar­ter come­backs or game-win­ning drives.

Den­ver’s top-ranked de­fense has been re­lied upon through­out not only to set up game-win­ning drives but also to cre­ate them. But the of­fense — de­spite its in­con­sis­tency and­myr­iad changes to its line­men and quar­ter­backs— has played its part in seal­ing vic­to­ries late.

“We’ve had all th­ese tight games. It’s time for us to blow out some­body,” said all-pro out­side linebacker Von Miller. “I’ve al­ways felt like plays are go­ing to hap­pen. We need to make a play and some­times it doesn’t. This year, it’s just been hap­pen­ing.”

Here is a look back at those sev-

en thrilling fin­ishes.

With the score 24-24 and 35 sec­onds re­main­ing in the fourth quar­ter, Bron­cos in­side linebacker Bran­don Mar­shall punched the ball loose and cor­ner­back Bradley Roby quickly scooped it up, sprint­ing 21 yards to the end zone for a 31-24 vic­tory.

The Vik­ings erased a 10point deficit in the se­cond half to tie the score at 20. But with about five min­utes left in the fourth quar­ter, Pey­ton Man­ning re­sponded by en­gi­neer­ing a nine­play, 55-yard drive that ended with a 39-yard field goal. Aforced fum­ble and re­cov­ery by Den­ver sealed a 23-20 win.

A high­light-reel, 75-yard touch­down catch by Em­manuel San­ders mid­way through the fourth quar­ter was fol­lowed by a Cleve­land field goal to tie it up. But a 34-yard field goal by Bran­donMcManus capped 13-play, 72yard drive in over­time for the 2623 win.

With Brock Osweiler steer­ing the ship, the Bron­cos racked up 433 to­tal yards while hold­ing the Pa­tri­ots to 39 yards rush­ing. But it took an ex­tra pe­riod and a 48-yard touch­down run up the left side­line by C.J. An­der­son for Den­ver to hand New Eng­land its first loss of the sea­son, 30-24.

A 39-yard touch­down run by An­der­son in the fourth quar­ter gave the Bron­cos their first lead, 17-14. But that was fol­lowed by a Ben­gals field goal that sent the game to over­time. McManus’ 37-yard field goal capped a 14-play, 61-yard Den­ver drive, and DeMar­cus Ware fol­lowed with a fum­ble re­cov­ery to close out a 20-17 win.

Man­ning re­turned from a foot in­jury in the se­cond half to steady the Bron­cos’ of­fense, but San Diego re­gained con­trol at 2017 with about 13min­utes left in the fourth quar­ter. McManus tied it with a field goal, then safety Shiloh Keo in­ter­cepted a pass to set up a game-win­ning, 23-yard touch­down run by Ron­nie Hill­man. Bron­cos 27, Charg­ers 20.

The Bron­cos trailed 13-12 to start the fourth quar­ter, but a forced fum­ble­byWare an­drecov­ery­byRoby set up a go-ahead, 1-yard touch­down­run by An­der­son with three min­utes re­main­ing. McManus sealed Den­ver’s 23-16 win with a field goal.

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