Steelers are clear favorites over the Broncos
Phil Simms, the lead analyst for CBS, had some interesting comments on the big Pittsburgh AFC Playoff game in Denver:
A lot of people have these preconceived notions about this game. But I’ll be surprised if it’s not close, because the Broncos have a style and the talent to keep it close no matter what, especially playing at home. There are exceptions—Detroit—but that took some unusual circumstances. Denver is built to make this game close. That is what they want. And then they hope either Tim Tebow or the defense makes a play at a crucial moment to win.
Former Steelers head coach and fellow CBS analyst Bill Cowher also had some thoughts about the game:
From Denver’s standpoint, the biggest key to this game is, obviously, they cannot turn the ball over. Defensively, it’s going to be trying to put pressure on Ben Roethlisberger. Another key is for Von Miller and Elvis Dumervil being able to break down the pocket against Ben. For Pittsburgh, it’s going to be dealing with the unconventional offense that Denver runs. You’re going to see a lot of Troy Polamalu close to the line of scrimmage. It’s eliminating the big plays in the Broncos running game. That’s the one thing you’ll see. Willis McGahee has been their big-play person. They can’t fall asleep on the pass, and certainly they’re going to have to defend the option game that they present.
Cowher on teams figuring out Tim Tebow:
The key for Denver is to get away from what they’ve been doing because they’ve been very predictable. Teams definitely know what to take away from Tebow—and defending the right side of the field with a left-handed quarterback. In order to be successful against Pittsburgh, they’re going to have to do something unconventional and unpredictable.
Unless otherwise noted, all quotes were obtained first-hand.