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NFL Playoffs: Pittsburgh Steelers at Denver Broncos - Live Blog

Pittsburgh Steelers
Sunday, January 17, 2016 - 2:40 PM MT
Denver Broncos




3rd Pass Off. 21st
8th Rush Off. 11th
22nd Pass Def. 1st
6th Rush Def. 1st
11-6 Sports Authority Field at Mile High 12-4
#6 Seed Spread: Broncos by 7.5 #1 Seed

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The Denver Broncos are huge favorites in this game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, despite losing to them just a few weeks ago. It's become a perfect storm of injuries for one team and healthiness for the other. Antonio Brown and DeAngelo Williams are both out, bumping the line from 2.5 to 7.5 in just a few days. Meanwhile, the Broncos have Peyton Manning back on the field. That could be a good thing or a bad thing, which will likely be determined by how well the offensive line plays.

Manning, after spending six and a half weeks on the bench, is extra motivated for this game and may have his best game since the last time he came off a Bye Week to put the beat down on the Green Bay Packers with 340 yards passing and 29 points. With Demaryius Thomas also having extra motivation now that his mom will be in the stands to watch her son for the first time ever in person, we could see Manning carve up the Steelers secondary for some big plays.

On defense, Steelers fans think that even without Brown their wide receivers will be able to carve up the Broncos secondary. I suppose I'd be overconfident too if my team had carved them up earlier in the season. The difference this week is the Broncos have all of their secondary whole again. It's the same secondary that led the league all season long. Ben Roethlisberger will find out how important Darian Stewart and T.J. Ward actually are on this defense.

Frankly, the only way I see the Broncos losing this game is if the often beleaguered Steelers defense can rise to the occasion and play toe to toe with the Broncos defense. The lower scoring the affair the better chance they will have at sneaking out of Denver with a win. But that's not going to happen.

Prediction: Broncos 31, Steelers 20

What is your prediction, Broncos Country?

SB Nation blogs: Behind the Steel Curtain and Mile High Report