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Denver Broncos vs. Pittsburgh Steelers Pick & Prediction SEP 20TH 2020

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Ben Roethlisberger made a triumphant return to action Monday night, leading the Pittsburgh Steelers to a win over the New York Giants to open the season. The quarterback will try to repeat the success when the Steelers host the Denver Broncos in their home opener on Sunday.

Roethlisberger missed all but two games in 2019 after undergoing elbow surgery last September but worked his way back to begin his 17th season, all with Pittsburgh. In his first game in a year he was 21-for-32 passing for 229 yards and three touchdowns.

It's a quick turnaround in facing Denver, with only five days between games, and Roethlisberger is admittedly sore.

"I'm definitely sore," he told ESPN on Wednesday. "The good news is my arm is the only thing that doesn't hurt."

Roethlisberger may be a little banged up but of more concern is his offensive line. Right tackle Zach Banner announced on social media Tuesday he is having season-ending surgery on his knee, which was injured in the fourth quarter against the Giants. Banner won the starting job in training camp.

The Steelers (1-0) got some better news regarding their other players. Running back James Conner left Monday with an ankle sprain and guard Stefen Wisniewski suffered a pectoral injury, but both could return to the field soon.

"We're still in the process of getting scans on (Wisniewski) and James Conner," Pittsburgh head coach Mike Tomlin said. "But I think their forecast is a more favorable one, so we'll leave the light on for those two."

Wide receivers Juju Smith-Schuster (knee) and Diontae Johnson (toe) and center David DeCastro (knee) and tackle Alejandro Villanueva (illness) also didn't practice Wednesday.

The Broncos (0-1) haven't been as lucky on the injury front. All-Pro linebacker Von Miller was placed on injured reserve, an expected move after he underwent surgery to repair a tendon in his ankle before the first game.

Denver will likely be without running back Phillip Lindsay (turf toe) while cornerback A.J. Bouye could land on the short-term injured list with a dislocated shoulder. Both players were hurt in the first half of Monday's 16-14 loss to the Tennessee Titans.

The good news for the Broncos is rookie wide receiver KJ Hamler was a full participant in practice on Wednesday and is on track to play. Linebacker Bradley Chubb, who is coming off a torn ACL suffered last season, was also a full participant after his first game in nearly a year.

Wide receiver Courtland Sutton, who suffered a shoulder injury in practice last week and didn't play Monday, was a limited participant in Wednesday's practice.

The Broncos came away from Monday's loss with several "what-if" questions.

On the final drive quarterback Drew Lock overthrew a streaking DaeSean Hamilton for a potential go-ahead touchdown. Denver also had limited time to work with after head coach Vic Fangio didn't use his timeouts on Tennessee's game-winning field goal drive.

Fangio took responsibility for his decision.

"I did miss calling a timeout after the second-down play from the 29-yard line when (Titans RB Derrick) Henry got 13 yards down to our 16," Fangio said Tuesday. "I should have called timeout there. That was the one I missed."

In other moves, the Broncos promoted cornerback De'Vante Bausby to their active roster and signed outside linebacker Isaiah Irving to the practice squad. Bausby spent time with Denver last season and was in training camp this summer.

