Steelers vs. Broncos: Tim Tebow Has Enough Magic Left for AFC Wild Card Victory

Andre KhatchaturianCorrespondent IIIJanuary 6, 2012

DENVER, CO - JANUARY 01:  Quarterback Tim Tebow #15 of the Denver Broncos rushes witht the ball against the Kansas City Chiefs at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on January 1, 2012 in Denver, Colorado. The Chiefs defeated the Broncos 7-3 as the Broncos advanced to the AFC playoffs.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Let's just assume for a minute that Tim Tebow's pastor's comments from earlier this season regarding the Broncos' success being because of God's favor are true. 

Doesn't it seem like everything is lining up in Tebow's favor?

He gets a home playoff game against a Pittsburgh Steelers team that has their quarterback and several other key players banged up.

Ben Roethlisberger has been playing hurt pretty much all year and he looked pedestrian in a recent Monday night loss at San Francisco. If he plays the way he did that night, the Denver Broncos will certainly be able to keep it close.

It's not just Big Ben, though. Maurkice Pouncey seems to have re-injured himself, and who knows how he'll feel come game time. The defending AFC champions will also be missing Rashard Mendenhall and Ryan Clark, who has a blood condition that makes it hard for him to play in high altitudes.

What a break, right? 

Maybe Tebow's pastor was on to something. If there was any way the Broncos were going to have a chance against a tough-as-nails team like the Steelers, it would be if the Steelers were hurt and the Broncos were at home.

This is exactly what the scenario will be come Sunday afternoon. 

With the Steelers struggling to move the ball recently, all the Broncos have to do is keep it close until late in the game when Tebow's magic can come alive. There is no reason to believe he can't do it this week, when he's done it so many times this season.

Most of Tebow's comebacks have been against teams that were at a major disadvantage. 

When he came back to beat the New York Jets, they were coming off three days worth of rest after a Sunday Night Football game against New England. They pretty much only had one day to practice before they played the Broncos on a Thursday at Denver.

Tebow's comeback against the Chicago Bears was against Caleb Hanie, not Jay Cutler. And his comeback against the Minnesota Vikings came against an extremely banged-up secondary.

So Tebow has had a lot of breaks. He's getting them again against the Steelers this weekend. 

This makes it all the more likely that the Broncos will upset the Steelers this Sunday.

It's going to be a dreadful watch and an ugly game, with two teams that have struggled to move the ball all season in a cold environment. This is exactly what Tebow and the Broncos want. They don't care how they do it, they just want to win.

Since Denver knows that Pittsburgh will have difficulty moving the ball, they can play the game conservatively and run the ball more throughout the game. Tebow won't have to throw the ball as much and this means that the Broncos will limit turnovers.

If they can get help from their defense against Roethlisberger, who has turned the ball over 19 times this season, and get good field position, it may very well turn into a field-goal contest. That's a huge advantage for the Broncos in the thin air at Mile High. With Matt Prater as the Broncos kicker, one can say that Denver would probably jump joyously at the opportunity of a field-goal contest with the Steelers.

All of this being said, the Steelers should win this game. They are defensively the better team, and Ben Roethlisberger is going to have enough in his tank to beat an overrated Broncos defense. A lot has been made of the Broncos defense recently, but they're ranked in the bottom half of the league. 

The Steelers have enough offensive threats to get the job done and win. Isaac Redman, the backup running back for the Steelers, is no slouch. Last week he ran for 92 yards and scored a touchdown against the Cleveland Browns.

Sure, it was against Cleveland, and they have the 30th-ranked rushing defense, but Denver isn't that much better. Their rushing defense is ranked 22nd in the league. Pittsburgh should be able to move the ball on the ground.

Also, never discount Hines Ward, Mike Wallace and Heath Miller. All three of them are prime offensive targets. They're a lot more talented and experienced than anyone the Broncos have at the skill positions. 

But don't be surprised if the banged-up Steelers struggle to move the ball and the Broncos win in a field-goal contest with an ugly score of 13-6. They're in a little bit of a rut, and if Big Ben's condition is not up to par, then why can't Denver pull off another miracle?