Thomas, who didn't play in the first matchup against the Patriots because of a knee injury, finished with six catches for 76 yards Sunday, but none was longer — or bigger — than his 21-yarder.
"Third-and-17 was the play of the game," Elway said. "We had to pick it up, keep the chains moving, keep them off the field and not give them a chance and so that's where it was tremendous. The offensive line did a great job of protecting Peyton, Julius Thomas made a great catch dragging his feet on the sideline.
"But who knows where the game goes if we don't make that play? Those are the types of plays you have to make in playoff football to be able to advance."
And make the most of second chances.