--Field Level Media

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Denver Broncos

Pittsburgh Steelers

Player Position Lineup
Garett Bolles primary: Left Tackle Starter
Bryce Callahan primary: Right Cornerback Starter
Bradley Chubb primary: Weak Linebacker Starter
Noah Fant primary: Tight End Starter
Kareem Jackson primary: Strong Safety Starter
Josey Jewell primary: Inside Linebacker Starter
Alexander Johnson primary: Inside Linebacker Starter
Drew Lock primary: Quarterback Starter
Tim Patrick primary: Wide Receiver Starter
Mike Purcell primary: Nose Tackle Starter
Dalton Risner primary: Left Guard Starter
Justin Simmons primary: Free Safety Starter
Courtland Sutton primary: Wide Receiver Starter
Elijah Wilkinson primary: Right Tackle Starter
Jurrell Casey primary: Defensive End Starter
Graham Glasgow primary: Right Guard Starter
Melvin Gordon III primary: Runningback Starter
Jeremiah Attaochu primary: Strong Linebacker Starter
Shelby Harris primary: Defensive End Starter
Jerry Jeudy primary: Wide Receiver Starter
Michael Ojemudia primary: Left Cornerback Starter
Lloyd Cushenberry III primary: Center Starter
Calvin Anderson primary: Offensive Tackle Substitution
De'Vante Bausby primary: Cornerback Substitution
Andrew Beck primary: Tight End Substitution
Jake Butt primary: Tight End Substitution
Duke Dawson Jr. primary: Defensive Back Substitution
Royce Freeman primary: Runningback Substitution
DaeSean Hamilton primary: Wide Receiver Substitution
Davontae Harris primary: Defensive Back Substitution
Dre'Mont Jones primary: Defensive Tackle Substitution
Joe Jones primary: Linebacker Substitution
Trey Marshall primary: Defensive Back Substitution
Brandon McManus primary: Kicker Substitution
Malik Reed primary: Linebacker Substitution
Diontae Spencer primary: Wide Receiver Substitution
DeMarcus Walker primary: Defensive End Substitution
Jacob Bobenmoyer primary: Long Snapper Substitution
Jeff Driskel primary: Quarterback Substitution
Sam Martin primary: Punter Substitution
Nick Vannett primary: Tight End Substitution
Austin Schlottmann primary: Guard Substitution
KJ Hamler primary: Wide Receiver Substitution
Derrek Tuszka primary: Linebacker Substitution
Essang Bassey primary: Defensive Back Substitution
LeVante Bellamy primary: Runningback Substitution
Austin Calitro primary: Inside Linebacker Substitution
Phillip Lindsay primary: Runningback Not active
McTelvin Agim primary: Defensive Tackle Not active
Albert Okwuegbunam primary: Tight End Not active
Netane Muti primary: Guard Not active
Tyrie Cleveland primary: Wide Receiver Not active
Demar Dotson primary: Offensive Tackle Did not play
Mark Barron primary: Defensive Back Not active
Anthony Chickillo primary: Outside Linebacker Not active
Player Position Lineup
Devin Bush primary: Left Inside Linebacker Starter
James Conner primary: Runningback Starter
Bud Dupree primary: Right Outside Linebacker Starter
Terrell Edmunds primary: Strong Safety Starter
Matt Feiler primary: Left Guard Starter
Minkah Fitzpatrick primary: Free Safety Starter
Joe Haden primary: Left Cornerback Starter
Cameron Heyward primary: Defensive Tackle Starter
Mike Hilton primary: Defensive Back Starter
Diontae Johnson primary: Wide Receiver Starter
Vance McDonald primary: Tight End Starter
Steven Nelson primary: Right Cornerback Starter
Chukwuma Okorafor primary: Right Tackle Starter
Maurkice Pouncey primary: Center Starter
Ben Roethlisberger primary: Quarterback Starter
JuJu Smith-Schuster primary: Wide Receiver Starter
Stephon Tuitt primary: Defensive End Starter
Alejandro Villanueva primary: Left Tackle Starter
T.J. Watt primary: Left Outside Linebacker Starter
Vince Williams primary: Right Inside Linebacker Starter
Eric Ebron primary: Tight End Starter
Kevin Dotson primary: Right Guard Starter
Olasunkanmi Adeniyi primary: Outside Linebacker Substitution
Marcus Allen primary: Defensive Back Substitution
Tyson Alualu primary: Defensive Tackle Substitution
Chris Boswell primary: Kicker Substitution
Isaiah Buggs primary: Defensive End Substitution
Kameron Canaday primary: Long Snapper Substitution
Justin Layne primary: Defensive Back Substitution
Jaylen Samuels primary: Runningback Substitution
Benny Snell Jr. primary: Runningback Substitution
Robert Spillane primary: Linebacker Substitution
Cameron Sutton primary: Defensive Back Substitution
James Washington primary: Wide Receiver Substitution
Derwin Gray primary: Offensive Tackle Substitution
Jordan Dangerfield primary: Defensive Back Substitution
Derek Watt primary: Runningback Substitution
Chris Wormley primary: Defensive End Substitution
Chase Claypool primary: Wide Receiver Substitution
Alex Highsmith primary: Linebacker Substitution
James Pierre primary: Defensive Back Substitution
Ray-Ray McCloud primary: Wide Receiver Substitution
Sean Davis primary: Defensive Back Substitution
Dustin Colquitt primary: Punter Substitution
David DeCastro primary: Guard Not active
Zach Gentry primary: Tight End Not active
Ulysees Gilbert III primary: Linebacker Not active
J.C. Hassenauer primary: Center Did not play
Mason Rudolph primary: Quarterback Did not play
Anthony McFarland Jr. primary: Runningback Did not play
Carlos Davis primary: Defensive Tackle Not active
Joshua Dobbs primary: Quarterback Not active
Jerald Hawkins primary: Offensive Tackle Did not play

