Steelers rally but fall 29-23 in OT to Broncos

By Pat Graham

Associated Press

Published: Sunday, Jan. 8 2012 12:00 a.m. MST

"We don't live in that world," he said. "We don't make excuses in regards to injuries. The guys we put on the field were capable of doing the job and the reason we didn't do the job is because we didn't perform."

Making his first appearance in the playoffs after going 7-4 as Denver's starter, Tebow outdueled Roethlisberger, a two-time Super Bowl winner, who fell to 10-4 in the playoffs. The Broncos also snapped a three-game losing streak that had many wondering if they were even worthy of their first playoff appearance in six seasons.

Turns out, maybe they were.

"We're just a fighting team — a lot of resilience," cornerback Champ Bailey said. "In any adverse situation, we'll find a way to get out of it.

"Everybody says we backed into the playoffs — we're in. We did something right along the way."

With Tebow leading the way, unorthodox style and all.

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

"They'll be able to play New England next week and that will be a good challenge for them."

Notes: Steelers RB Isaac Redman, filling in for Mendenhall, finished with 121 yards rushing. He nearly scored on a long run, but was brought down at the 1. On the next play, WR Mike Wallace took a handoff from Roethlisberger and coasted into the end zone. ... Pittsburgh was kept from its 34th playoff win, which would have broken a tie with the Cowboys for the most ever. ... Broncos WR Eric Decker was lost to a left knee injury on the first play of the second quarter when he was hit low by LB James Harrison.

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