Broncos legend Champ Bailey talks about the play that defined his Hall of Fame career
Champ Bailey had a long and very successful NFL career. The cornerback spent his first five seasons with the Washington Redskins before spending his last 10 with the Denver Broncos. Over that career, he made a lot of plays and shut a lot of opposing wide receivers down.
The play in question came on January 6, 2004. It was against the New England Patriots in the AFC Divisional Round of the playoffs. Denver was up 10-6 as the third quarter was coming to an end. However, New England was knocking on the door – just five yards away from a touchdown.
Bailey jumped a pass by Tom Brady and took the ball nearly all the way – getting tackled at the one. Denver ended up scoring on a one-yard touchdown run by Mike Anderson – giving them a 17-6 lead.
This made all the difference in the world as it kept the momentum on the side of the Broncos instead of shifting to the Patriots – which is clearly where it was headed.
That’s the kind of cornerback Bailey was. He could make the big play whenever needed. However, he wasn’t just someone that banked on jumping routes – the Georgia product could lockdown anyone lined up opposite of him and tended to give quarterbacks nightmares.
It’s no surprise Champ Bailey is headed to the Hall of Fame. He’s one of the greatest to ever do it at the cornerback position. That’s why when asked about his defining play, he wasn’t sure there was one at first. There were so many great plays to pick from – how could he chose just one. That being said, it’s hard to top picking off Tom Brady in the end zone in a playoff win.