Denver Broncos

Pittsburgh Steelers

  • Match Start
  • Period 1
  • MIN 4
    • scoring-play
    • Touchdown
    • Rush
    • 2 Yards
    • Rusher: James Conner
    • Conv Kicker: Chris Boswell
  • Period 2
  • MIN 0
    • scoring-play
    • Field Goal
    • 21 Yards
    • FG Kicker: Chris Boswell
  • MIN 6
    • scoring-play
    • Touchdown
    • Pass
    • 84 Yards
    • Pass Receiver: Chase Claypool
    • Passer: Ben Roethlisberger
    • Conv Kicker: Chris Boswell
  • MIN 12
    • scoring-play
    • Field Goal
    • 49 Yards
    • FG Kicker: Brandon McManus
  • Period 3
  • MIN 1
    • scoring-play
    • Touchdown
    • Pass
    • 20 Yards
    • Passer: Jeff Driskel
    • Conv Receiver: Noah Fant
    • Conv Passer: Jeff Driskel
    • Pass Receiver: Noah Fant
  • MIN 8
    • scoring-play
    • Field Goal
    • 28 Yards
    • FG Kicker: Brandon McManus
  • Period 4
  • MIN 7
    • scoring-play
    • Touchdown
    • Pass
    • 16 Yards
    • Conv Kicker: Brandon McManus
    • Passer: Jeff Driskel
    • Pass Receiver: Melvin Gordon III
  • MIN 10
    • scoring-play
    • Safety
    • Tackle in end zone
    • Safety Player Tackled: Sam Martin
    • Safety Tackler: Derek Watt
  • MIN 11
    • scoring-play
    • Touchdown
    • Pass
    • 28 Yards
    • Conv Kicker: Chris Boswell
    • Pass Receiver: Diontae Johnson
    • Passer: Ben Roethlisberger
  • Match End


Last 10

W 44% L 56%
4 5
  • Miami W 13 - 20
  • @Las Vegas L 12 - 37
  • @Atlanta L 27 - 34
  • L.A. Chargers W 30 - 31
  • Kansas City L 43 - 16
  • @New England W 18 - 12
  • @New England D 0 - 0
  • @N.Y. Jets W 37 - 28
  • Tampa Bay L 28 - 10
  • @Pittsburgh L 21 - 26
W 100% L 0%
9 0
  • @Jacksonville W 27 - 3
  • Cincinnati W 10 - 36
  • @Dallas W 24 - 19
  • @Baltimore W 28 - 24
  • @Tennessee W 27 - 24
  • Cleveland W 7 - 38
  • Philadelphia W 29 - 38
  • @Tennessee D 0 - 0
  • Houston W 21 - 28
  • Denver W 21 - 26

Next Games

  • New Orleans(10-28-12) W 14 - 34
  • @Kansas City(12-15-19) L 3 - 23
  • @Carolina(11-11-12) W 36 - 14
  • Buffalo(12-07-14) W 17 - 24
  • @L.A. Chargers(10-06-19) W 20 - 13
  • Baltimore(10-06-19) L 26 - 23
  • Washington(10-28-12) W 12 - 27
  • @Buffalo(12-11-16) W 27 - 20
  • @Cincinnati(11-24-19) W 16 - 10
  • Indianapolis(11-03-19) W 24 - 26

