With the 2015-16 NFL Wild Card games on the scoreboard we move on for the 2nd AFC Division Round game in preparation for the AFC Final match-up, and this game brings us the Pittsburgh Steelers facing the Denver Broncos with the game being played at the Sports Authority Field in Mile High, Denver, Colorado with the kick-off scheduled for 4:45 PM ET and seen on CBS TV.
The Steelers has a fan entertaining win in their Wild Card game with the Bengals 18-16 this past Saturday, and now play the Broncos in this 2nd Round of the AFC playoffs with the winner playing for the AFC Title. The Bengals actually gifted the Steelers with than win in the last minutes of that game, and now the Steelers must prove that the win was not a win by error by upsetting the Broncos in Denver.
If you are one to bet on the Pittsburgh Steelers you know that their defeat of the Bengals was the 7th straight playoff game lost by Cincinnati and their head coach M. Lewis on Saturday. What did in the Bengals were 2 consecutive 15 yard penalties for unsportsmanlike conduct and that put the Steelers in position for the their FG kicker to make the winning field goal, and that was at the point where the Bengals were on the verge of a possible 1st playoff victory as they led by 1 point in the game with fewer than 2 minutes left to play.
And your Steelers on the other hand actually struggled in that game as QB Roethlisberger completed some 18 of his 31 passing attempts for 228 yards and were only able to score 1 TD on those efforts. QB Roethlisberger confronted a shoulder injury and sat out the majority of the 4th quarter after being sacked by Bengals LB V. Burfict.
The main concern for the Steelers is the health of their QB Roethlisberger for the Sunday playoff game. However, the Steelers can be thankful that the running game still survived without RB L. Bell and D. Williams not in the lineup, as the team managed 168 yards running, and that also included WR M. Bryant carrying the ball for 45 yards, and he also scored on a reception giving the Steelers the lead in the game in the 3rd quarter at 15-0.
If the Steelers can generate offensive touchdowns and their defense can limit the Broncos scoring, the Pittsburgh team could be in the AFC Final in 2 weeks.
For the fans of the Denver Broncos surely you were happy to see the Steelers struggling and winning there wild card game in a difficult manner, since Denver itself has a situation at QB that has all fans wondering. But for your information it appears that the future hall of fame QB P. Manning will be the starter in this game on Sunday against the Steelers, especially after his back-up QB B. Osweiler struggled in the team's final regular season game. What is amazing that in that game with the Chargers, their QB P. Manning only passed the ball 9 times for 70 yards in their Week 17 win over San Diego 27-20? Fans and other experts are not sure if QB Manning will be back to his old self this Sunday, but fortunately their running game has been clicking as their duo of R. Hillman and C. Anderson rushed for a combined total of 215 yard in that final game of the season and each scoring 1 TD in the game.
But most important at this point for Denver is that their defense has been intimidating their opponents, and is healthy coming into this playoff game with the Steelers. That defensive unit was ranked at 1st overall in the NFL during the regular season, and in many categories defensively for pass defense. Thus their defense should be able to give the Steelers and their QB whoever it turn out to be a difficult in with his passing game, and one which last Saturday was barely present. So fans are expecting a game that will be a grind it out offensive game, and the Broncos are hoping that an old adage of Champions come from defensive play.
The sportsbook prediction for this AFC Divisional round game is that the Broncos defense proves too much for the struggling Steelers, and put together enough offense stats to win at home over Pittsburgh 28-24 and move on to the AFC Title game!