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Jack Dempsey, Associated Press
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) and Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow (15) meet at midfield after an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 18, 2011, in Denver. New England won 41-23.

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — The usually even-tempered Champ Bailey admonished his team after an aggravating performance against Tom Brady and the New England Patriots.

His rebuke was out of frustration and maybe a twinge of fear.

After all, Bailey certainly doesn't want to experience yet another late-season collapse.

The Denver Broncos are not only chasing their first playoff spot in six seasons, but also fighting recent history.

For the third time in four years, the team has taken an 8-5 record into the final three weeks of the season. Twice before, the Broncos failed to make the postseason.