Broncos 29, Steelers 23: By the Numbers

Demaryius Thomas

THOMAS: ... set a new playoff standard, as did Tebow.

DENVER – Notable numbers from the nooks and crannies of the Broncos’ 29-23 overtime win over the Pittsburgh Steelers here Sunday:

6-0: Record of teams that carried losing streaks of three games or more into the playoffs but were able to open the postseason at home. The Texans and Broncos became the fifth and sixth teams to win in this fashion with their 31-10 and 29-23 wins over the Bengals and Steelers, respectively.

51.0: Demaryius Thomas’s average per reception, which is the highest single-game average for any pass-catcher with at least three receptions in a game in NFL playoff history. The postseason record belonged to Harold Jackson of the Los Angeles Rams, who caught three passes for 139 yards (a 46.3-yard average) against Minnesota in the 1974 NFC Championship Game.

Thomas also matches the Broncos’ all-time (regular season or poststeason) single-game record for yardage per catch. The standard was set by Rick Upchurch on Sept. 19, 1975; he had three catches for 153 yards against the Kansas City Chiefs.

15.05: Tim Tebow’s average yardage per completion — the highest single-game average for any quarterback with more than 20 passes in NFL postseason history. Pittsburgh’s Terry Bradshaw set the previous standard, averaging 14.71 yards per attempt in Super Bowl XIV on Jan. 20, 1980.

11 seconds: Time it took Thomas to sprint 80 yards for his game-winning touchdown, making it the quickest overtime score in NFL history.

9-18: Record of playoff teams since 2000 that saw their quarterback complete less than 50 percent of his passes (minimum 20) as Tebow did on Sunday. Tebow became the first playoff quarterback to finish below 50 percent since Joe Flacco and Ben Roethlisberger completed 48.5 and 43.3 percent, respectively, of their tosses on a windy night in Pittsburgh for the 2008 AFC Championship.

0: Number of teams in NFL history prior to the 2011 Broncos that scored fewer than 40 second-quarter points and allowed more than 150 second-quarter points in a regular season. Denver was outscored 154-33 in the second quarter this year, an average of 9.6 to 2.1.

20: Points the Broncos scored in the second quarter on Sunday, which was four more than they scored in the last 12 second quarters to close the regular season.

29: Yardage, on five receptions, amassed by Eddie Royal from Weeks 10-17.

30: Yardage of Royal’s second-quarter touchdown reception.

9-0: Denver’s all-time playoff record when scoring more than 27 points.

5-1: All-time playoff record of teams who have a quarterback that throws for 300 or more yards and rushes for at least 50 yards, as Tebow did Sunday. Only San Francisco’s Steve Young lost a postseason game when he met those standards; his 328-yard passing day and 77-yard rushing output was not enough to prevent a 27-17 divisional-playoff loss to the Packers on Jan. 6, 1996.

4-0: New England’s record in Saturday night home playoff games.

0-1: New England’s record in Saturday night playoff games against the Broncos. Denver defeated the Patriots in the prime-time game at what was then known at Invesco Field at Mile High on Jan. 14, 2006 by a 27-13 score.

6-3: John Fox’s playoff record as a head coach, which includes a 3-0 mark in wild-card games, a 2-1 ledger at home, a 4-1 mark on the road and 0-1 record at neutral sites.

1: Playoff games won by the Broncos in the last four seasons.

0: Playoff games won by the Patriots in that same span.

6-1: Denver’s playoff record in blue jerseys and white pants.

3-3: Denver’s playoff record in the current white-on-white uniform with navy blue helmets, dating back to the 1997 postseason.

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About Andrew Mason

Andrew Mason has covered the NFL since 1999, when he worked as an editor on NFL.com when the site was managed by ESPN.com. He worked six seasons (2002-07) covering the Broncos on their official website and two (2008-09) on the Panthers' site. He began MaxDenver.com in 2010 and now contributes to CBSSports.com, The Sporting News and The New York Times.
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4 Responses

  1. THE PASSSING STAT SHOULD READ YARDS PER ATTEMPT RATHER THAN YARDS PER COMPLETION, ALTHOUGH AT 31+ YARDS PER COMPLETION, THAT SEEMS LIKE IT COULD ALSO EASILY BE A RECORD.

  2. Should your last one be 3-3 since 1997? We haven’t played that many playoff games since 2007.

  3. FOR THOSE TRUE BRONCO FANS (NOT JUST GATOR BAIT) YOU HAVE TO LISTEN (on DenverPost.com)TO KOA850 DAVE LOGAN ON THE DEMARYIUS THOMAS WINNING CALL.
    THIS LEAVES YOUR ORANGE AND BLUE HEART PUMPING.

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