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OVERALL GAME GRADE -- C+ Well it was not always pretty. The Broncos defense played very well early and then finished the job late. It was just all of that time in between that was concerning. Pittsburgh converted 11 of 19 third downs on the night. The Steelers finished the game with 318 total yards. Yet, when the Bronco defense had to make a stop, they managed to do it. After struggling for most of the second and third quarters they finished the game by stopping the Steeler offense three times in a row.
Q4 -- It's fairly simple. The defense needs a stop and they will most likely win this game. Tracy Porter has been picked on all night and he picks off Roethlisberger on a quick out and takes it to the house. Touchdown. That might do it.
Following the Bronco touchdown, the defense finally forces a punt! Tracy Porter again breaks up some passes. He is being tested and while he has given up some completions he has also stopped some big plays.
Denver begins the 4th quarter backed up on their own three yard line. A quick slant to Mike Wallace gives the Steelers the touchdown. The two point conversion fails and the Steelers take the lead again 19-14.
Q3 -- Following the two play touchdown drive by the Bronco offense, the defense will again take the field without much of a breather. Different series but same basic premise. The Denver defense just can't get off the field. Rahim Moore is called for a personal foul that gives up a first down. Wesley Woodyard gives up a long reception to Pittsburgh tight end Heath Miller. The defense cannot get a stop when they need one. The third quarter ends with the Steelers knocking at the Denver end zone. Denver time of possession in the third quarter :36 seconds.
Q2 -- After a big punt return the Bronco defense is again put in a difficult situation. Pittsburgh will start at the Denver 37 yard line. The defense is bending. Pittsburgh's offense has driven inside the Denver 10 yard line. Champ Bailey breaks up a pass on first down. Champ is amazing. The defense holds. Very good plays on second and third down by Tracy Porter and the defense holds Pittsburgh to a field goal.
The defense is beginning to show some gaps and Roethlisberger is finding them. The Pittsburgh offense is at the Denver 44 yard line. Elvis Dumervil and Von Miller have been controlled by this Pittsburgh offensive line. Another big pass to the Bronco four yard line. The defensive backs are being asked to defend for far too long. Easy touchdown pass from Roethlisberger to tight end Heath Miller. Linebacker Joe Mays bit early and slipped, Miller slanted past him for an easy catch.
Q1 -- The defense holds the Steelers to a three and out on the first possession as the Pittsburgh offense comes up about a half yard short on third down.
After a fumble by Willis McGahee the Steelers take over at the Denver 47 yard line. The defense needs to come up big here. Huge stop by the Denver D! Rookie Derek Wolfe gets a third down sack to force a punt after the fumble. The Denver run defense has been phenomenal so far.