Denver Broncos: 25 or Under vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

Denver Broncos rookie safety Caden Sterns. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)
Denver Broncos rookie safety Caden Sterns. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images) /
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Denver Broncos, Baron Browning
Denver Broncos rookie linebacker Baron Browning. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images) /

Denver Broncos 25 or under – Defense

Denver Broncos star pass rusher Von Miller mentioned how last week was difficult, but at least the Denver Broncos can now get back to planning for facing a more traditional quarterback this week. Was last week concerning for this defense? Absolutely.

That said, there is no one else on this planet that brings the challenge that Lamar Jackson currently does. Lamer Jackson is the best athlete on every single field he steps on. Head Coach Vic Fangio said, “It’s like playing Barry Sanders at quarterback.”

Who wants to do that?

Absolutely, no one.

Coming up this week is the polar opposite of what Lamar Jackson represents. Ben Roethlisberger is as immobile as Peyton Manning was at the end of his career, if not worse. He has been hard-pressed to push the ball downfield, just ask Najee Harris who had 19 targets in Week Three.

If the Denver Broncos can bottle up the rushing attack of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Najee Harris, they shouldn’t have any issues slowing down this offense. While the Steelers have quite the trio of receivers in JuJu Smith-Schuster, speedster Diontae Johnson and big target Chase Claypool, the Denver Broncos secondary should be up to this task.

Last week this secondary did not play up to par and it really hurt the Denver Broncos, but you have to wonder how much of that was them being concerned with Lamar Jackson’s rushing abilities. There is also a very good possibility that Ronald Darby could return this week against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

This would allow the Denver Broncos to revert to their original game plan with Patrick Surtain II being the primary dime defender. That is my key match-up for this game, the Denver Broncos’ secondary against the Pittsburgh Steelers’ weapons on the outside.

Ben Roethlisberger has thrown four interceptions this season along with just four touchdowns. As I mentioned before, a statue is more mobile than he is right now. If Von Miller and Malik Reed can get pressure on him Sunday, I expect him to fold like a table.

My prediction is this actually happens and the Denver Broncos get five sacks on Big Ben, two coming from Von Miller. Dre’Mont Jones gets a sack as well and I think this pressure puts Roethlisberger in the dirt on multiple occasions.

He will be pressured into getting the ball out quickly and I think the secondary capitalizes and collects a couple of interceptions. Ronald Darby gets one in his return and I think Alexander Johnson nabs one also.

Forcing the Steelers into a one-dimensional attack will propel the Denver Broncos to holding this offense to just 13 points, which is well below the 25 point threshold. This bounce-back victory would be huge for the Denver Broncos and I think they are all very aware of the magnitude of this game.

Final prediction, the Denver Broncos led by a dominant defensive performance beat the Pittsburgh Steelers on the road, 22-13.