The Pittsburgh Steelers were hungry for revenge after losing in the first round of the 2011 playoffs to the Tim Tebow-led Broncos. Manning had other things in mind. Manning and the Broncos secured a 31-19 victory, proving that Manning is healthy, and the Broncos are Super Bowl contenders.
There were many great players and highlights from the game, but I will showcase an MVP, LVP and top rookie in the following slides.
Yes, Peyton Manning had an MVP-like game, but I can't give him that honor every week!
New Bronco Tracy Porter made a giant splash Sunday night in big moments. Two of his biggest plays came in the second and fourth quarters.
In the second quarter, he tipped away a touchdown pass to Heath Miller on third down and forced the Steelers to kick a field goal. With the clock winding down in the fourth quarter, Ben Roethlisberger threw a pass to Emmanuel Sanders on the sideline.
Porter read the route, grabbed the interception and returned the ball 43 yards for a touchdown to seal the Broncos win!
On top of those two great defensive plays, Porter also had five broken-up passes and eight tackles.
Other than Manning, Porter is the best offseason acquisition the Broncos secured, and he proved it Sunday night.
It was hard to pick an LVP (Least Valuable Player) in midst of all the great players, but the helmet-to-helmet hit by Rahim Moore makes him the LVP.
With 5:17 left in the third quarter, the Steelers were 3rd-and-10 at their own 20-yard-line. It was looking as though the defense was going to make a stand and force a punt. The referees called a personal foul on Moore when he hit Emmanuel Sanders, helmet-to-helmet.
It looked as though Moore may have taken the hardest hit, but the referees threw the flag when he hit above the shoulder. The foul led to a Pittsburgh first down. The Steelers then ran 11 more plays, ending with a three-yard touchdown, putting them ahead 19-14 to start the fourth quarter.
The league may be looking to fine Moore who was fined $20,000 for an illegal hit last season.
Without this hit, the Steelers would have been forced to punt. This was a costly play at the time that put the Steelers up early in the fourth quarter. Big hits are a part of the game, but Moore needs to stay away from the illegal and finable type of hits.
Rookie Derek Wolfe made history Sunday night, becoming one of six Broncos rookies to get their first sack in his first regular-season game.
Wolfe's first came with 3:35 left in the first quarter. The Steelers were almost in field-goal range. When Ben Roethlisberger got the snap, Wolfe rushed him for a sack and a nine-yard loss. The sack resulted in a Pittsburgh punt.
This got the rookie, and the Broncos defense, fired up! Wolfe finished the game with three tackles on top of his sack for a loss.
The Broncos are immediately feeling the impact of their second-round pick, and he can only grow and get better from here. Wolfe also had two big sacks in his first preseason game.
At halftime, I already knew Wolfe was getting my top rookie award. I hope he continues to make an impact and make a run for rookie of the year.