Steelers survive second half mistakes…beat Broncos!

September 20th, 2020
by admin

It was a tale of two halves, the Steelers dominated the first two quarters and then made several key mistakes to almost blow a 14-point lead and the game to the Denver Broncos! The Steelers had the Broncos on the ropes all day but made several key mistakes that nearly cost them victory.

It was an uneven performance for the defense on Sunday. The stats don’t tell the story of the performance either way. The defensive front played well and after some early success shut down Melvin Gordon III. T.J. Watt and Bud Dupree dominated the Broncos rookie tackles and were all over the backfield.  Watt had 2.5 sacks and disrupted several plays. Dupree had a huge game with a sack and a turnover that changed the momentum of the game. He sent Bronco’s starter Drew Lock to the bench with a legal hit. The defensive line had a very good game and Tyson Alualu recorded his first sack and looks to be fitting in well as the Nose Tackle. The front got caught a few times with misdirection, but any straight up running was all but shut down after the first quarter. Devin Bush and Vince Williams teamed up to stifle the run, but both men had tough days in coverage. Bush was targeted on the Broncos first touchdown to Noah Fant and Vince Williams gave up a touchdown to Gordon.

The secondary kept the Broncos passing game in wraps but made several key mistakes and penalties. The referees were overly involved, and it was at the point that every passed thrown resulted in some type of penalty. The biggest of which was a questionable call on Terrell Edmunds that converted a 3rd and 11. Mike Hilton had a great day but was also called on a questionable roughing the passer. The secondary held the Broncos playmakers but never looked totally in synch on the day. Joe Haden and Steven Nelson held Jerry Jeudy and Courtland Sutton to only seven catches. Haden also had an interception that led to a Steelers field goal at the end of the half.

When the Steelers were about to drop the hammer on offense, they made two near fatal mistakes. Ben Roethlisberger had an ill-advised throw on the opening drive of the second half wasting great field position. Roethlisberger again looked rusty, but his numbers were solid passing for 311 yards and two touchdowns, but he missed some needed throws that would have sealed the Broncos fate. He hit nine different receivers including an 84-yard touchdown pass to rookie Chase Claypool. The entire receiving contributed, and each looks like they are settling into key roles. James Washington banged out some tough yards, JuJu Smith-Schuster had seven catches and looks like the possession receiver, Diontae Johnson is settling in as the playmaker. Claypool takes the top off the defense.

The other costly mistake was Benny Snell fumbling in the fourth quarter after the Steelers recorded a safety. It once again revived the Broncos from the dead and kept them in the game, they converted the fumble into a touchdown. Snell had a rough game and wasn’t the force he was just one week earlier.  James Conner came back after a first week injury and grinded out 106 very tough yards. He found very little running room most of the game, but then finally exploded for the game clinching run; a 59-yarder that finally snuffed out the Broncos.

Mark this down as well, the Special Teams contributed and were a key contributor to the Steelers victory yesterday. Ray-Ray McCloud had a 49-yard return and finished with 64 yards, proving again why he beat out the beloved Ryan Switzer. Derek Watt recorded a safety when Broncos Punter dropped a snap. The coverage units were great all day and Diontae Johnson almost had an 81-yard return when it was called back after a questionable clipping penalty on Cam Sutton. Johnson had a 24-yard kick return. The kicking game once again was a positive, with Chris Boswell hitting his only field goal attempt and Dustin Colquitt averaged 41.8 yards per punt and trapped the Broncos twice inside the 20.

It wouldn’t be a Steelers season without Mike Tomlin losing a costly and obvious challenge. The Steelers had the right game plan but just had several lapses that nearly cost them.

In the end the Steelers did enough to push their record to 2-0.


My “GAME BEER” goes to: Bud Dupree, while he only had one sack, his forced fumble set the tone and kept the Broncos on their heels all game. Also Considered; Terrell Edmunds who had the game winning sack. Chase Claypool for his first touchdown pass. James Conner for a great bounce back week.

Where I watched the game: At the house with the KGB and Dante. KGB made Chicken Fritters which were perfect and timely, (Steelers made a huge play when they came out.) The beer of choice was Westhampton Beach Pumpkin Ale. The whole pumpkin thing is lost on me but the beer was good! KGB made hers with a cinnamon/sugar ring.

My Stat of the week: 57,085 total career yards passing for Ben Roethlisberger eclipsing Eli Manning and moving into SEVENTH place on the All-Time list. Manning, Roethlisberger and Philip Rivers will forever be linked together, and they sit 6-7-8 on the list. Roethlisberger is still starting for his original team!

My Thoughts on next week: The Steelers struggle with Mobile Quarterbacks so that is a concern. The key is to contain Dashaun Watson and the Steelers will win handily.

This week’s Jersey: Alejandro Villanueva, #78 Color Rush, this is the ONLY comment we are going to make about NFL Social Justice initiatives. We are 100% behind social justice and we hope systematic racism is ended in our lifetime. We back Big Al all the way and whatever he feels is the best way to affect that, we support. This is a blog about football and drinking beer and we are going to keep it that way.


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