The Gridiron Report: Steelers take down Broncos


The Pittsburgh Steelers in their home game against the Denver Broncos at Heinz Field on Sunday, Oct. 10.

Written By Anthony Cugini, Staff Writer

The Pittsburgh Steelers snapped their three-game losing streak, beating the Denver Broncos 27-19. The Steelers pick up a much needed win and improve to 2-3 for the season.

For the second consecutive week, the Steelers started the game with a touchdown in the first drive. Ben Roethlisberger found receiver Diontae Johnson for a 50-yard touchdown.
After forcing a punt, Pittsburgh took over once again. Roethlisberger was sacked and had the ball stripped from him giving possession back to Denver. The Broncos were able to capitalize on the mistake as they came away with a field goal. Pittsburgh responded with one of their own on the next drive.

After the Broncos added another field goal in the second quarter, the Steelers put together a 75-yard drive that ended with Najee Harris leaping over the goal line for a touchdown. The Steelers went into halftime leading 17-6.

In the third quarter, the Steelers extended their lead even more after an 86-yard drive that ended with an 18-yard touchdown pass from Roethlisberger to receiver Chase Claypool.

The Broncos were able to respond with a 75-yard drive of their own. On fourth and goal, Denver quarterback Teddy Bridgewater found Kendall Hinton for the touchdown. Bridgewater struck again on their next drive with a 39-yard touchdown pass to receiver Courtland Sutton.

The Steelers added on a field goal to make it 27-19 in favor of Pittsburgh. The Broncos led one last drive in hopes of tying the game. On fourth and goal from the 3-yard line, Bridgewater threw an interception to Pittsburgh cornerback James Pierre. Pierre picked up his first career interception as he to secure the win for the Steelers.

Pittsburgh’s offense looked much improved in the win. Ben Roethlisberger had his best game of the season as he completed 15 of 25 passes for 253 yards and two touchdowns. Rookie running back Najee Harris had arguably his best rushing game to date. Harris ran the ball 23 times for 122 yards and a touchdown. This was the first 100-yard rushing game for a Steelers running back since James Conner, who ran for 101 yards against Cleveland almost a year ago.

Chase Claypool led the Steelers in receiving with 5 catches for 130 yards and a touchdown. After missing the last game against Green Bay, Claypool looked as though he hadn’t missed a beat.

The Steelers defense wasn’t outstanding but they did enough to get the win. They got to Bridgewater twice as linebacker Devin Bush and defensive tackle Henry Mondeaux both picked up sacks. Cornerback James Pierre was beat by Courtland Sutton for the touchdown in the fourth quarter, but he made up for it with his game-ending interception. This was Bridgewater’s first interception thrown this season.

There was some bad news to come out of this win. Receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster injured his shoulder as he took a big hit from Denver safety Kareem Jackson. The Steelers fear it could leave JuJu out for the rest of the season though nothing has been confirmed yet, but, as of Monday, some NFL analysts report that he will not be in for the rest of the season while he recovers.

The Steelers take on the Seattle Seahawks next week on Sunday night in their first prime time game of the season. Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson had surgery for a torn tendon in his finger. With Wilson out, the Seahawks are forced to start Geno Smith at quarterback. Smith wasn’t bad as he finished Seattle’s last game against the Rams, but he was far from how Russell Wilson performs. Both the Seahawks and Steelers are underperforming with a 2-3 on the season. Both teams will look to pick up a big win Sunday night.