January 5, 2012

Wildcard Week: Broncos Vs Steelers

It has been a long time coming but our Broncos are finally returning to the playoffs. But it will be against a very familiar opponent in the Pittsburgh Steelers. These teams have faced off 6 times in the playoffs and have ended each others playoff hopes in the past. The current record between these two team's stands at 3-3 a piece. The Steelers finished the season with a 12-4 record and are only playing in the Wild card round because the Ravens who are also in the Steelers division finished with a 12-4 record but won out on the tiebreakers. The Ravens managed to claim the second seed and do not play this week. Last week the Steelers played the Browns and managed to sneak out a win after not being able to do much for the majority of the game. They do come into this game with a number of key injuries but they have the experience factor on their side.

On the other hand our Broncos finished the year with a 8-8 record and lost their previous three games to enter the playoffs. (Note that the Texans also finished the year with three loses and that the Saints also did this then won a Superbowl) In recent weeks we have struggled to move the ball and have had too many turnovers. But this is the playoffs! What happens in the regular season really means nothing now (it is a good foundation to build off though). We have been invited to the dance and it is up to us to rise to the occasion. Two teams play and only one can win, 50-50, I like those odds. Now it is up to the Broncos to.....TAAAKKKKE IIIIIITTT!

There is some bad blood (mainly between the fans) between these two teams even though they don't play that often. The main reason for this is the fact that the Steelers some how manage to fill out Mile High with their own fans. Hopefully the Broncos ticket holders will hold onto their tickets and show up in force. (Why don't we ban the terrible towel at the ground?) The other reason is like I said before these two have been known to knock one another out of the playoffs.

Match Ups
First we have to look at the Defense and the task that is ahead of them. The Steelers have a good receiving core with a nice amount of speed. The three main targets are Mike Wallace, Hines Ward and Antonio Brown. Wallace I think will be Champ's assignment for this week. Champ needs to limit the big pass to Wallace. (The Steelers love the play action, go deep pass) I am a little worried about Ward, he doesn't have much left and isn't a threat to take it all the way but Chris Harris will have his hands full covering him. If I am correct Ward plays the slot with Wallace and Brown on the outside or does he rotate around with Brown (probably both). That leaves Goodman and Brown. I am most worried about this match up as Goodman has struggled with speedy receivers that can get behind him. I expect to see Goodman give a big cushion and a lot of short passes completed in front of him.

With Mendenhall out with an knee injury it will fall to the backups to carry the load. I watched the Browns-Steelers game last week while I was watching the Broncos game. (It was on locate TV while I was on the computer) I got to say I was impressed with Redman. He seemed to keep plugging away and picking up nice yardage. I do think we can stop the Steelers run game but the D-Line will need to be physical going up against a good Steelers line. Mays also needs to be physical and a force in the run game because he can't cover. Miller if you play on run downs make sure to set the edge correctly.

The RapistBerger did seem to struggle with his passing in the game but got it together towards the end of the game. He does limp around but I am unsure of which ankle it is, whether it is his front or back foot. Either way he struggles to set his feet and transfer the weight between them as he passes. Though if you make him move he does seem to get the ball out better. We need to keep him in the pocket and make him step up. Hopefully we can get some pressure on the outside. Von Doom need to get some pressure on Berger and ruin his day. Also did you notice that Ayers had a sack last week? Almost everyone missed it.

Now for the offense, oh our lonely offense.

For our running backs I want more of the same. McGahee needs to carry this offense but I would like to see him get into the endzone. I has still want to see more from Johnson, he seems electric with the football, like last week I would like to see him get 5-10 carries and spell McGahee not Ball.

It is a bummer Larsen is out because he has some skills when used correctly. Look at last week he goes up makes a catch and holds onto the ball even with his legs are getting destroyed in the process. Larsen is a keeper. The question is who will replace him? Are we going to active Sylvester for the game?

