By Justin Adams
DENVER (CBS4) – A win can quickly change everything in the NFL. Believe it or not, the Denver Broncos (4-6) are just one game out of the final playoff spot. But, standing in their way are the Pittsburgh Steelers (7-2-1) who come to Broncos Stadium at Mile High on a six-game winning streak. Here are 4 things to look for in Sunday’s game (CBS4, Kickoff at 2:25 p.m.):
1) Slow Down Big Ben
Ben Roethlisberger is the ringleader of the Pittsburgh Steelers. The 15-year veteran quarterback has tossed 15 touchdown passes to only five interceptions during the Steelers current winning streak. Big Ben is also a master at comeback victories. In last week’s 20-16 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars, Roethlisberger surpasses Broncos Hall of Fame quarterback John Elway for the most game-winning drives in league history with 41. The game is never out of reach with Ben Roethlisberger at the controls.
2) Feed the Rookie Running Backs
The best way to stop the Steelers offense is by controlling the clock. That’s done by establishing the run game with rookie running backs Phillip Linsday and Royce Freeman. Lindsay scored twice last week against the Los Angeles Chargers, helping the Broncos to the 8th best rushing offense in the league, averaging 124.8 yards per game. A big day from Lindsay would add his name to the Broncos record books. With 60 rushing yards, he would have the most rushing yards by an undrafted rookie in team history.
3) Keep the Steelers WR Duo in Check
Steelers All-Pro receiver Antonio Brown isn’t the only guy the Broncos defense will need to keep their eye on, it’s also fellow receiver Ju-Ju Smith-Schuster. He leads the Steelers with 64 receptions and 866 receiving yards. Smith-Schuster is often forgotten for the explosive Brown who has 11 touchdown catches on the year. The Broncos may also be without cornerback Bradley Roby who is recovering from a concussion in the last game. The Broncos pass defense will have its hands full against Pittsburgh’s 4th ranked passing offense.
4) Protect Case Keenum
The Steelers don’t just have a great offense, they have a pretty good defense as well. Pittsburgh leads the league with 37 sacks. T.J. Watt, the brother of Houston Texans All-Pro defensive lineman J.J. Watt, has a team-high 10 sacks. That’s good for 4th best in the league. So the Broncos offensive line will have to have one of their best days to keep quarterback Case Keenum upright. The silver-lining is Denver’s O-line didn’t give up a sack last week against the Chargers for the first time all season.