Denver Broncos safety T.J. Ward made it clear on Tuesday that his unit isn’t scared of the Pittsburgh Steelers offense, despite their recent streak of 30-plus point games.
“They’re hot because they haven’t played us yet,” Ward said, according to Cameron Wolfe of the Denver Post. “A lot of teams were hot before they played us.”
The Broncos defense has indeed been solid so far this season and they’re certainly expected to be a test for the Steelers offense Sunday at Heinz Field. So far this season, the Broncos defense hasn’t allowed an opponent to score 30 or more points in a single game.
During his Tuesday press conference, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin made sure to praise the Broncos defensive unit which is currently run by defensive coordinator Wade Phillips.
“As you watch the tape, they are the best defense in football,” Tomlin said. “The video bears that out. The statistics bear that out. They are great on the back end. They are great up front. Together, it’s lethal.”
Those statistics point to Broncos only allowing an average of 17.3 points a game so far through 13 games. Additionally, they lead the league in yards allowed per game (272.5) and their 44 total sacks is also tops in the league.
As I wrote on Tuesday, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger might have to once again use a shorter passing game on Sunday against the Broncos as they’ve been great this season at not giving up deep pass completions thanks mostly to their ferocious pass rush.
As for Ward, he should be familiar with Roethlisberger and wide receiver Antonio Brown being as he started his career with the Cleveland Browns.
The Steelers are currently favored by 6-points over the Broncos who lost to the Oakland Raiders this past Sunday. The Steelers offense is currently ranked 5th in the NFL averaging 30.1 points per home game.