After a quick first down, the Denver Broncos have a drive-killing holding penalty. Brock Osweiler went full dink and dunk to end the drive. The Broncos are now 8/9 on third down, but that one was a bit impossible to overcome. Worse, C.J. Anderson was injured on the draw play.
Antonio Brown had a nice return to set the Pittsburgh Steelers up near midfield. The Broncos defense needed a big series on this drive and did well stopping two runs by DeAngelo Williams to set up third and five. Bradley Roby would break up a pass to force a fourth down and a punt.
The Broncos open up their next possession with a screen pass that was nearly picked off and after a Ronnie Hillman three yard run the Broncos would have a third and seven. Osweiler would go long to Owen Daniels, but it would be incomplete for the first three and out of the game for the Broncos.
#Broncos starting out the 2nd half flat again making me nervous.— MileHighReport (@MileHighReport) December 20, 2015
I'm feeling nervous too. Time for a little of that Orange Crush defense.
The unstoppable force of Malik Jackson opened the drive with another sack on Ben Roethlisberger for a nine yard loss. Antonio Brown came up with a tipped ball to get that yardage back to setup third down and eleven for the Steelers. With all day to throw, Big Ben would find Markus Wheaton for the first down in Broncos territory.
With the Steelers gaining momentum, it would be a huge pass interference on Chris Harris Jr. that took them down to the nine yard line where Antonio Brown would catch a touchdown pass on the next play. It was the first touchdown pass Harris has given up in over two years.
Broncos up 27-20.
If ever the Broncos needed Osweiler to be the future, it would be on this next drive.
So what does he do? Throws a deep ball to Emmanuel Sanders for a 29 yard gain to bring the ball out to midfield. Demaryius Thomas almost came up with a monster catch deep down the sideline, but it was just barely out of bounds. Ronnie Hillman would be stuffed on the next play to setup third and long for the Broncos.
Once again, the Broncos couldn't find a way to get a first down. The pressure is again on the defense to step it up.
A penalty on special teams has the Steelers pinned back to their own three yard line. It's time for the Broncos defense to pin their ears back on this drive. The Broncos held to setup a short third and four when Rosethlisberger would hit Martvis Bryant would out fight Aqib Talib for the ball on a first down catch.
Antonio Brown would pick up a 20 yard gain for another first down to bring the ball out to the thirty yard line. However, three plays later Brown would beat Chris Harris Jr. again but a errant throw would force another Steelers punt.
A short punt that was about to be downed was picked up by Jordan Norwood and ran back all the way for a touchdown was called back because the Broncos bench came onto the field thinking the play was over.
The Broncos would go three and out with Brock Osweiler taking a sack to kill the drive and end the third quarter.
Momentum has definitely shifted.
Broncos still haven't scored a second-half point since the Patriots game. Been outscored 22-0 in the second half this month.— Andrew Mason (@MaseDenver) December 20, 2015