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Denver Broncos vs Pittsburgh Steelers - NFL Week 2
September 20, 2020
1:00 PM ET
About the Broncos
QB Drew Lock came close to winning his 1st game as a full-time starter as they lost to the Tennessee Titans by 2 points. Lock was without his top WR as Courtland Sutton sat out with a shoulder injury. Lock did a good job spreading the ball around and was able to sustain drives. RB Melvin Gordon got most of the work in the backfield while RB Phillip Lindsay exited the game with a turf toe injury. His status for this week’s game is uncertain. Second-year TE Noah Fant had 5 catches for 81 yards and a TD. Usually, a safe bet to win at home, the Broncos lost a Week 1 home game for the 1st time in their last 8 tries. The Broncos must do a better job of stopping the run as they allowed 130 yards rushing to the Titans. The Broncos can help their chances of winning by creating turnovers on defense and preventing them on offense especially against an opportunistic Steeler defense.
About the Steelers
This Steelers defense played like the Steel Curtain of old as they held Pro Bowl RB Saquon Barkley to only 6 yards rushing and harassed QB Daniel Jones al night. QB Ben Roethlisberger made his long-awaited return and stated that he” came back to play for his teammates”. He looked a bit rusty at first but eventually got it together and start playing like the Roethlisberger of old throwing for 229 yards and 3 TDs. RB Bennie Snell ran wild as he got most of the workload in the wake of Conner’s injury. Snell accumulated 113 yards on 19 touches nearly averaging 6 yards a carry. WR Juju Smith-Schuster scored 2 TDs but will have his work cut out for him against CB Bryce Callahan. CB A.J. Bouye suffered a shoulder injury and is expected to be sidelined for a few weeks. On defense, the Steelers will have to shut down the Broncos running game and force the Broncos into 3rd and long situations which will allow the Steelers talented LB’s T.J. Watt and Bud Dupree to thrive.
Players to Watch
Jerry Jeudy (Broncos): Jeudy had a good NFL debut with 4 catches and 56 yards but was uncharacteristically plagued by dropped passes but showed a penchant for getting open and creating separation between him and the defender.
T.J. Watt (Steelers): Watt was all over the field for the Steelers against the Giants with 1 interception, 2 passes defended, and 1 tackle for loss as he can disrupt the passing game with an aggressive pass rush.
Alex Highsmith (Steelers): Highsmith didn’t do much in his NFL debut, but fits the profile of the prototypical Steelers LB.
Michael Ojemuda (Broncos): Ojemuda will be a good CB in the Broncos system for years with his physicality, instincts, ball skills, and competitiveness.
Key Statistic: The Steelers had 2 takeaways in their game against the Giants. They lead the NFL in that category with 38 last season.
This should be a back and forth defensive battle. This game will come down to which QB can make a play late in a game, and Roethlisberger has the playmakers on the offensive side of the ball to get it done.
Final Score: Steelers 24 / Broncos 17