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Daily Madden: Playoff Openers Set Up Compelling NFL Matchups

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Frank Gore #21 of the San Francisco 49ers runs against the New Orleans Saints during an NFL game at Candlestick Park on September 20, 2010 in San Francisco, California. (Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

Frank Gore #21 of the San Francisco 49ers runs against the New Orleans Saints during an NFL game at Candlestick Park on September 20, 2010 in San Francisco, California. (Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

JohnMadden01-228 John Madden
John Madden began his pro football coaching career in 1967 as t...
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SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – After a regular season-ending slump, the Denver Broncos and quarterback Tim Tebow surprised the Pittsburgh Steelers with a stunning performance to win Sunday‘s wildcard playoff game.

“Tebow hadn’t been playing well,” John Madden told the KCBS morning crew. “I didn’t think he would go into that game with a lot confidence. But he did go in with a lot of confidence.”

The Broncos won the game in the first play of overtime, an 80 yard pass and dash, with Tebow hitting Demaryius Thomas running a pattern across the middle.

“It was a heck of a call,” Madden said. “To stop the (Tebow) option, you would involve your safeties… In doing that you leave the middle of the field open… and then boom, (the Broncos) just go inside and hit it.”

It was one of five passes Tebow completed for 30 yards or more. Madden said he’s not surprised an inconsistent passer like Tebow could connect on so many deep passes.

“Just knowing Tebow and the nervous energy that he has, he’s going to be a good deep passer early in his career before he really develops the touch stuff,” said the former coach.

The New Orleans Saints will face the 49ers this weekend after beating Detroit 45-28 Saturday.

“It was great offense and (quarterback) Drew Brees was great and the Saints were, but boy that was terrible defense led by terrible tackling,” Madden said. “I kind of hope we’re not going in that direction in football. I say this with all due respect to the teams, but I don’t like those kind of games where they don’t even punt.” (8:45)

Listen to the John Madden segment live weekday mornings at 8:15 on KCBS All News 740 AM/106.9 FM.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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