There’s still a bad after taste in my mouth after last night’s game. Maybe it’s the extra Roethlisberger that the Steelers ordered up in the Mile High drive-thru. Throw in a side of Holmes and Hines, and a large Mendenhall to wash it all down, and you have the 28-10 Denver loss that we all witnessed last night.
True to their name, the Steelers absolutely stole the game from the Broncos, and according to reports, the robbery occurred in the 2nd half when the Broncos’ offense truly went anemic. The Broncos have 1 offensive TD in the last two weeks, and Kyle Orton hasn’t thrown for one in over three weeks. The Steelers’ #1 rush defense held true to form limiting the Broncos to just 27 yards on the ground. The air game was more productive, but 3 ill-timed interceptions from Kyle Orton will bury any team six feet under. The Broncos had 215 passing yards, and Brandon Marshall was Orton’s main target with 11 catches for 112 yards. The Broncos had just 12 first downs compared to Pittsburgh’s 21 first downs. That brings me to my main point: The Broncos’ defense can only carry so much of the burden.
Defensively, the Broncos did an excellent job through three quarters of the game. They got to Big Ben 3 times for a loss of 31 yards. They intercepted him in the red zone, and they forced a fumble, allowing rookie Robert Ayers, to pick it up and run it in for the score. In my book, that’s a successful game against a Roethlisberger led offense. Yes, Mendenhall torched them on the ground (particularly on the right side of the field) on 22 carries for 155 yards. I chalk that up to the Broncos defense being tired. After numerous three and outs (or turnovers) by the Broncos offense, the defense was forced to be out on the field working against the Steelers during their long drives. For the defense, it was 1-2-3 catch a little oxygen in the Mile High air, and then get back on the field while Orton has enough time to get a massage grow a beard on the bench. You can’t blame any one person for the break down defensively. Brian Dawkins, Elvis Dumervil, and even Champ Bailey got caught out of position allowing the Steelers to break for big plays at the end of the game.
This Steelers team is a true contender, and even though they may have figured us out at this point in the season, it doesn’t guarantee anything later on. We could very well see them again, and I hope we do. It’s the streets on which you suffer your bloodiest defeat that can become the scene of your greatest triumph.
Don’t get too down after two consecutive losses. We’ve got the Redskins next week which should be a walk in the park (knock on tree trunk wood) and then we’ve got the Chargers at home. We still sit 6-2 atop the AFC West, and no one here is looking back!
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