What Was the Betting Line on the Denver vs. Green Bay Game?

The Denver Broncos took on the Green Bay Packers in an epic comeback victory that went down in history as one of the greatest comebacks ever. The game itself was a classic, with a lot of memorable moments, but none more so than perhaps when the score was tied at 28-28 in the final seconds. On that last play of the game, the Broncos had the ball at their own 40-yard line, with no time left on the clock.

It was fourth-and-5 at the time, and it was also the final play of the game. Fortunately for the fans who were there and for historians, the SportsBetting blogosphere, and Twitterverse, the play-by-play man for the game was kind enough to document the final seconds for posterity. Thanks to Adam Vinatieri for that wonderful opportunity!

After three quarters of action, the score was tied at 28-28. The excitement of a packed 105,000-strong crowd at Sports Authority Field at Mile High was palpable. It was clear that whichever team scored the next touchdown would win the game. In fact, the winner of the matchup would go on to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl.

The tension was so high you could have cut it with a knife. On the ensuing kickoff, the Packers’ Mason Crosby returned the ball 89 yards for a touchdown, giving Green Bay a 30-28 lead.

As we know, the road to the Super Bowl is never easy, and the Broncos had quite the ride, rallying from 19 points down to win the game and advance to the biggest party of the year. The epic comeback was fueled by a historic rally from a fourteenth-point deficit at the half, capped by a fifty-three-yard field goal by the Broncos’ Peyton Manning with thirty-four seconds left on the clock. The Broncos overcame a fourteenth-point deficit in the second half to stun the fans, and win the game outright!

The Stats

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of the game, let’s take a quick look at some of the statistics that give it its uniqueness. 

From a quantitative standpoint, this was the highest-scoring game in NFL history. The combined score was 57-53, a whopping 10-point victory for the Broncos. It also marked the highest-scoring game in NFL history (57 points) and the biggest comeback in NFL history (14 points). From a betting perspective, the over/under was set at 57.5 points, making this game more interesting than most conventional games. In fact, the over/under was set at 59 points, the highest of any game this year, so there was plenty of action to go around!

Manning Vs. Rodgers

Another interesting fact about this game is that it pitted two of the greatest quarterbacks of all time against each other. The consensus is that this was arguably the greatest matchup of the season, and it lived up to the hype.

Going into the game, there were a lot of people who picked the Packers, largely due to their reputation as an elite quarterback franchise. Despite his MVP award, there were also a lot of doubters out there who thought that Manning was the better quarterback. Interestingly, when you look at the NFL stats, you don’t find that either of them is particularly elite. In fact, Manning led all quarterbacks in touchdowns this year (29), while Rodgers topped the stat sheet in passing yards (4,533).

Ultimately, this game was close, but it definitely went to the better quarterback. Manning was magnificent in the second half, orchestrating an entire comeback and helping the Broncos put the game away. At the end of the day, all we can say for certain is that it was an amazing game, full of memorable performances.

The Location

The game was played in Denver, which means that the players sweated out the heat, but loved the altitude. Mile High is at 12,000 feet, which is considerably higher than sea level. This, coupled with the dry heat, makes for very different conditions. The thin air is good for the athletes, giving them an edge in performance. The extreme temperatures also caused some logistical headaches for the teams and the league, with very limited driving and flying conditions. Teams had to be parked far away from the airport, which added an element of frustration to the travel arrangements. Nonetheless, the NFL has been to Denver before, and they know how to deal with the heat, so it wasn’t all bad.

The Weather

On the day of the game, the temperature was a relatively comfortable 62 degrees, with sunny skies and light winds. This was nearly eleven degrees higher than average, but not exceptionally so. The only bad weather that day was a little rain near the end of the first half, which didn’t impact the performance of either team. The second half was played in glorious conditions, so it’s safe to assume that this game would have been played even if it was raining cats and dogs outside!

The Atmosphere

The atmosphere at Sports Authority Field at Mile High was electric, as ESPN commentator Tom Jackson described it, “…there’s a buzz in the stadium that you don’t necessarily feel when you’re watching TV or listening to the radio broadcast. You really feel it in the seats, in the stadium.” While there was a definite buzz in the stadium, this was probably due more to the fact that it was October and the air is cold even in Denver than it was to any pregame excitement. Nonetheless, this was quite an atmosphere for an NFL game. The fans were there, they were loud, and they were proud. The team had just won a heart-stopping game that could have gone either way, and they had done it on their own terms. In the end, it didn’t matter which team won. The excitement of a win is enough to satisfy anyone.

The Final Score

Thanks to Adam Vinatieri for putting this game on film for us. As mentioned earlier, this was a very exciting game, with a lot of memorable moments. The most iconic one has to be when the score was tied at 28-28 in the final seconds. With 4:34 left on the clock, Manning took the snap and found himself in a one-on-one situation with rookie corner Sam Shields. Manning threw a perfectly thrown ball that Shields seemed to have trouble with. The ball went through his hands, and then bounced out of bounds, giving the Broncos one more chance at a comeback. On the ensuing kickoff, Manning’s favorite target, Demaryius Thomas, hauled in the ball and ran it 69 yards for a touchdown, giving the Broncos a stunning 39-38 victory.

The comeback capped a fifty-three-yard field goal by Manning with thirty-four seconds left on the clock, a play he has hailed as one of the best of his career. An impressive display from a physical standpoint, as well as from a team standpoint. It was an emotional win, with fans giving Manning an ovation that lasted several minutes. This wasn’t a fluke win by any means, as the Broncos had been battling through some tough times, including multiple quarterback injuries. Nonetheless, they had managed to stay afloat and fight their way back to win the game against all odds. The win put an exclamation point on a successful season, and fans showed their appreciation by showering Manning with tons of coins!

This was an amazing game, full of all the classic elements you would expect from an NFL game, but with several unforgettable surprises, making for an unpredictable outcome. However, regardless of the final score, this was still an amazing game, and it will be remembered for a very long time.