25 Most Disappointing 1 Seeds In NFL Playoff History: 10. 2012 Denver Broncos
The 2012 Denver Broncos were one of the best performances of Peyton Manning’s career. He was coming off his major neck injury, and he signed with the Broncos after the Indianapolis Colts decided to move forward with Andrew Luck. They ended Tebow mania early for a future NFL Hall of Famer. Manning threw for 37 touchdowns in his return, and he won the final 11 games of the season with the Broncos. The mixture of a high-powered offense and suffocating defense made the Broncos the favorites in the AFC.
This was the first season of the John Elway era. The franchise was once again in the hands of number 7, and he made major changes right off the bat. The regular-season success says they all worked. It is not easy to win 13 games in the NFL, but there’s a secret about the Broncos 2012 season. They beat up on bad teams, and they usually lost to the good ones.
The Broncos played five playoff teams in 2012 before making the postseason themselves. The Patriots, Falcons, and Texans all beat them. The Ravens and Bengals lost to them. The AFC West was terrible that season, with no team going over .500 after the Broncos, and two teams won four games or less.
The good news for the Broncos was they were facing the Ravens, a team they actually beat, in the postseason. They ended up playing one of the longest games in NFL history. It was just the sixth time a game had gone to double overtime in NFL history. Prior to that, the Broncos and Ravens combined for 70 points. The Ravens got a 70-yard touchdown pass with 41 seconds left in the 4th quarter. That tied the game for the last time. Despite each team scoring touchdowns in every quarter of the game, neither team could score in the first overtime. Just a minute into the second overtime, Justin Tucker hit a 47-yard field goal to end Manning’s first season in Denver disappointed.