Denver Broncos: Keys To the Pittsburgh Steelers Game

T.Contributor INovember 8, 2009

DENVER - OCTOBER 21:  Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers runs the offense against the Denver Broncos at Invesco Field at Mile High on October 21, 2007 in Denver, Colorado. The Broncos defeated the Steelers 31-28.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

1. Pressure, Pressure, Pressure

The Pittsburgh Steelers have one of the best passing attacks in the NFL. They rank fifth in yards per game and have a talented QB and receivers. The Broncos need to disrupt this passing game if they plan on shutting down the Steelers.

If the Broncos can put pressure on Ben Roethlisberger and not give him enough time for his receiver's routes to develop, it would go a long way towards shutting down the Steelers aerial game. It might even force a few turnovers.

Mike Nolan is sure to have a bunch of blitzes dialed for this game and hopefully the Broncos defensive players will be able to wrap up Big Ben and take him down before he gets the ball out to the likes of Hines Ward and Santonio Holmes.

2. Establish the Run

This is going to be a tough task for the Denver Broncos. Pittsburgh has the best run defense in the NFL and some of the league's most physical defenders.

If the Broncos can establish the run with Knowshon Moreno and Correll Buckhalter and force the Steelers to over-commit in the box, that will open up the passing game and allow Kyle Orton to get the ball to his receivers in open space.

3. Get ahead early

So far in 2009, Denver has been a second-half team. Even though they often find themselves trailing at halftime, they have been able to comeback and win in the second half.

Physical teams like the Baltimore Ravens and Steelers are not easy to come from behind against. The Broncos learned this last week against the Ravens and were dealt their first loss of the season.

If the Broncos can put the first points on the board and get out to an early lead, it will be a daunting task for the Steelers to comeback on the road.

4. Someone Needs To Have a Big Game for the Broncos

This nationally televised game should be a heated contest between two of the game's best. In big games like this, teams need big-time performances.

If Denver is hoping to get a "W" in this one, they need a monster individual game from someone.

Whether its two-plus sacks for Elvis Dumervil, multiple touchdowns from Brandon Marshall, an interception by Champ Bailey or Brian Dawkins, or a near perfect passing day by Kyle Orton, the Broncos are going to need someone to step up if they want to beat the defending champion Pittsburgh Steelers.