Here are 3 things to watch for in the Broncos-Steelers game:
1. BROCK OSWEILER!
With the report from NFL Network Sunday morning that Peyton Manning will not be happy serving as Brock's back-up once Peyton is healthy, the pressure is on Brock to keep hold of the starting job. John Elway tweeted out that Peyton has never told him or Gary Kubiak he won't be happy as a back-up, it's common sense and obvious that would be true. Brock and the offense has to play well in Pittsburgh for the Broncos to avoid serious QB controversy in the next week or so. Peyton is still not healthy and his foot was sore enough last Friday for him to miss practice. But if he gets healthy and Brock is struggling, then it hits the fan. The Broncos offense hasn't score a touchdown on 23 possessions and almost 2 complete games. The running game only got 34 yards against the Raiders last week and the Broncos were shut out in the 2nd half after leading 12-0 at halftime. Is Brock playing to keep his job? Here's what he said:
“I don't look at it like that. I'm simply looking at it as it's another football game. It's another football game against a great opponent on the road. We know that we have a great challenge ahead of us. I'm just focused on doing my job this week. Whatever happens in the future happens in the future. That really doesn't pertain to me right now. That's out of my control. What I can control is my preparation this week for the Steelers, and that's where my focus is.”
2. "HIGH FLY ZONE" VS "NO FLY ZONE"
The Steelers have the #2 ranked offense in the NFL. And it's mostly the passing game with Big Ben throwing the football. And receivers Antonio Brown, Martavius Bryant, and Markus Wheaton are probably yhe best trio the Broncos will face all season. Broncos have the #1 defense in all major and important categories, including sacks. Getting to Big Ben and getting him on the ground is key. Broncos secondary will get safety David Bruton Jr. back this week but T.J. Ward and Omar Bolden as still injured.
Here's what Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall said:
“Honestly, we're not worried about that because I believe wholeheartedly in our secondary, our linebackers and our pass rush. I know he [Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger] has been lighting it up, but he hasn't played us yet. I think when you get to him, you have to wrap up. The guy is a big guy. You have to wrap up on him and you have to try to hit his arm because he doesn't go down easy. When they've gotten to him, you just have to try to get him down because he definitely will extend the play and then he'll bounce off of your tackles.”
3. CREATE TURNOVERS
The Broncos have the best defense in the NFL. Creating turnovers was their calling card early in the season. A 4th quarter interception or fumble recovery saved many a game. But the defense got zero turnovers last week in the loss to Oakland. If the Broncos can win the turnover battle today, they have a chance to win this game.
Here's what DeMarcus Ware said:
“I think every single game we go into, it’s always about defense wins championships. We’ve talked about that from the first game. How good do you want to be? How consistent can we be? We talked about that earlier—you know what, when the second-string guys go in there, they have to be effective all the way down to the first-string, third-string guys. We put it upon ourselves on the defense to win the game. The offense is always going to score points, but at the end of the day, you can see that when you have those turnovers and you can make plays that you need to make—it’s not about statistics of having 120 yards or holding them to 150—it’s about how many turnovers you can get and getting that bowl to that end zone.”