Quarterback Jay Cutler, with his Elway-like finish, was brilliant. Wide receiver Brandon Marshall, with a franchise record 18 catches, was unstoppable.
But when the Broncos gave out game balls for Sunday’s dramatic and controversial win over San Diego, the first one should have gone to somebody that nobody around the NFL knows.
It should have gone to Denver attorney Harvey Steinberg.
Steinberg was the lawyer who fought for Marshall after he violated the league’s Personal Conduct Policy. Steinberg made sure Marshall’s initial suspension was only three games when it could have been considerably higher.
But then Steinberg appealed the suspension, battled the NFL and ultimately had Marshall’s suspension lowered from three games to one.
Without Steinberg, Marshall doesn’t play Sunday. Without Marshall on Sunday, the Broncos don’t win.
So when the Chargers think back on the big game that got away and sunk them into an 0-2 hole, they can lament how they struggled to control Cutler. They can fret about how they failed to slow down Marshall.
But the man they had no answers for, and they never even saw him coming, was Steinberg, a Denver attorney who could barely run the 40-yard dash, no less finish it.
And this might be another first — a game ball for someone named Steinberg.