Peyton Manning vs. Steelers secondary
We all saw Manning come back after a six week absence on January 3rd when he took over for Brock Osweiler. Now he is back in the saddle and ready to go for his fourth straight season in the playoffs as the Broncos quarterback. And he has a favorable matchup when it comes to his arm.
The Steelers secondary ranked near the bottom during the regular season in the passing game. And let us not forget in the last meeting Osweiler did some damage on the secondary, throwing for 296 yards and three touchdowns in the game. However, the majority of those yards and all the touchdowns came in the first half.
Imagine having Manning out there. One of the greatest quarterbacks of all time against this secondary. While he is not the same quarterback he once was, I would not be surprised at the least if he lights up the secondary.
With Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders catching the footballs, it could be a long day for this secondary. Sanders recorded 181 receiving yards on ten catches in the last meeting. Perhaps going up against a former team could be beneficial.
Steelers Offensive Line vs. Broncos Pass Rush
You had to have seen this coming. With Big Ben’s shoulder and the Broncos presenting one of the best pass rushes of the season with 52 sacks, it will come down to the offensive line to keep him upright if he does end up playing.
If the offensive line does not do its job, it could be an early shower for the longtime Steeler quarterback. The Broncos defense was able to get three sacks the last time these two teams faced. Two of them came by way of Malik Jackson, a defensive lineman.
The key for the Broncos is to keep Roethlisberger in the pocket. Limit him from scrambling. If he does play, we know he will not be 100% and his arm strength will be something to keep an eye on.