Steelers vs. Broncos Preview

January 02, 2012 | Michael Schwartz

The Denver Broncos lucked out in the last week of the season and made the playoffs even though they lost to the Chiefs. The Broncos are led by quarterback Tim Tebow and he was 7-4 as the starter this year. It seems that his luck is running out, because they have lost their last three games.
This week they play the Pittsburgh Steelers who clinched the five seed since Baltimore won their game. The Steelers are very banged up on both sides of the ball. Roethlisberger, Mendenhall, and the offensive line are not 100 percent. Roethlisberger is moving around better on his ankle but Von Miller and Elvis Dumervil will be coming for him the whole game. Mendenhall likely has a torn ACL according to ESPN. Issac Redman will have to be very productive because the Broncos defense is very good in pass defense.
The Steelers offensive line has been banged up all year. This does not bode well for them since Denver has a very good pass rush. Pouncey is the leader of the offensive line and if he gets hurt, again, then they will have a tough time in this game. Either way, this offensive line is not 100 percent.
The Broncos have had a rough last few weeks on the offense. Tim Tebow has not been taking care of the ball and that is why they won six in a row earlier in the year. He is fumbling a lot lately and the Steelers will likely expose him for that. James Harrison is healthy and he will be coming off the edge, but Woodley is injured. He is a great compliment to Harrison but if he is not in then they don’t get as much pressure.
The Steelers are coming off of wins versus the Browns and the Rams. Their game versus the Browns ended 13-9. Beating the Browns by four is not how you want to end the year. That is a team that the Steelers should have killed but they didn’t. This shows that if they play a good defense then it is very difficult for them to win.
I think that this will be a very defensive game. The Steelers are not going to be able to throw effectively because of the Broncos pass rush. They will have to rely on Issac Redman and he hasn’t played too much this year. The Steelers will have to contain Tebow, but they like to go after the quarterback and Tebow escapes pressure well. If he can make one miss, then he will tuck and run, and that leads to big gains. The Steelers will also have to deal with Willis McGahee who had over 1,000 rushing yards this season. If Tebow can make some good passes to Decker, Thomas, or Royal then the Steelers are in trouble. The Broncos have very fast receivers and the Steelers secondary is susceptible to big plays.
Prediction: 17-13 Broncos