DENVER (CBS4) – If the Broncos play like they did on Sunday against the Steelers, it will be New England instead of Denver heading to Super Bowl 50.
That’s the opinion of former Broncos offensive lineman and ESPN analyst Mark Schlereth, who joined the CBS4 Sports team on All Access Sunday night following Denver’s 23-16 victory.
Schlereth said the Broncos need to focus on two things if they are going to defeat the Patriots next Sunday:
1. Receivers need to do a better job catching the ball
Schlereth said dropped balls “are the kind of things that can cost you in the long run.”
“It’s just a concentration thing,” he said, referring to the numerous dropped passes throughout the game by Broncos players on the receiving end of Peyton Manning’s throws. “All these guys know how to catch. You just need to say ‘Hey guys, your focus needs to be better than this. Just understand that you’ve just got to make the plays that come to you.'”
Schlereth said receivers need to avoid “trying to do more than their job.” Too many times, it seemed, Broncos receivers were too wrapped up in trying to make a big play against the Steelers.
2. Pressure Tom Brady (especially up the middle of the pocket)
“There was not enough pressure on Ben Roethlisberger today,” said Schlereth.
Schlereth said Brady has a history of struggling in the middle of the pocket when facing defensive pressure, and the Broncos need to “get him off his spot on a consistent basis.”
“You can go back to the Super Bowl game against the New York Giants, it’s where they got the pressure on Tom Brady that caused him to make mistakes,” Schlereth said.