Now for the wide outs and tight ends. This is the most IMPORTANT part of the preview for me. What I want to see or the game plan for me (even if it is only for the first series) is that we go 5 wide. From the shot gun go 5 wide. With 4 WRs and a TE or 3 WRs and 2 TEs. Some have said use Quinn to pass, change it up, the Steelers won't expect it. What the Steelers won't expect is the Broncos go 5 wide with no running back, we are a running team after all. This is also how the Packers beat the Steelers to win a Superbowl (Also was what the Broncos did against the Falcons in Superbowl 33 to completely throw them off as they thought TD was coming) and it is the reason the Broncos may win. With Ryan Clark ruled out for this game (and happens to be the better cover safety) this doesn't allow for Polamalu to roam the field. It also means that a backup safety will be playing. So spread them out and attack the third and fourth string CBs or the backup safety. Doing this we can create a number of mismatches in the passing game and get guys like Ninja Willis and Royal more involved. Plus if we move Decker inside every now and then it will help him get off the line clean and make some plays. Also if we were ever going to use TEs this would be the game for it as they can create mismatches against the Steelers linebackers in the 3-4. This idea has worked before and I think it would work for the Broncos.

The key to it's success though is on Tebow. But this should also free up the receivers, get them more open for some easy completions to hopefully get Tebow in a rhythm. I see a lot of benefit from it.

Now for Tebow himself. Tebow needs to grow a pair for this one. He needs to flat out start balling if the Broncos want to win. Complete passes and don't turn the ball over, that is all I ask. 50% completion rate and no turnovers. If he can do this I think we can win. Plus I am still waiting for that break out game.

Special Teams, the one area I haven't mentioned before. Prater, Colquitt....more of the same please. As for the coverage teams just do your jobs and maintain good field position. I can now breathe a sigh of relief because McCarthy is no longer on our team.

The main part, who do I think is going to win. If you had been following I have been saying all week if Dawkins plays we will win, if Dawkins can play all the remaining games of the year we will win the Superbowl (you heard it here first). The reason I think this is because of two reason. The only real difference from the team that won 6 straight then lost 3 in a row is, One we were missing Dawkins and Two we had no heart, desire or emotion. It is surprising how much Dawkins means to this team and the way he lifts our whole team and not just the defense. It is what we have lacked in recent weeks. That edge, the want to go above and beyond. Remember on this Broncos team their is not one player than Dawkins who wants to win a Superbowl more. He knows his time is almost up and he is trying his hardest to will this team to greatest. Him combined with Tebow have pushed this team to it's limits. When both are playing we are 7-0 without we are 1-8. (Dawkins didn't finish the game against the Bills?) Even if Dawkins does or doesn't play I still need to give a prediction. This game I think will be surprisingly close, probably in the teens. But I say 20-17 Broncos win it late.

Fun Facts
» Elvis Dumervil and Von Miller combined for 21 sacks this season.
» The Steelers put up 161 yards rushing in Cleveland. Expect Isaac Redman (92 yards) to get the ball often with Rashard Mendenhall's knee injury.
» These two teams last met in the playoffs in the 2005 AFC Championship. The Broncos were the two seed, but were bested by the sixth-seeded Steelers, 34-17.

Injury Report
Brian Dawkins (S), Neck, DNP
Spencer Larsen (FB), Knee, DNP
Eddie Royal (WR), Toe, DNP
David Bruton (S), Achilles, Limited
Von Miller (LB), Thumb, Full

Troy Polomalu (SS), Calf, DNP
James Harrison (LB), Toe, DNP
Brett Kiesel (DE), Groin, DNP
Cortez Allen (CB), Shoulder, DNP
Mewelde Moore (RB), Knee, DNP
Ben Roethlisberger (QB), Ankle, Limited
Markice Pouncey (C), Ankle, Limited
Doug Legursky (G), Shoulder, Full
LaMarr Woodley (LB), Hamstring, Full

Other News
The Broncos have made a number of moves lately. Here they are:
Kyle McCarthy S was cut.
Brian Iwuh, RLB was signed to the roster.
Ryan Harris, ROT, was signed to the roster.
DL Jeremy Jarmon was signed to a future contract.
Signed DB Ramzee Robinson to a future contract
Placed G Chris Kuper on injured reserve

These were the 'untouched' ladies I could find :P

I found this picture and I lol'ed haha, too funny.

