Justin K. Aller/Getty Images
Last week: No. 14
Ben Roethlisberger is back to being Ben Roethlisberger. In a good way.
The Steelers offense rolled—despite playing in the Mile High atmosphere, despite drops by Antonio Brown and despite multiple injuries on the offensive line. Big Ben was the captain this team needed for a tough, hard-fought game against a very good defense.
The Pittsburgh defense also looked solid in limiting Peyton Manning. Ike Taylor matched up well—save for one play—against Demaryius Thomas, and the loss of Ryan Clark and James Harrison weren't major factors throughout the game. Credit Taylor and Troy Polamalu for playing very well in this one.
The O-line wasn't great. Injuries are to blame, especially once Marcus Gilbert went down, but overall, this unit gets a poor grade for their play.
The Steelers were in this game all along, but the offense could have been much more effective with some strong protection of Big Ben and any semblance of a running game.
On the flip side, the Steelers were able to keep this game close, but in the fourth quarter they couldn't stop the Broncos from running through the middle of the defense.
There's a lot to like for Pittsburgh coming out of this one. The major hurdle is to find a starting five who can consistently line up and protect the passer, and then to get healthy on both sides of the ball.