Pittsburgh Steelers at Denver Broncos Recap

So, who wants to talk about the Denver Defense?  That’s the big story coming out of the Denver Broncos and Pittsburgh Steelers game right?  Its not?  Alright, we’ll mention that Peyton Manning returned to football after 20 months away, and that he looked like Peyton Manning from 20 months ago.  Peyton was efficient and totally in control of the offense, going 19 of 26 for 253 yards and 2 scores.  Manning’s stat line is not earth shattering, but it did not need to be.  Keeping himself under control while maintaining a quick pace, no huddle approach, Peyton led the Broncos offense at level Denver fans could never have seen a year ago.  Demaryius Thomas showed up with a giant 71 yard screen that he torched the Steelers defense for a touch down, bring up memories of last years playoff victory.  The Denver rushing game looked stagnant, as to be expected against a vicious Steelers run defense.  Head Coach John Fox moved Knowshon Moreno up to the #2 running back on the depth chart, and Moreno rewarded his coach with a seven yard TD run in the first quarter.  Manning’s second TD came on an audible called inside the two yard line, the change had Jacob Tamme on a quick out to the corner of the end zone, where Manning found him immediately.

For the Steelers, Ben Roethlisberger did everything he could to keep Peyton on the bench.  Big Ben completed just over 50% of his passes for 245 yards and 2 TD’s (Mike Wallace and Heath Miller), however he threw a crucial interception in the 4th quarter that free agent acquisition Tracy Porter returned 43 yards for a score, with under 3 minutes remaining.  More surprising than Denver’s rush be stifled was the ineptitude of the Steelers running game.  Pittsburgh amassed just 75 yards on 26 attempts (2.9 ypc).  The Steelers defense played very well against a face paced Denver offense, however that mystical Peyton Manning magic was in full force, and the Black and Gold were left gasping in the thin Denver air.  Roethlisberger was sacked 3 times, twice by Von Miller, in the final drive of the game for Pittsburgh.

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