The Denver Broncos (0-1) will hit the road in Week 2 to take on the Pittsburgh Steelers (1-0) and their vaunted defense this season. It won’t be an easy task for Denver to come out with a win, but it is certainly a must win game now despite it only being two weeks into the season.
While most of us are predicting a Steelers win, there were a couple of us who went against the grain to reason out a Broncos win instead. Tallying up our average scores for each team, the Broncos still lose this game 23-21 to Pittsburgh and will fall to 0-2 for the season. So we think the Broncos will cover the spread, but come up short for a win.
Here is how we see things going down individually.
Broncos 27, Steelers 23
I have to keep the faith here. With a talented young offense like the Broncos have, we’re going to see games like we saw in Week 1 and we’re also going to see games where everything clicks. I’m really hoping this road game in Week 2 is the latter, because teams that start a season 0-2 make the playoffs just over 10% of the time. I don’t want that for these Broncos in 2020. - Tim Lynch
Steelers 28, Broncos 13
Unfortunately, I think Pittsburgh’s defense is going to give Denver a lot of trouble, and the lack of Von Miller and AJ Bouye on the defensive side, paired with Big Ben’s quick passing game will be too much for the Broncos to handle in their first road contest. I think they drop to 0-2. (Cue all the stats that say 0-2 teams have virtually no chance of making the playoffs). - Jeff Essary
Steelers 24, Broncos 21
If you’re looking for something “positive,” and if you’re betting on the game, at least Denver will cover the spread. As I told Adam on the MHR Radio Podcast, I think Sunday’s game will be closer than the books expect. They have Denver at +7, as of Friday morning. If the Broncos can win the turnover battle, they have a great chance. If Lock and the Denver offense can then turn those turnovers into touchdowns, they should win. I think the turnover margin is even, thus the outcome. But, hey, at least the Broncos will cover. - Ian St. Clair
Steelers 28, Broncos 24
Like Jeff, I think the Steelers are just a nightmare matchup. They’re really loaded in the front seven and especially at both edges, which is going to put a ton of stress on Bolles and Wilkinson. The way Keith Butler schemes up overload blitzes and occasionally sends his nickel will also mean Drew Lock has to make the correct pre-snap reads at all times. It’s a lot to ask.
I do think there’s some potential for an upset, however. One thing I really hope the Broncos try to exploit is how many issues Pittsburgh seemed to have against tight ends and especially 13 personnel last Monday. Jake Butt and Noah Fant could both have nice showings.
As scary as the Steelers receiving corps is, they let Ben get pressured by a weak Giants defense. I think Fangio can create some havoc with stunts and blitzes like he did against the Titans. - Joe Rowles
Broncos 24, Steelers 22
Ugh. I hate predicting game scores because I hate picking against my favorite team, and I have a hard time thinking that this exciting-but-young Broncos’ offense can score enough points to overcome whatever scores Big Ben will be able to create against a Von Miller-less Broncos’ defense. But if Tim Tebow can upset the Steelers, then so can Drew Lock. With some pressure up the middle from Harris and Casey, Big Ben will throw a couple of pics to help out our offense, and with Jerry Jeudy and Melvin Gordon seeking redemption, they’ll be good for a touchdown or two as well. And now that we have a tight end hard to cover, Noah Fant should get in the scoring mix too. - Laurie Lattimore-Volkmann
Steelers 21, Broncos 19
The defense is the strength of the Broncos, but the secondary is banged up enough that it should open some doors for the Steelers offense. Denver should have a good game, but youth and inexperience is going to be an issue. Traveling east to play an early game is never going to be a good thing, and Pittsburgh looks like a contender for a deep run in the playoffs.
I like the direction the Broncos are headed, but the expectations might be a little too high right now. It’ll be a tough battle, but probably one they can’t steal a win from. - Adam Malnati
Steelers 17, Broncos 16
The Steelers look to have one of the best defenses in the NFL this year, perhaps even the best. That’s going to be really tough sledding for the league’s youngest offense. That said, Vic Fangio’s defense is pretty stout as well, and should be capable of throttling the Steelers’ running game and challenging their passing attack. The outcome may well come down to the Broncos’ Bouye-less secondary. I think we see improvement from the offense and a good defensive showing, but come up just short. And if that’s so, let the focus be on the good of playing competitively against what is probably the #3 team in the AFC. - Taylor Kothe