Ben throws for 300+ yards and Dwyer/Mendy go for 120
Ben throws for 300+ yards and Dwyer/Mendy go for 120
I had a dream about the game last week while on vacation and it came down to the last play with Peyton throwing to the end zone for what I thought was a winning touch down. But then I realized the pass had actually been picked off by... wait for it...... Ryan Clark. That's right, you heard it here first, Clark will play and will have a pick to clinch the Steelers season opening win. Final Score Steelers 24 - Broncos 23.
"They are always talking about Gilbert Brown and nobody could move him. I put him on his back twice"
Know Thy Enemy: Steelers v Broncos
Sep 6th, 2012 by CraigSteelers
Fans are thrilled with Peyton Manning and his performance in the preseason, particularly the last game he played when he went 10-for-22 for 122 yards and 2 touchdowns in less than one quarter of play. He’s connecting with his receivers and brings a ‘win now’ attitude to the team.
Out at training camp, you could hear his voice booming over the practice field, even more so than any of the coaches. His teammates look up to him as a leader and want to play better for him. It’s going to be an exciting season in Denver.
The defense was ranked 20th overall last season yet somehow helped scrap enough wins together for a playoff run. What are the glaring weaknesses this year, and how do you think the team/coaches are addressing this?
The Broncos are weak at linebacker right now. Our leading tackler D.J. Williams is suspended for at least six games, and the team has had to deal with injuries at the position. Veteran newcomer Keith Brooking missed nearly all of training camp with a hamstring injury. Add in some youth at the position, and that’s where you have your biggest question mark.
How did the Broncos do in the offseason with acquisitions and draft picks? Who should we be looking for on Sunday?
Aside from Manning, the team brought WR Brandon Stokley back and added TE Jacob Tamme to give Manning some familiar targets. They also added S Mike Adams and CB Tracy Porter to provide experience in the secondary. Last season, teams would simply throw away from Champ Bailey, and find a wide open man down field. That was a glaring weakness that the team had to address in the off season.
Keep an eye on the Broncos first draft pick from last year, defensive tackle Derek Wolfe. No player moved up the depth chart as much or as quickly as Wolfe. His first preseason game, and he records two sacks. While at Cincinnati, he once took on a triple team against Pittsburgh and forced a fumble. This is a hungry kid who will do the Broncos right in the future.
The Broncos squeak out their first win 24-17 on Sunday night. It will be a close game, but I believe Manning will throw a touchdown late in the game.
Kovacevic: Broncos’ rush will rule the day
Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) scrambles after the ball against Denver Broncos defensive end Elvis Dumervil (92) after a bad snap in the second quarter of an NFL wild card playoff football game Sunday, Jan. 8, 2012, in Denver. (AP)
By Dejan Kovacevic
Published: Thursday, September 6, 2012
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — The headline atop the Denver Post's sports section Thursday was tall enough to be mistaken for the nearby mountain range:
"MANNING ON MARQUEE"
The intermission of Cowboys-Giants the previous night on NBC featured a breathless airing of the network's "exclusive one-on-one with Peyton Manning," who earlier that day gave about two dozen of us what I suppose was an "exclusive one-on-24."
Oh, yeah, it's all Peyton.
He was my first topic upon landing here, too.
But I'll predict he won't be the topic come Sunday night, even as I'll also predict that the Broncos will beat the Steelers.
(Ducks for cover.)
Manning will be blowtorching off 19 months of rusted rivets. The Steelers might not knock him out, but they're experienced and still athletic enough on defense to limit his damage.
Who can say the same for the Steelers limiting the damage of Denver's defensive front seven?
Make no mistake: Those are the guys — not Manning, not Tim Tebow before him, not Willis McGahee, not even the great Demaryius Thomas — who make this team go.
And to hear new defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio after practice Thursday, it's clear he will let them go.
"You've got to get people to Ben, then you've got to actually get him down," Del Rio said. "It's a challenge. It's not easy."