Last Meetings

  • Broncos @ Steelers 21-26
  • Steelers @ Broncos 17-24
  • Steelers @ Broncos 16-23
  • Broncos @ Steelers 27-34
  • Steelers @ Broncos 19-31
  • Steelers @ Broncos 23-29
  • Steelers @ Broncos 17-34
  • Steelers @ Broncos 28-10
  • Steelers @ Broncos 28-31
  • Broncos @ Steelers 31-20

American Football Conference

Buffalo Bills73 0.7000.00.00.0 4-13-27-0-3
Miami Dolphins64 0.6001.00.00.0 3-23-26-0-4
New England Patriots46 0.4003.00.00.0 3-21-44-0-6
New York Jets010 0.0007.00.00.0 0-50-50-0-10
Pittsburgh Steelers100 01.0000.00.00.0 5-05-010-0-0
Cleveland Browns73 0.7003.00.00.0 5-12-27-0-3
Baltimore Ravens64 0.6004.00.00.0 2-34-16-0-4
Cincinnati Bengals27 1.2227.50.00.0 2-20-52-1-7
Indianapolis Colts73 0.7000.00.00.0 4-13-27-0-3
Tennessee Titans73 0.7000.00.00.0 4-23-17-0-3
Houston Texans37 0.3004.00.00.0 2-31-43-0-7
Jacksonville Jaguars19 0.1006.00.00.0 1-40-51-0-9
Kansas City Chiefs91 0.9000.00.00.0 4-15-09-0-1
Las Vegas Raiders64 0.6003.00.00.0 2-34-16-0-4
Denver Broncos46 0.4005.00.00.0 2-32-34-0-6
Los Angeles Chargers37 0.3006.00.00.0 2-31-43-0-7

National Football Conference

Philadelphia Eagles36 1.3330.00.00.0 2-21-43-1-6
Washington Football Team37 0.3000.50.00.0 3-30-43-0-7
New York Giants37 0.3000.50.00.0 2-31-43-0-7
Dallas Cowboys37 0.3000.50.00.0 2-31-43-0-7
Green Bay Packers73 0.7000.00.00.0 3-14-27-0-3
Chicago Bears55 0.5002.00.00.0 2-33-25-0-5
Detroit Lions46 0.4003.00.00.0 1-33-34-0-6
Minnesota Vikings46 0.4003.00.00.0 1-43-24-0-6
New Orleans Saints82 0.8000.00.00.0 5-13-18-0-2
Tampa Bay Buccaneers74 0.6361.50.00.0 3-24-27-0-3
Carolina Panthers47 0.3644.50.00.0 2-42-34-0-6
Atlanta Falcons37 0.3005.00.00.0 1-42-33-0-7
Los Angeles Rams73 0.7000.00.00.0 4-03-37-0-3
Seattle Seahawks73 0.7000.00.00.0 5-02-37-0-3
Arizona Cardinals64 0.6001.00.00.0 3-23-26-0-4
San Francisco 49ers46 0.4003.00.00.0 1-43-24-0-6

Last Injuries

Pittsburgh Steelers

  • JuJu Smith-Schuster

    Prob Sun | probable

    Smith-Schuster has a toe injury, but it is projected that he will participate in Sunday's showdown versus the Ravens.

  • Ben Roethlisberger

    Prob Sun | probable

    Roethlisberger is managing an injured quad, but it is expected that he will be available for Sunday's battle against the Ravens.

  • Jaylen Samuels

    Ques Sun | questionable

    Samuels was absent from the lineup during the previous game due to a quad injury, and it is undetermined if he will be active Sunday versus the Ravens.

  • Jayrone Elliott

    Prob Sun | probable

    Elliott missed the last game with an illness, but it is projected that he will suit up against the Ravens on Sunday.

  • Joe Haden

    Ques Sun | questionable

    Haden is nursing a knee injury, and it remains to be seen if he will play Sunday against the Ravens.

  • Cameron Heyward

    Prob Sun | probable

    Heyward is battling an injured ankle, but it will not impact his status for Sunday's clash with the Ravens.

