The Mile High Sports Broncos team provides their insight as Denver enters their week five matchup against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
How does the team get back on track and what will the final score be? Let’s see what our team thinks.
Were the Broncos exposed or did they simply have a rough game against a good opponent?
Lindsay Bebout (@lindsaybebout): My head said the Broncos were the real deal, but my heart knew the truth. I truly thought that if I said they were going to win enough times that I could talk it into existence. I don’t think they are a bad team; they are just a good team with a staunch ceiling. I don’t think Vic Fangio has the chops to be a successful head coach. I think he and his subpar coaching staff are holding them back.
JT Matthews (@JTMatthews01): I think the Broncos’ biggest issue was execution. The timing just didn’t seem to be there and the team energy was at an all-time low. I don’t think they were exposed but they need to be sharper. If anyone was “exposed” it might be the coaching staff for a vanilla game plan and poor game-time adjustments.
Joey Richards (@JRDrafts): As the saying goes, “any given Sunday”. It’s too early to tell but I think the Broncos have played well enough to deserve fans’ optimism. They are a beat-up team that was forced to play their backup quarterback for the entire second half and I don’t believe it would be fair to judge off this one game alone.
Zach Segars (@Zach_Segars): Both. Did the Broncos deserve to be atop the AFC standings? Probably not, especially considering we’re talking about a Broncos team down a third of their starting lineup, and in that sense, they were exposed. They also played a pretty poor game. However, I still believe this is a quality team.
Rich Kurtzman (@RichKurtzman): In a way, they were exposed. Hey, football comes down to which team is more physical and the Ravens were. When the Broncos get their line back together, that’s great, but the entire team needs to find some nastiness.
What must the Broncos do to turn it around in time to win against the Pittsburgh Steelers?
Zach Segars: They absolutely have to protect the football. It seems like that will be on Bridgewater’s shoulders, but no matter who is quarterback, they can’t turn the ball over. Short fields will be exceptionally valuable in this defensive bout.
Joey Richards: Honestly, they need their starting quarterback back. While I don’t blame Lock for the loss against the Ravens, it is clear that the team has rallied around Bridgewater and he simply gives the Broncos their best opportunity of winning.
Lindsay Bebout: The Steelers are so bad that they cost me a fantasy matchup this week. I played the Bengals’ defense and special teams against the Jaguars because the Steelers made them look like the ’85 Chicago Bears. I’m not concerned about this game as long as they play smart. The Steelers defense isn’t what people thought they’d be and Big Ben is no longer a playmaker.
Nicholas Manning: Protect the quarterback. With Graham Glasgow and Dalton Risner most likely returning this week, the team will have the right personnel to perform. The Pittsburgh defense will bring pressure and test Denver upfront. If the Broncos can keep their QB clean, the team should be able to come away with a victory.
Rich Kurtzman: Hopefully, they will have Teddy back at QB, and if so, he and the offense need to find some cohesion. Those long, scoring drives are what Denver needs from the offense going forward.
JT Matthews: This team, especially this defense, has the personnel to be an aggressive, ferocious, knockout-punching prizefighter. Fangio and Co. need to use that to their advantage and bring the pressure against Big Ben and his supporting cast.
Can Big Ben regain his old self or has he lost it?
Rich Kurtzman: Big Ben has been showing his age for years and has finally fallen off the cliff. He should help give Denver a chance of winning.
Lindsay Bebout: I don’t know how that man is still walking. I know he took a pay cut to stay remain with and “help out” the Steelers…but let’s be honest, that was the team doing him a favor, not the other way around.
Nicholas Manning: Ben has not been the future hall of fame version of himself for about a calendar year. His velocity is down and he’s lost the ability to evade the pocket. Add to the mix a terrible offensive line and the Broncos should have no issue making Ben’s life hell on Sunday.
JT Matthews: Time is undefeated. Ironic that “Big Ben” is not just an NFL quarterback but also a giant clock tower in London. Roethlisberger is not the Super Bowl-winning quarterback of yesteryear and just won’t ever be again. Can he capture a moment of that old form? Probably. Will he be against Denver? Probably not.
Zach Segars: Big Ben has about as good a chance to find his old self, as I do to find the goldfish I flushed when I was seven. Dead, gone, and entirely irretrievable. He’s one of the biggest sandbags in the league and it’s been that way for quite some time now.
Joey Richards: The story of the game will be Vic Fangio, as his defense would have put together a dominant performance against the Ben Roethlisberger-led Steelers. As stated earlier, Roethlisberger has regressed. An already proven-to-be-good Broncos defense should capitalize off his limitations.
Lindsay Bebout: The story will be that they aren’t as bad as the barely-holding-it-together Pittsburgh Steelers. In terms of players, it would mean that Garret Bolles had a comeback game, Brandon McManus kicked some field goals, and Javonte Williams got to run in the second half (why they stopped utilizing him in the second half against the Ravens will forever be a mystery to me).
Nicholas Manning: All three phases contributed. This team needs each unit to hold their weight, and for the first three games, it was true (for the most part). Last week, each unit took turns providing a gaffe and they must rebound to beat a down but talented Steelers team.
JT Matthews: Aggressiveness! Do not be afraid of being beat by an inferior opponent. The Steelers are a 1-3 team for a reason, they just aren’t as good as their reputation wants you to believe. If the Broncos play scared and hope something good happens, they’ll lose this game. If they are aggressive and look to create their chances, they can come away from the game as victors.
Zach Segars: I couldn’t put it any better than JT, but for the sake of avoiding repitition, I’ll say the story of this game will be Kareem Jackson and Justin Simmons. I believe they’ll be tabbed with the responsibility of setting the aggressive tone for the defense.
Rich Kurtzman: The story will be about Denver finding their physicality again, running well, and also getting after Ben multiple times. And the defense will force multiple turnovers.
What is your final score prediction this week and why?
Joey Richards: 28-14 and a Broncos win. Playing inferior competition, the Broncos will bounce back in a big way and secure the win. The defense will lead the way but the Broncos’ offense will regain some consistency, depending on who is under center.
Lindsay Bebout: 23-17, Broncos. I think the Broncos squeak out the victory with 2 field goals.
Zach Segars: 17-9 Broncos. I just don’t know how this Pittsburgh squad produces points unless Denver’s offense completely implodes with turnovers. If Denver’s offense is at least pedestrian, it should be more than enough to secure a win.
Nicholas Manning: Broncos get back on track with a 24-13 win in Pittsburgh. The defense will force two turnovers providing short fields for the offense. Roethlisberger is a liability and their offensive line is in shambles. The Denver defense should feast, allowing the offense to play within themselves.
JT Matthews: My final score prediction for this game is 21-19 in favor of the Steelers. Going onto Heinz Field and expecting to win is a tall order for any team. This Denver offense without Jeudy and Hamler feels very one-dimensional and lacks the explosive playmaker that keeps defenses honest. I believe that Denver’s defense can and will give Roethlisberger trouble but unless they create turnovers, I am afraid that it won’t be enough to turn the tides in their favor.
Rich Kurtzman: Broncos win 23-20 thanks to that physical defense and ball control offense.