TEM’s Wild Card Weekend Preview: Pittsburgh Steelers vs Denver Broncos

Denver is the Mile-High City. Its also the home of Tebowmania. Tebowmania will definitely be tested this weekend when the Pittsburgh Steelers, complete with their fans bearing terrible towels, invade Denver.

QB Ben Roethlisberger(4077 yards, 21 TDs, 90.1 passer rating) has been the model of a toughness this year. He's broken his nose, sprained his ankle and had other assortments of injuries over the years and he still has played in games. He's the unquestioned leader of the Steelers offense. This year he's gotten the chance to pass the ball a whole bunch more. WRs Mike Wallace(72 receptions, 1193 yards, 8 TDs) and Antonio Brown(69 receptions, 1108 yards, 2 TDs) have been explosive all year for him. But the key for the Steelers is the running game in my opinion. With leading running back Rashard Mendenhall(928 yards, 9 TDs) injured and out for the post-season, expect RB Isaiah Redman and RB John Clay to get the bulk of the carries. These guys must fill in well for Mendenhall. That will allow Big Ben opportunities to hit the Broncos up for the big play due to Denver having to respect the run. If they don't, that puts it all on Big Ben's shoulders. An immobile Big Ben throwing a ton of passes with the likes of rookie LB Von Miller(11.5 sacks) and LB Elvis Dummervil(9.5 sacks) lurking isn't a good recipe for a victory.

QB Tim Tebow(1729 yards, 12 passing TDs, 72.9 passer rating) hasn't exactly lit the world on fire with his statistics. But, for what he hasn't done statistically, he more than has made up for in intangibles like leadership and clutch play. But clutch play can only lead you so far. Tebow must get back to valuing the football and doing the things that made him successful. One of the things that helped him was the success of the running game. RB Willis McGahee(249 yards, 1199 yards, 4 TDs) found the fountain of youth this year and he must be effective in keeping the Broncos offense on schedule. If they fall into unfavorable down and distance situations, then the advantage goes to the Steelers. And with OLB James Harrison and S Troy Palamalu lurking on the Steelers defense, that's a scary proposition for Tebow. Another thing that helped Tebow was being smart with the football. Tebow must make the throws to players like WR Eric Decker(44 receptions, 612 yards, 8 TDs) when they are open and throw it away when those plays aren't there.

All in all, this game will be ugly. I expect points to be at a premium. And in a game where points are at a premium, I trust the team that has more offense. Big Ben and the Steelers win this game in a close one.
Prediction: Pittsburgh 20, Denver 13

3 Responses

  1. DallahSmith

    Big Ben has to play big in his limited opportunities but the Steelers Defense has to control the game for Big Ben I Got Steelers Defense making example of Tebows Area Of Growth

  2. The Broncos’ defense will take advantage of a Steelers team battered with injuries. Tebow will pull it out in the end. Broncos win.

    • If the Broncos are off schedule like they have been the last few weeks, then the Steelers will take advantage of them. I like Tebow, but this isn’t a good matchup for him at all.

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