When the Denver Broncos host the San Diego Chargers in the divisional round of the NFL playoffs Sunday afternoon, it will be a game with two shaky defensive units. Both teams have earned skepticism due to their inability to stop their opponents.
The Chargers are actually getting the benefit of the doubt a bit more than the Broncos because they are the hottest team in the league. As for the Broncos, they need somebody to step up and make big plays on a defense that is without star pass rusher Von Miller.
How about Hall of Fame cornerback Champ Bailey? Relegated to a nickel role before the playoffs, Bailey is determined to show the league that he’s still got it. He spoke to Mark Kiszla of the Denver Post about his mindset earlier this week:
“I’ve listened to the radio. I’ve read the newspaper. And I’ve heard all these things: ‘He’s done. He’s lost a step. Yada, yada, yada…It’s funny. Because those people don’t know me, they don’t understand me, and they don’t know what it takes to play in the NFL. So I took it all in stride. But it’s all motivation. I used every little thing I heard as motivation.
Did I ever think I was done? Hell, no.”
When asked about the lingering foot injury that kept him out for much of the 2013 regular season, Bailey said:
I’m not going to cry about it. It was bad. But I feel good now, and I’m ready to go.”
Peyton Manning isn’t the only Bronco who seeks redemption today. Bailey was a mess in last year’s loss to the Baltimore Ravens, and he will try to make up for that today against the Chargers.