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Old 11-04-2009, 07:55 PM   #1
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Default Sporting News: Broncos 17 Steelers 13

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Pittsburgh at Denver


By Frank Schwab & Gerry Dulac
For Sporting News



This is a battle of two teams trying to show they're for real, but from much different backgrounds. The Broncos came into the season with no expectations, and still had a tough time convincing everyone they were for real during a 6-0 start, even with wins against New England, Dallas and San Diego. Critics were quick to wonder if the 30-7 loss at Baltimore was an accurate predictor for the Broncos in the second half of the season. With a tough schedule still looming Denver can't afford to fall into a slump, and beating Pittsburgh would be another jolt of confidence for the team.

Pittsburgh is 5-2 but trying to prove they are still the same team that won last year's Super Bowl. The Steelers haven't looked particularly dominant in their last three wins against Detroit, Cleveland and Minnesota, and could be fighting some of the championship hangover. Going on the road and beating a 6-1 Denver team would be a sign that they are gearing up to defend their title.

This game could also have ramifications in January. Despite a slip-up this weekend, the Broncos still lead the AFC West by two games, and the Steelers are an obvious contender in the AFC North. New England and Indianapolis will also be in the mix for one of the AFC's two first-round byes, so there's a chance this game could end up determining which team is resting during the first week of the playoffs.

Steelers Keys For Success

1.) Be physical. The Broncos looked as though they were intimidated against the Ravens and their physical style of play. Certainly, they did not match Baltimore's intensity. They will have to do that against the Steelers, who will bring that and more, especially after what they saw the Ravens do to the Broncos.

2.) Make the big play. Ben Roethlisberger leads all quarterbacks who have played seven games with 29 passes of 20 yards or longer, an indication he is not hesitant to attack any coverage over the top. The Broncos, who lead the AFC with 23 sacks, will have to make sure he doesn't have enough time.

3.) Stop the run. That is always a top priority for the Steelers, who haven't allowed a 100-yard rusher in 29 consecutive games (counting playoffs). But that will be especially true against rookie Knowshon Moreno because it will force the Broncos to become one-dimensional and rely on quarterback Kyle Orton.


Broncos Keys For Success

1.) Protect Orton.
The Broncos are likely to pass the ball, given that Pittsburgh's pass defense is ranked much lower than its run defense. The concern with that approach is the Steelers are usually very good at getting pressure on the quarterback, Denver will be without standout right tackle Ryan Harris, and Kyle Orton did not play well when pressured against Baltimore. The Broncos might have to keep some backs or tight ends to help block, which goes against their normal offensive strategy.

2.) Sack Roethlisberger. As long as Ben Roethlisberger is Pittsburgh's quarterback, the Steelers will give up plenty of sacks. Roethlisberger refuses to give up on plays and sometimes holds the ball for a long time. There's a reason -- when the big quarterback can wiggle free he is great at pushing the ball downfield. If the Broncos can't bring down Roethlisberger when they get the chance, they could give up some game-changing plays.

3. Shore up the middle. The Broncos have been stout up the middle all season against the run. Baltimore had some success running up the middle, and the Steelers will probably try to test Denver up the middle as well. Nose tackle Ronald Fields will be healthier after dealing with a hamstring injury the week before playing the Ravens, which will help. Denver has to stop the run and force the Steelers to be one-dimensional.


The Bottom Line

The Steelers seem like a tough matchup for the Broncos, just like the Ravens were. The two AFC North teams do similar things on offense and defense, and Denver was beaten soundly by Baltimore a week ago. But back at home, refocused after their first loss of the season, the Broncos will play better. They have beaten New England and Dallas at home already in close games, and this one will be similar. Denver returns to its dominance in the second half of games and sneaks out another close win in their quest to show they are for real this season.