Not for everyone. But Del Rio brings impeccable defensive credentials from Jacksonville, and he'll be able to script plays for two of the NFL's best edge rushers in Von Miller and Elvis Dumervil. They combined for 21 sacks in 2011 — 11 1⁄2 for Miller, 9 1⁄2 for Dumervil — and the team had 41, 10th in the league.
But even that doesn't tell the tale: Dumervil was bugged by injuries early last season and had no sacks in the first two months. Miller had a badly sprained thumb that held him to one sack over the final five games and shrunk his presence in the playoff meeting.
In the four games they played together healthy last season, they combined for 10 sacks.
Now both are healthy.
"I'll tell you this: I have a lot of respect for Marcus Gilbert," Miller said of the Steelers' right tackle, "but I'm looking forward to playing this time with more than one arm."
If that sounds cocky ...
"It's really got nothing to do with the Steelers. We know we've got the ability to get in the backfield against anyone. That's what we're excited about."
No reason they shouldn't be.
Look at the Steelers' line. Maurkice Pouncey is a Pro Bowl center, but he's the only one entering the year asterisk-free.
Max Starks, who has Ben's blind side at left tackle, is coming off major knee surgery and won the job primarily because a rookie, Mike Adams, was hurt.
Ramon Foster was backing up another rookie, David DeCastro, until DeCastro was hurt.
Willie Colon was a tackle and is now a guard.
Gilbert has bounced back and forth from left tackle to right.
Nowhere on a football team is cohesion required more than on an offensive line.
Taking it a step further, if fullback Will Johnson isn't on the field, it'll be up to Isaac Redman, Jonathan Dwyer or — gasp — little Chris Rainey to pick up blitzes.
Sorry, I'm having a hard time getting past this.
Preseason doesn't reveal all, but if the Steelers defend Denver's pass rush like the first-team offense did in exhibitions, Ben will be setting bear traps around his pocket by halftime.
Did I mention Derek Wolfe?
He was the Big East's co-Defensive Player of the Year at Cincinnati last year, then Denver's second-round pick. As an interior lineman with the Bearcats last season, he had 9 1⁄2 sacks and an astounding 21 1⁄2 tackles for a loss.
Wolfe was a beast for the Broncos this preseason, too, with 12 tackles and two sacks.
"It's an honor to be part of a group like this," he said, "but I'm not here just to start. I expect greatness of myself. Our whole line expects that."
So do I.
Broncos 27, Steelers 13.
Tod Haley's offense makes a HUGE difference in Ben remaining upright and creating holes for the running game. And don't forget that they will for the first time in years be able to effectively run a screen pass.
Pittsburgh - 27
Broncos - 17
Yeah, Starks won the LT primarily because Mike Adams was hurt...sure...I guess Dejan didn't see what Adams looked like when he played before getting hurt.Max Starks, who has Ben's blind side at left tackle, is coming off major knee surgery and won the job primarily because a rookie, Mike Adams, was hurt.
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 07, 2012
posted by Dale Lolley
Who I like, Steelers-Broncos
This is an interesting matchup in that Denver will be breaking in 12 new free agent players.
Typically, teams that add that many veteran free agents take some time to gel. Of course, one of those free agents is QB Peyton Manning, so perhaps he will make up for some of those issues.
The Steelers will be without James Harrison and Ryan Clark on defense, which makes them a little vulnerable. But you can bet that Dick LeBeau will come up with something different on his 75th birthday to help make up for who's missing.
The Broncos will be without guard Chris Kuper (arm) and linebacker D.J. Williams (suspension). The absence of Williams is a big one. He's been tough on the Steelers over the years.
I like the Steelers, 24-20.
@ The Steelers finally placed rookie guard David DeCastro on injured reserve on Friday when they signed cornerback DeMarcus Van Dyke.
DeCastro will be eligible to return in eight weeks.
Van Dyke, meanwhile, will be used to help bolster the special teams unit, which was spotty in the preseason.
With that move, the Steelers now have just eight active offensive linemen and 10 defensive backs. That means a move could be coming next week when safety Ryan Clark is ready to play against the Jets.
There's no way the Steelers are comfortable having rookie Kelvin Beachum as one of their active players at this point.