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Tebowmania looks to run wild against the Pittsburgh Steelers
Who would've thought that a Broncos team that started the season 1-4 would make the playoffs? I bet Tim Tebow did. Tebow has turned the team around and has gotten them into the playoffs, with a little help from the San Diego Chargers. However, defenses are starting to catch up to Tim Tebow. They don't allow him to run freely anymore, forcing him to stay in the pocket and throw. If Denver wants a win, Tebow will need to make the necessary adjustments going in their matchup against Pittsburgh.
Tim Tebow and the passing attack rank awfully at No. 31 in the league. However, that is not to say they can't make an impact and are not good in general. The Denver offense doesn't have them throwing the ball as much as other teams. It is a run-heavy offense, with not many throw attempts being made until the 4th quarter. This is something that they might have to change for the game vs. the Steelers.
I'm not saying to not do what you do best and run, I'm just saying you need to have Tebow throwing the ball more in the first three quarters of the game. Obviously he won't get that many chances to take off anymore, as teams don't allow that anymore. He needs to take more throws and get a good feel for the game. It'll also help the receivers get in sync.They've got some good targets like Eric Decker, Demaryius Thomas, Eddie Royal, Jeremiah Johnson and Dante Rosario. You could even throw to the RB on a screen pass. Denver has had success with that.
Watching the Broncos/Chiefs game, one commentator said telling a wide receiver to go out there and not make catches until the fourth quarter is like telling a SG not to shoot the ball until the fourth quarter. Adjustments need to be made.
To Denver's credit, their running attack is ranked No. 1 in the entire league. McGahee, Lance Ball and Tim Tebow running the ball effectively could be the key in a low-scoring defensive battle. If that is the way this game goes (a battle of defenses), their running attack could have a huge upside. McGahee had a good season rushing for 1,199 yards, averaging 4.8 YPC and scoring four times. Ball ran for 402 yards this season, avergaing 4.2 YPC and scoring once. QB Tim Tebow ran for 660 yards, averaging 5.4 YPC and scoring six times on the ground. These men will be key to the getting the running game going against a solid defense.
Denver ranks 23rd in total offense.
On the other side of the ball, Big Ben and the Steelers will look to really give it to the Broncos. Roethlisberger, who is still recovering from an ankle injury, will aim to get the passing game going early. Ben has some solid targets in Mike Wallace, Antonio Brown, Jerricho Cotchery, Heath Miller and company. Pittsburgh's passing attack ranks 10th in the league. Pittsburgh has been a pass-happy offense this season. They should be able to really stick it to a Broncos team that defends the run first and could be without Brian Dawkins.
A big loss for Pittsburgh has been the injury to Rashard Mendenhall. Mendenhall did not have the year most were expecting of him, but he still rushed for 928 yards, had 4.1 YPC and scored nine times. He will definitely be missed. Taking over is Isaac Redman who had 479 yards this season, averaged 4.4 YPC and scored three times. Not the worst replacement, but still no Mendenhall. The Broncos should not back off regardless against a Steelers team that ranks 14th in the league.
Pittsburgh ranks 12th in total offense.
Advantage: Pittsburgh Steelers
Even with the injury to Mendenhall, the Steelers are still the better team on the offensive side of the ball. However, if Denver manages to get going in the passing game and still runs the ball effectively, this one could swing in their direction. For the time being though, Pittsburgh has this one.