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Mundy: Don't blame Taylor for Steelers' OT loss to Broncos

  • By NFL.com Wire Reports
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The Denver Broncos won the overtime coin toss, and Tim Tebow quickly went to work.

One play later, the capacity crowd at Sports Authority Field at Mile High was roaring, and the Pittsburgh Steelers were reeling after a blown pass coverage led to a 29-23 wild-card playoff defeat.

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"NFL Replay" will re-air the Broncos' 29-23 OT win over the Steelers on Wednesday, Jan. 11 at 8 p.m. ET.

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Demaryius Thomas hauled in a play-action pass from Tebow at the Broncos' 38-yard line, stiff-armed Steelers cornerback Ike Taylor and then outraced safety Ryan Mundy to the end zone for the winning, 80-yard touchdown just 11 seconds into the extra session.

"I felt like I probably could have helped Ike out," said Mundy, who was filling in for Ryan Clark as Pittsburgh's leading tackler sat out as a precaution because of a blood disorder that's exacerbated by Denver's altitude. "That's a tough coverage for (Taylor). No help, and my help was late. This game wasn't on Ike. We win as a team, we lose as a team."

Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger had a conversation with Taylor after the game, but he wanted the exact nature of it to remain private.

"I told him I loved him," said Roethlisberger, who played on an injured ankle and went 22-of-44 passing for 289 yards and one TD.

After the game, Taylor congratulated the Broncos on their win while also offering up an apology to Steelers fans.

"I apologize for playing the worst game at the wrong time apologize to my teammates steelernation and family. Luv y'all to def," Taylor wrote on Twitter.

The Tebow-to-Thomas connection denied fans a good look at the NFL's new playoffs overtime rule. Under the new format, which came into play for the first time in this game, each team is guaranteed a possession in overtime -- unless, that is, the team that takes the ball first scores a touchdown.

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"They said, 'We're going to run this play, all you have to do is cross the safety's face,' " said Thomas, like Tebow a 2010 first-round draft pick. "I was walking to the line and saw the safety come down, and I knew, at that time, the play we had called, the only person I had to beat was the corner."

That corner was Taylor, and Thomas did as he planned, making the Steelers the latest victims of Tebow's magic.

"He won. That's all that matters," Steelers safety Troy Polamalu said. "They won, I should say.

"They'll be able to play New England next week (in the divisional round), and that will be a good challenge for them."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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