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Pittsburgh Steelers at Denver Broncos: First quarter recap

Here's what happened during the first quarter of the AFC Divisional playoff game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Denver Broncos.

Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

The Denver Broncos won the coin flip and deferred, giving the ball to the Pittsburgh Steelers to start the game. Ben Roethlisberger showed he had arm strength on the first play of the game, but ultimately the Broncos defense would come up with a three and out.

Omar Bolden would take the punt back 40+ yards to set Peyton Manning and the Broncos offense up in scoring position.

After a quick first down to Demaryius Thomas, he would drop an easy pass on the next set of downs and the Broncos drive would stall. Brandon McManus kicks the field goal to put the Broncos up 3-0 early.

On the Steelers next possession, Chris Harris Jr. would get burned on a third down play for a huge gain to put the Steelers almost into scoring position after a 37 yard catch and run. Three plays later on a fourth and less than one, the Steelers would go for it.

Instead of running it up the middle, which would have been blown up by the Broncos defense anyway, Roethlisberger throws it into the end zone where Aqib Talib was in position to break up the pass. Broncos remain in the lead 3-0.

On the ensuing possession, Manning tried some trickery on third down with a direct snap to Ronnie Hillman, but James Harrison was right there to blow it up.

However, Kayvon Webster came up huge on the punt with an acrobatic move to bat the ball back into the field of play to pin the Steelers inside the 3 yard line.

The Steelers did nothing with the ball, the punted to their own 31 yard line to give the Broncos really good field position. However, another pathetic offensive series for the Broncos would at least lead to a McManus field goal to put the Broncos up 6-0 late in the first quarter.

On the next possession, the Broncos defense suddenly forgot how to play defense. The zones were soft, an end around when for 40 plus and another run down to the goal line. Then an easy touchdown run from there. Just like that, the lead is erased. Steelers up 7-6.

The Broncos take possession on the next drive with just over a minute to play in the first quarter. Manning would shake the rust loose to end the quarter with three straight completions, all for first downs.

The Broncos will begin the second quarter in Steelers territory.