Broncos Look To Send Rediscovered Mile High Magic To Atlanta

Written By Ian St. Clair on 11/03/2020 - Last Updated on February 10, 2021

For the first time in five years, Mile High Magic returned to Denver.

Did it ever.

Drew Lock and the Denver Broncos were able to overcome a 24-3 deficit last Sunday to beat the Los Angeles Chargers 31-30. The game-winning KJ Hamler 1-yard touchdown came as time expired.

Wait, it gets even better for Broncos Country.

Lock is only the third quarterback in franchise history to trail by 10 or more points at halftime and be outscored in the third quarter, yet still win the game. Lock joins John Elway, who did it in 1983 against the Baltimore Colts, and Gus Frerotte, who did it against, fittingly, the Chargers in 2000.

Here’s a few more. Hey, it’s been a long five years.

It’s also not everyday that a quarterback gets a win like this.

As Troy Renck points out, Sunday’s win represents the fourth-largest comeback in franchise history, and the largest since Peyton Manning erased a 24-point deficit at San Diego in 2012.

Renck also added that the Lock touchdown to Hamler is just the second game-winning or game-tying touchdown as time expired in the fourth quarter or overtime in franchise history. The last was Elway to Rod Smith on a 43-yard touchdown in 1995.

The question now is: Can Denver build off of this big win?

Broncos at Falcons odds

The sportsbooks live in the CO sports betting market don’t think the Broncos (3-4) can.

Denver opens as at least a 4-point underdog to the host Atlanta Falcons (2-6) on Sunday.

For those betting on the Broncos, here’s something to keep in mind.

Denver is 5-2 against the spread this season.

How the Broncos win on Sunday

The best way for Lock and Denver to build on the win over the Chargers is to feed Phillip Lindsay.

That the key against the Chargers. It’s the key against the Falcons Sunday.

Not until Lindsay’s 55-yard touchdown did the Broncos offense have any life.

That touchdown sparked Denver, and just like Lindsay on that run, it didn’t look back the rest of the game.

It’s yet more evidence that the hometown kid is the heart and soul of the Broncos offense.

So Denver offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur needs to feed Phil the ball.

Confidence booster

The other big factor is how much confidence and energy that win over LA gives Lock and the Broncos.

The last few years, Denver has lost close games like that.

Either with the lead late or needing a score to close out a victory, the Broncos just couldn’t clear that hurdle.

Lock and Denver now have the proof they can win those types of games.

The Broncos also played complementary football. There’s a term that hasn’t been said or seen in a long time, either.

While the Lindsay touchdown sparked the comeback, the Bryce Callahan interception in the endzone was the play that made it happen.

Broncos learning to win again

With how bad the Broncos have been since Manning retired, they had to learn to win again. That says a lot about how far the franchise has fallen the last five years.

The comeback win over the Chargers is another step in the right direction.

Can Denver now take the next few steps and find a way to expand?

That’s the major question heading into Sunday.

Perhaps the return of some Mile High Magic is the harbinger of wins to come.

Photo by AP / Jack Dempsey
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Ian St. Clair

Ian is an award-winning sports journalist and a University of Northern Colorado graduate. He’s a Colorado native and has over a decade of experience covering college and professional athletics. He broke into the gambling industry right as Colorado launched legal sports betting in 2020. Ian now manages the sites for some of the biggest gambling markets in North America and is an analyst for PlayColorado.

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