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Gary Kubiak's bold move bodes well for playoff future

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It's been far too long since a Broncos coach didn't buckle under the pressure. And it led to a Denver Broncos 27-20 victory over the San Diego Chargers.

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

There are times coaches waver.

They get caught off-guard or overthink what needs to happen.

They get lost in the moment, and, instead of being the leader their team needs, they're a deer in the headlights. They take a knee with two timeouts and 30 seconds remaining.

Even the greats fall prey to it. They just can't help it. They cannot get out of their minds no matter what. Oh, the joys of being human and imperfect when perfection is the expectation. It's ironic given they tell their players to not overthink it.

What you're left with is your gut. My grandma always told me to listen to my gut because it never lies.

It sounds simple but also crazy to think a NFL coach could make a huge decision based on a feeling in the pit of his stomach. If it works, he's a genius. If it doesn't, he's a bum.

Gary Kubiak listened to his gut, and it led his team to the AFC West title and the No. 1 seed in the AFC playoffs with a 27-20 win over the San Diego Chargers.

He could tell after the first possession of the second half that resulted in a fifth turnover, his offense and team needed a spark. The Broncos needed some life.

So Kubiak called on the Sheriff. It was a bold, huevos-flaunting move by Kubiak. But he didn't falter. He listened to his gut, knew what needed to happen and did it.

If there are any questions about the coach Denver has in place, they end here. Kubiak proved yet again he will do whatever it takes to win games.

He showed yet again that it's not about one individual but the team. It's about the Broncos.

He showed yet again that it's not about one individual, but the team. It's about the Broncos.

When your head coach shows he will do whatever it takes, the players notice.

What makes it even bolder is Brock Osweiler didn't play bad. The offense committed five turnovers but not a single one was his fault. It showed a complete lack of focus from specific individuals.

To get an idea of how crazy this game was: If half of those turnovers didn't happen, Peyton Manning might not have even played in the game. Denver would have built a comfortable lead, say 24-3, 21-3, and the game would have taken a completely different direction.

The team would be in a different place at halftime and to start the second half. It would be in a different spot as it headed into the bye, namely Osweiler would be the starter. Now it's all but a given Denver goes with Manning in two weeks in the divisional round against either Houston, Kansas City or Pittsburgh.

But as their coach showed, it's not about either one of them. It's about the Broncos. Just as Manning didn't want to take credit for the win when he came in, Osweiler said the greatest aspect of this is "we're a team."

As is the case with the Broncos, they love to make it interesting.

There was more kicking and screaming on Sunday, but it was from the fans. Hey, at least Denver is consistent.

"My gut told me to turn it over to (Manning)," Kubiak told the media after the game. "We are going to enjoy this win (Sunday night)."

Aside from the move by Kubiak, how well the Broncos ran the ball is the story. Regardless of who lines up under center, in the shotgun or pistol, Denver will beat anyone in the playoffs if it runs the ball as it did against the Chargers.

The Broncos finished with 32 carries for 210 yards. You want balance, they gave that too on offense with 31 pass plays. But the key is the running game, and that's a great boost for this offense and offensive line as they head into the playoffs.

It sounds simple but also crazy to think a NFL coach could make a huge decision based on a feeling in the pit of his stomach.

Would it have been nice for Denver to put this game away early in the first quarter? Heck yes. But at the same time, it's not the MO for this team.

Having a coach who doesn't buckle under pressure should give the Broncos even more confidence as they head into the playoffs. This coach won't take a knee.

He knew in his gut what needed to happen and he did it.

When the situation called for a big decision, Kubiak didn't waver.

It's been far too long since that could be said about a Broncos head coach.