When the game is big — and they don't get much bigger than when a victory guarantees the playoffs while a defeat means potentially missing the postseason — nothing about the process matters. Not even a pick-six. It's all about the outcome.
On Wednesday at Dove Valley, Broncos coach Mike Shanahan mentioned a botched fumble call in the 2006 regular-season finale against the San Francisco 49ers that arguably cost Denver a playoff spot.
The Broncos made it through 14 games with its offensive line intact, yet they began preparations Wednesday for Sunday's game against Buffalo without two starters. Left tackle Ryan Clady missed practice with an ankle injury suffered in the final minutes of Sunday's loss to Carolina, while right guard Chris Kuper was held out because of a broken bone in his left hand.
The Broncos will likely face Buffalo quarterback Trent Edwards, who said Wednesday he is hopeful he will make his first start since injuring his groin three weeks ago.
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"It's a big game," Broncos quarterback Jay Cutler said Wednesday as preparation began for a contest Sunday against the visiting Buffalo Bills that would vault Denver into the playoffs with a victory.
Broncos center Casey Wiegmann was oh, so close to being named to the AFC's Pro Bowl team earlier this week, but having been selected as a first alternate, he won't get to go unless one of the two centers named to the team - the Titans' Kevin Mawae or the Jets' Nick Mangold - can't play because of injury.
This week will present the biggest game ever in the careers of many of the Denver Broncos’ young players
On paper, a chilly forecast should help the Broncos as they try to lock up their first AFC West championship in three years on Sunday.
Broncos right guard Chris Kuper got his left hand stuck in a facemask against Carolina, fracturing a finger in the fourth quarter and leaving the game. Rookie left tackle Ryan Clady twisted his ankle on the final play.