The Denver Broncos (0-1, 0-0 away) head east to take on the Pittsburgh Steelers (1-0, 0-0 home) in Pittsburgh’s home opener on Sunday. The AFC Division contest will be the first road test of the season for the Broncos.
Kickoff for the bout is set of 1 p.m. EST at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pa. The Steelers open as a 7.5-point favorite, according to oddsmakers.
What to Know – Denver Broncos
The Denver Broncos hosted the Tennessee Titans in Monday night’s nightcap, a game the Broncos let slip away late in the fourth quarter, which the Broncos did numerous times last season. Denver went 2-6 last season in games away from Mile High Stadium.
Drew Lock completed 22-of-33 passes for 216 yards and one touchdown in Monday’s loss. Lock, who took over quarterbacking duties late last season, is 5-2 as the Broncos starter. Lock also fumbled the ball twice, but the Broncos recovered each.
Melvin Gordon and Phillip Lindsey split carries early on for Denver, with Gordon getting the share of the load once Lindsey left the game with an injury and did not return. Gordon finished the night with 78 yards rushing on 15 carries, including a touchdown, and added three catches for eight yards.
Lock’s favorite target was second-year tight end, Noah Fant. Fant hauled in five catches for 81 yards and a score. Rookie Jerry Jeudy had four snags for 56 yards but also had two key dropped passes in the game.
Alexander Johnson led the defensive unit with 12 total tackles, including eight solo and a quarterback hit. Offseason acquisition Bryce Callahan and Josie Jewell added eight tackles apiece as well.
What to Know – Pittsburgh Steelers
Ben Roethlisberger returned under center for the Steelers, and Pittsburgh took care of business against the New York Giants, 26-16. Last season the Steelers finished the 2019 season with a 5-3 record in home contests.
Big Ben connected of 21-of-32 attempts for 229 yards and three touchdowns in the opener. It was Roethlisberger’s first game under center since game two of the 2019 season.
The expectations were high for running back James Conner this season, but those expectations were not met on Sunday. The third-year running back carried the ball just six times for nine yards before exiting the game with an ankle injury. Benny Snell Jr. took advantage of the extra workload, tallying 113 yards on 19 attempts.
JuJu Smith-Schuster caught two of Roethlisberger’s three touchdown passes. Smith-Schuester finished the night with 69 yards receiving on six receptions. Diontae Johnson added six grabs for 57 yards.
Terrell Edmunds amassed eight total tackles, including seven total to lead the Steelers defense. Devin Bush contributed seven stops, five of those solo. T.J. Watt and Cameron Heyward each had an interception in the game.
The Pick is In
The Broncos played the Titans tough but were spotted 10 points on three missed field goals and one missed PAT, so the game was closer than it should have been. The Steelers were good but not great on Sunday, but Pittsburgh should continue to improve on offense as Roethlisberger continues to shake the rust off.
Denver will keep this one close, but look for Pittsburgh to pull away late here. We like the Steelers against the spread on Sunday.