  • Vance McDonald

    Ques Sun | questionable

    McDonald has been activated from the Injured Reserve/COVID-19 list, but it is undetermined if he will make his return Sunday against the Ravens.

  • Trey Edmunds

    Ques Sun | questionable

    Edmunds is dealing with a hamstring injury, and it is uncertain if he will line up against the Ravens on Sunday.

Denver Broncos

  • Joe Jones

    Ques Sun | questionable

    Jones has been absent from the lineup during the last two games due to a calf injury, and it remains to be seen if he will be a participant on Sunday against the Saints.

  • Trey Marshall

    Ques Sun | questionable

    Marshall left the previous game due to a lower-leg injury, and it is up in the air if he will step on the field against the Saints on Sunday.

  • Graham Glasgow

    Lower Body
    Ques Sun | questionable

    Glasgow is bothered by a lower-leg injury, leaving his status against the Saints on Sunday clouded.

  • Tyrie Cleveland

    Ques Sun | questionable

    Cleveland has sat out the past two games due to a concussion, and it is uncertain if he will be cleared in time for Sunday's contest versus the Saints.

  • Elijah Wilkinson

    Ques Sun | I-R

    Wilkinson has been activated from the Injured Reserve/Designated for Return list after healing from a shin injury. It is unknown if he will return to the lineup on Sunday versus the Saints.

  • Jerry Jeudy

    Ques Sun | questionable

    Jeudy has injuries to his Achilles and ankle, leaving his availability against the Saints on Sunday up in the air.

  • Andrew Beck

    Ques Sun | I-R

    Beck has been shuttled to the Injured Reserve/Designated for Return list due to a hamstring injury, and he has two weeks in order to be activated.

  • Mark Barron

    Ques Sun | questionable

    Barron has been activated from the Injured Reserve/Designated for Return list after recovering from injuries to his hamstring and pectoral. It is unclear if he will suit up for Sunday's game against the Saints.

Denver Broncos vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

Ben Roethlisberger completed 29 of 41 passes for 311 yards passing, two touchdowns and an interception, James Connor rushed for 106 yards and another score, and the host Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Denver Broncos 26-21 on Sunday.

Diontae Johnson had eight receptions for 92 yards and a TD and Chase Claypool had 88 yards receiving and a touchdown for the Steelers (2-0).

Broncos backup quarterback Jeff Driskel completed 18 of 34 passes for 256 yards with two touchdowns and an interception in relief of injured Drew Lock. Melvin Gordon ran for 70 yards and caught a TD pass and Noah Fant had four catches for 57 yards and a touchdown for the Broncos (0-2).

Lock suffered a right shoulder injury when he was sacked and fumbled in the first quarter. He was 1-for-5 passing for 20 yards before being replaced by Driskel.

The Steelers used the takeaway to take a 7-0 lead when Connor capped a nine-play, 59-yard drive with a two-yard TD run late in the first quarter.

Denver got a Brandon McManus field goal, a 49-yarder, to make it 7-3 with 12:07 left in the first half.

The teams traded punts before Roethlisberger connected with Claypool for 84 yards for a score and a 14-3 Pittsburgh lead.

Chris Boswell kicked a 21-yard field goal with 39 seconds left in the second quarter to give the Steelers a two-touchdown lead at the half.

Justin Simmons intercepted Roethlisberger on the first drive of the third quarter, and the Broncos drove deep into Pittsburgh territory before McManus hit a 28-yard field goal.

Later in the quarter Driskel had a 20-yard TD pass to Fant, and then connected with him again on the 2-point conversion to make it 17-14.

Pittsburgh responded with a 75-yard drive, capped by Roethlisberger hitting Johnson with a 28-yard touchdown pass to make it 24-14.

The Steelers then tackled punter Sam Martin in the end zone for a safety, but the Broncos responded with Driskel's 16-yard scoring strike to Gordon with 7:43 left to make it 26-21.

Denver stopped Pittsburgh's next drive and had a chance to go ahead. However, Driskel was sacked on fourth-and-2 from the Steelers' 15, and Pittsburgh went on to run out the clock.

--Field Level Media