Why You SHould Bet on the Broncos to Beat the Steelers
The Pittsburgh Steelers head to Sports Authority Field at Mile High this Sunday afternoon to take on the Denver Broncos in the divisional round of the AFC playoffs. The game kicks off at 4:40pm Eastern time on CBS. The Steelers do have some momentum after their last-gasp win in Cincinnati, but here are some reasons why the smart money is on Denver to win. Click here for our NFL betting lines.
— Broncos TV (@BroncosTV) January 15, 2016
The Broncos Have Already Been Through the Gauntlet
The Denver Broncos have had trial after trial all year long. They’ve suffered injuries on the offensive line, and they’ve had to play with an up-and-down (and mostly down) Peyton Manning. That means that they’ve had to grind out a lot of their wins in a similar to fashion to what you see a lot during the playoffs. The Broncos had 12 games decided by seven or fewer points, and they won nine of them. They also knocked off five teams in the playoffs this year, including the Patriots, Vikings and Bengals.
The Orange Crush Is Back
In the 1970s, the Broncos made it to Super Bowl XII behind the strength of their famed “Orange Crush” defense, and that is definitely back. In 2013, the Broncos scored 606 points in the regular season, setting an NFL record, but they were routed by Seattle in Super Bowl XLVIII by 35 points, because their offense couldn’t find its way. This year, the Broncos have been defense-first all year long. They finished the regular season #1 in total defense, #1 in sacks, #1 in pass defense, #1 in fewest yards permitted per rush, #1 in fewest yards permitted per play, #3 in running defense and #4 in scoring defense. The Broncos put up five defensive touchdowns. When their offense hasn’t been turning the ball over, they have controlled games.
They Know What the Steelers Can Bring
Yes, Ben Roethlisberger threw for 380 yards when the Steelers beat the Broncos earlier this season — the only quarterback to go over 300 yards against them this year. Antonio Brown caught 189 yards’ worth of passes all by himself. However, the first half was the Broncos’ as backup quarterback Brock Osweiler threw for 214 yards and three scores against a Steeler secondary that is quite flawed. If the Broncos can block for Peyton Manning (or Osweiler, if he has to come back on), he will find holes down the field. The Steelers ranked #30 in the NFL in passing defense despite sacking opposing quarterbacks 48 times (#3 in the NFL), giving up 271.9 passing yards per week. And Roethlisberger himself? He has two torn ligaments in his throwing shoulder, and Antonio Brown won’t be playing this week, as he is still in the concussion protocol.