There were 12 seconds left. The Patriots had just scored a touchdown and, because of a missed extra point earlier in the game, were down by two points instead of one. DeMarcus Ware had put it all out there all game long and was very much responsible for what would seem like an endless amount of hits on Tom Brady.
But now he's gassed. He's played long enough to know that if he can't go full speed, he will just be a detriment. Especially against the Patriots.
Kubiak had previously said that he wasn't going to play the last down without DeMarcus Ware so when it came up after the game, Ware explained exactly what happened.
"I was so tired," he admitted. "I think there was 12 seconds left and I just ran off the field. They were like, 'DeMarcus can you go one more play?' I looked at them like, '(panting and breathing heavy) I can't. I can't go.'"
Gary Kubiak wasn't hearing it, though. He knew that Ware gave the Broncos the best chance to win and he was dead-set on him being out there.
Ware continued, "They said, 'What if we call timeout?' I said, 'Don't even worry about it,' and I just ran out there on the field."
Ware heard the pleading from his coaches and wasn't going to let them down at the very end.
"I went back out there on the field and all of the sudden they called a timeout and I said, 'They got my back,'" he explained.
The timeout was to let DeMarcus catch his breath but it ended up showing him much more.
Ware will play in the first Super Bowl of his heralded career a few weeks from now.