Tough Enough? Mentally Tough Broncos vs Physically Tough Steelers

There are many sport cliches, one of the most commonly used in football is, the game is 50% physical and 50% mental. In a whirlwind that was the 2011 NFL season, the 8-8 Tim Tebow-led Denver Broncos will host the 12-4 Pittsburgh Steelers.

Both teams, like any, are defined by the man at the quarterback position. While the Steelers are hurting (Rashard Mendenhall is out with a torn ACL, Roethlisberger has a sprained ankle but will play, and Ryan Clark is out with a blood illness) they have always been a physically tough team. If one player is out, the replacement is more than ready to make an impact. Yes, that includes Charlie Batch.

The Broncos aren’t your average Cinderella story. They’re your always-talked, always-hyped, not-always-loved, story. For that reason you can thank their quarterback, Tim Tebow. For someone who has “horrible mechanics” he sure has the will to win, something you can’t teach. As of now I will eat my words and say I hated on Tebow, I disliked him, I couldn’t stand his ways. The only ways I’ve seen from him in this season are winning, love, and determination. No one can hate those ways.

Tim Tebow, two time-BCS National champion, what some experts call “horrible mechanics”, he has six come-from-behind fourth quarter or overtime wins in his 11 career starts (most ever in that span), playing in one of the nastiest divisions in football (always rough Raiders, Arrowhead stadium isn’t very friendly, and San Diego is usually a tough team to face).

Ben Roethlisberger, two-time Super Bowl champion, one of the biggest quarterbacks in the game, has a 500 yard+ passing game in his career, playing in the toughest division in the AFC (three out of four teams in the AFC North made the playoffs).

The tale of two teams will truly be won on the offensive side and this time, the quarterback will get all the glory. Both defenses are physically tough with veteran leaders at the safety position (Brian Dawkins and Troy Polamalu). You certainly should not expect a high-scoring game in this one. What you can expect is two quarterbacks giving everything they have, one hated on, one injured, leaving everything out there here on the field in the first playoff game.

It truly win is or go home, and if Tebow decides to pull off yet another great winning performance, what will we say then? Only time will tell. Is the winner the more mentally tough team or the more physically tough team?

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