The Pittsburgh Steelers enter Week 2 with a 1-0 record following their Monday night road win over the New York Giants and now they’ll quickly turnaround and stat preparing to play the 0-1 Denver Broncos on Sunday at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh. The Steelers began Tuesday as consensus 6.5-point home favorites over the Broncos, according to vegasinsider.com.
The Broncos, who like the Steelers played their Week 1 game on Monday night, lost at home to the Tennessee Titans 16-14. The Broncos led that contest 14-13 late in the fourth quarter but a 25 yard field goal by Titans kicker Stephen Gostkowski with 17 seconds left in regulation couldn’t be overcome.
In the Broncos loss, quarterback Drew Lock completed 22 of his 33 total pass attempts for 216 yards and a touchdown with no interceptions. His lone touchdown pass of the game went to second-year tight end Noah Fant from 9 yards out and late in the first quarter.
As for Fant, he led the Broncos in receiving Monday night with 5 receptions for 81 yards and the touchdown. The Broncos other touchdown scored Monday night was by running back Melvin Gordon midway through the fourth quarter. Gordon rushed for 78 yards against the Titans on 15 carries. He also caught 3 passes from Lock for 8 yards during the contest.
Broncos rookie wide receiver Jerry Jeudy registered 4 receptions for 56 yards in his Monday night NFL debut as part of the Broncos 323 total net yards of offense that they compiled against the Titans.
Defensively for the Broncos in their Week 1 Monday night loss, linebacker A.J. Johnson led the team in total tackles with 12. Outside linebacker Jeremiah Attaochu registered the Broncos only sack of Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill in the contest.
Tannehill, however, passed for 249 yards and two touchdowns against the Broncos defense while Titans running back Derrick Henry managed to rush for 116 yards Monday night on 31 total carries. The Titans offense also converted 7 of their 16 total third down opportunities against the Broncos defense.
The Broncos suffered a few injuries in their Monday night loss as well. Cornerback A.J. Bouye suffered a shoulder injury late in the second quarter while running back Phillip Lindsay was forced out of the Monday night contest with a toe injury.
The Steelers and Broncos have met each other 32 times (including 8 postseason games), with the Denver winning 20 games and the Pittsburgh winning 11 games. They have also tied once. The broncos have won four of the last five meetings between the two teams with two of those games coming in the playoffs.
The last time the Broncos played the Steelers in Pittsburgh was in Week 15 of the 2015 season. The Steelers won that game 34-27. Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger completed 40 of his 55 total pass attempts in that 2015 home win for 380 yards with 3 touchdowns and 2 interceptions.
Steeles head coach Mike Tomlin talked about the upcoming Broncos game on Tuesday.
“We’re going to play a different Bronco team that is really talented that’s coming off a tough game last night. I’ll start talking about those guys. First, just on the defensive side of the ball, obviously, they’re without Von Miller, who is one of the premier players in this game and of his generation, and that’s a significant loss, but that happens some in this game. I’m sure that they’re ready to close ranks and individual players are ready to step up. Bradley Chubb is a quality outside linebacker that plays opposite of Von, who missed some time last year himself due to injury. He’s a really talented guy, a really tough guy to deal with, really big, really athletic for the position, has some measurables that we compare very similarly to Bud Dupree when Bud came out. He shows a similar skillset in terms of his ability to play the run and rush the passer. Just talking and speaking about the loss of Von Miller, I’d be also remiss if I didn’t mention the quality, experienced coaches they have on that side of the ball. Coach [Vic] Fangio and Ed Donatell, they’ve been in this game a long time, particularly at this level. They’re very credible guys. They’re very reputable guys, and I’m sure they’re going to do what it is that they need to do for the collection of players that they have there to bring the best out in them. Familiarizing ourselves with this safety tandem, really impressive. Both guys are capable of playing in the post. Both guys are capable of spinning down into the box and making plays for their defense. They’re very multiple. They’re capable of giving you three-man rush, four-man rush or five or more. They have a myriad of zone and man principles on the back end that make it difficult for quarterbacks to operate, so we have to be sharp there. On the offensive side of the ball, just been working really hard to familiarize ourselves with Drew Lock and his skillset, his mobility is impressive, his accuracy is impressive, his arm strength is impressive. I think those traits allow them and him to attack the field just about at every spot. They do a really good job of changing the launch point. They do a really good job of stretching you and challenging you vertically down the field. He has a bunch of quality weapons, many of which we know about, guys like [Noah] Fant and [Courtland] Sutton and the running back tandem, but he’s got some new guys who are new to professional football that that have a really impressive skillset as well. [Jerry] Jeudy’s tape from last night was really impressive, his stop and go abilities, his route running ability, his ability to get into speed quickly. I also have a great deal of respect for [KJ] Hamler, who was not suited last night, but he is out of Penn State, and we are very familiar with him regionally. He’s a dangerous guy and a guy that is capable of taking the top off the coverage. We have a lot of things to worry about. I didn’t mention Melvin Gordon. I did mention his running back tandem. Melvin Gordon is new to them, a former LA Charger, a top quality back, a guy that toted the mail for them last night, and a guy we should anticipate being capable of doing that as we step into the stadium this week. We are working on a short week. We don’t have a lot of in-stadium gamed experience. We have to be thoughtful about what we ask our guys to do and who we ask to do what all the while we have to collectively grow and get better. We need to assume that those we are competing against are doing similar things. We better have that type of urgency, and our process better begin here toward that. It’s good to learn some of those lessons, like I mentioned, while you win. It’s good to be sitting here after Week 1 at 1-0 and having an opportunity to go into Heinz Field and do it this week in the comfort of our home.