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“They had about four to five minutes of bad football toward the end of that game that cost them. A lot,” former Broncos great Terrell Davis said of Denver’s latest playoff heartbreak. “It was like one decision after another after another. And so now you have to say, `Listen, if we ever get back into that situation, we’re going to do something different.’

“And that’s what we did. We knew we were the better team _ we weren’t that day against Jacksonville _ but we just tell ourselves that nobody could stop us if we don’t stop ourselves. And that’s the way we would play.”

Hall of Fame tackle Gary Zimmerman put off retirement for a year so he could make amends in 1997 after the loss to the Jaguars, keeping the defeat fresh in his mind as motivation.

“That was embarrassing. It was, you could use every adjective. It devastated me because I thought (a win) was going to happen. I had gone my whole career, had never been there, I thought this was it, I could retire, be happy. And then it didn’t happen. We came back the following year, we went through so many obstacles, went in as a wild card, nobody gave us a chance, we fight our way to the Super Bowl,” Zimmerman said.

“So, I think they’ll be really poised for some adversity this year. If some adversity hits them, it won’t be anything compared to what hit them last year. I think this will be a positive for them in the long run for them, as it was for us.”

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AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

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Follow Arnie Melendrez Stapleton on Twitter: http://twitter.com/arniestapleton