Undoubtedly, when Pittsburgh fans read this headline, they'll be offended and call me out for my "arrogance." I hope I'm being presumptuous but having visited Behind the Steel Curtain, I fear this will not be the case. Yes, Pittsburgh is the defending Super Bowl champion, but like any other team they have their flaws and the Broncos may be able to expose some of them.
Of course, this will only happen if the Broncos remember what got them off to a 6-0 start and fail to suffer a comparable collapse as they did against the Ravens.
First of all, the Broncos' offensive line must dominate as it has often in previous weeks and seasons. Tyler Polumbus is the spotlight man, and I fully expect him to play well in the absence of Ryan Harris. Josh McDaniels and his assistants are experts at getting Broncos reserve players to play their best when called upon.
It would also benefit the Broncos to get some turnovers against the Steelers. Since Ben Roethlisberger has a well-renowned reputation for holding onto the ball for extensive periods of time, it will be quite helpful for the Broncos if Elvis Dumervil, Brian Dawkins, D.J. Williams and company are able to force some Big Ben fumbles.
From what I've seen on film (watching games on Tivo, while my expertise is nowhere near as great as the likes of Brian Billick, Mike Mayock or even Darren Sharper), the Steelers' Mike Wallace isn't always the most disciplined route runner, so perhaps Andre Goodman and Renaldo Hill can effectively jump some routes when Big Ben goes his way and get crucial picks.
On offense, I'm pretty convinced Tony Scheffler is a tough matchup for any Steelers safety or linebacker, such as Lamarr Woodley or even Troy Polamalu. (in all honesty, Scheffler vs. Polamalu is perhaps the greatest potential matchup this game could see). Thus, if our illustrious offensive line does their job and gives Kyle Orton plenty of time to throw, I fully expect to see Scheffler getting plenty of work.
Finally, in closing, I do not disrespect the Steelers, but I do believe there are areas where the Broncos can be successful against them. Please, if there are any Steelers fans who read these words, do not misconstrue them as anti-Steeler propaganda. To be precise, there are only a handful of teams I truly despise in NFL annals, and three of them are our AFC West rivals. For the record, the Pittsburgh Steelers are not on their list.
Let's have a good game (we're wearing our orange, YESSSS!) and may the best team come out on top.
Thanks, as always, for reading.