Scoring prediction: Steelers 13 - Broncos 17


http://www.sportingnews.com/nfl/matc...id=20091109007





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Old 11-04-2009, 08:02 PM   #2
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Old 11-04-2009, 08:19 PM   #3
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**** we're doomed
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Old 11-05-2009, 07:03 AM   #4
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**** we're doomed

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Old 11-05-2009, 12:05 PM   #5
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This game could go either way. Obviously, the Steelers are the better team. But they are coming to Denver, we have a chip on our shoulder, and we play the type of football that will give us a shot no matter who we play. It will all come down to protecting Orton, and executing when it counts on offense. On defense, we need to sack Rothle-something when he tries to get outside the pocket. Either way, it is going to be a great game to watch. Can't wait to see Dawkins hit people again.
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Old 11-05-2009, 12:12 PM   #6
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Ben is DOOMED!!!
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Old 11-05-2009, 12:36 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by McChamp View Post
This game could go either way. Obviously, the Steelers are the better team. But they are coming to Denver, we have a chip on our shoulder, and we play the type of football that will give us a shot no matter who we play. It will all come down to protecting Orton, and executing when it counts on offense. On defense, we need to sack Rothle-something when he tries to get outside the pocket. Either way, it is going to be a great game to watch. Can't wait to see Dawkins hit people again.
Excuse me? Obviously?
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Old 11-05-2009, 12:42 PM   #8
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Yep! he said Obviously.
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Old 11-05-2009, 01:14 PM   #9
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Yep! he said Obviously.
Are you sure it wasn't OBLIVIOUSLY??
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Old 11-05-2009, 01:52 PM   #10
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The Steelers are a weaker team without Polamalu. So..No, it ISN'T obvious that the Steelers are the better team.

Having said that:

Steelers 978
Broncos 2

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Old 11-05-2009, 02:51 PM   #11
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Oh God we are JINXED NOW!!!
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Old 11-05-2009, 03:09 PM   #12
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Old 11-05-2009, 03:43 PM   #13
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The Bengals, Patriots and Cowboys either lead their divisions or tied for the lead...we buried a divisional opponent at their house. I'd say the Broncos are for real.

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Old 11-05-2009, 04:23 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by McChamp View Post
This game could go either way. Obviously, the Steelers are the better team. But they are coming to Denver, we have a chip on our shoulder, and we play the type of football that will give us a shot no matter who we play. It will all come down to protecting Orton, and executing when it counts on offense. On defense, we need to sack Rothle-something when he tries to get outside the pocket. Either way, it is going to be a great game to watch. Can't wait to see Dawkins hit people again.
The keys to beating the Steelers are 3 folds.

1. Orton must be protected. Gotta max protect Kyle with both the HB & FB to counter react the Steeler blitz packages/schemes. Max protect Orton on the intermediate/deep ball and allow 2 WRs and TE to get open.

2. Must improve our running attack/consistency especially with converting 3rd and short. McD needs to use a lead blocking FB alignment for the RB to run behind. Add a new wrinkle by Using a more robust Power/Jumbo package with Jordan and Hillis in the back field. Moreno and Buckhalter haven't exactly proven thru 7 games that either one is the answer to convert 3rd and short.

3. Thus far over 7 games McD deployed a conservative offense game plan. It worked well enough over the first 6 weeks to go 6-0. McD may need to open up the play book and take risk as well as allow Orton to take risks. Can Orton get the job done against the pressure the Steelers are going to bring? Last week Kyle proved he could still manage the game, but the outcome was ZERO TD's and ZERO INT's.

McD must devise and Orton must execute the game plan to MOVE the ball and avoid as many 3 downs and punt as possible. If not, like in the Ravens came last week, the Defense is going to wear down. You leave the Defense out there for too long and you don't want Dawkins (the leader and heart and soul of the Defense) showing his true age anytime soon.
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Old 11-05-2009, 04:33 PM   #15
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The Bengals, Patriots and Cowboys either lead their divisions or tied for the lead...we buried a divisional opponent at their house. I'd say the Broncos are for real.

Beating the Patriots & Cowboys was sweet and I absolutely hate the Bengals, so beating them, especially the way Denver did, was very satisfying to me.....but I'd love to see Denver beat the Steelers.
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Old 11-05-2009, 04:42 PM   #16
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It's encouraging that people are picking Denver in this game. When the season started no body would have given us a chance. My, my ... how things have changed!
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