Youtube Funny

That is it from me, time to shock the world, Go BRONCOS! ~ Aussie.


  1. G -I love the gikrl pics, but these look kinda sleazy.

    Gottcha on the call-SB Champs if Dawk plays.

    Redman will play big against us. We got to hope for pressure and get some turnovers. Gonna get lucky with some breaks this week and get a home upset I think. Then we are probably done. We don't travel east well and it will be at NE or at Balt.


  2. Oh yeah. Tebow doesn't look good in orange.

  3. I don't want to blow my own horn but I said this just after we got the schedule for this season:

    "Got the Raiders, Benegals and Titans to start the year which is good, all winnable games. Then have the Packers and Chargers before the bye, they will be tough games, at least we get the Packers before it gets cold in Green bay. After the bye we get the Dolphins and Lions, both winnable. Then have Raiders, Chiefs, Jets and Chargers. A tough strecth. Followed by Vikings, Bears, Pats and Bills, another tough strecth. Before we finish against the Bills. So as of now I think we can win at least 8 games, but it will be tough going. We need to beat our division rivials though. "

  4. Really maybe it is the cap and yeah thought you would like the girls, also isn't it a bit early for you :P

  5. No I couldn't sleep for a while there. Went on the computer and caught your new post.

    I don't get what you are blowing your horn about.

  6. Are you saying you called 8-8 and playoffs? If so, me too, kind of.

  7. Haha I was saying that I said we would win 8 games and that we need to beat our division opponents to get it, I was joking around. With the amount of stuff I say I have to get something right haha.

    Yeah I figured it was early/late for you since I posted that at 9pm

  8. No really those girls look like sleazy bar whores.

    Yeah if you say enough stuff eventually you say something right I hope. That's why I voted we move on in the playoffs and we don't move on in the poll. One of them will be right. Unless we tie. LOL Pitt and us both move on in the playoffs Haha.

  9. That is a good question, what happens in double OT?

    Haha yeah they are sleazy, but isn't that the best kind :P

    Looks like Dawkins will be out for this game. I don't like our chances.

  10. They flip a coin and the winner moves on.

    Not so much.

    He will be there as a inspiration. His career is over though I'm afraid. We were lucky he came to Denver for 3 years. There were games that he took over in. Only a few guys can do that from the defensive side of the ball. To replace that will be tough. I don't know if Von is THAT guy yet or not. He is a superstar, that I do know, same as Dumervil and Champ. Can he be the take over the game guy? His hero Derick Thomas was.

  11. Whoa! From multiple sources. Whoeee aren't they special. Fox hasn't lost faith because he never had it????? Give me a break. Sounds like a lot of people think it is now or never for Tebow.

  12. Tebow is all heart and he believes in his team. Not to mention, his team believes in him. because of this.. They are a Team.. Not a group of talented people without direction looking out for their own stats.. I think they made it this far for a reason.. They will win this game..

  13. Hi KTDevil5.
    Even if they do win this game, which I hope you're right about, I won't go so far as you did to say they are here for a reason this year. T2 does make them a team and you can achieve much more working together as a team, but at the same time it does not mean that we are bound to win because they play all for one and one for all. Nice thought though. If it were the movies you know we'd win. Go Broncos.

  14. Hi KTDevil5, I hope your right that they can go above and beyond, but on paper the Steelers are the better team. Hopefully we can sneak out the win and get some confidence and momentum.

  15. Holy mother flipping holiness, what an end to a game, I was thinking it would be cool if Thomas took a catch all the way in overtime then boom! What a win!

  16. Also robert ayers huge game, I will re watch this because a lot of young guys stepped up!

  17. That was absolutely nuts....

    There I was watching the game with Jimmy. He's all acting like Pitt is gonna win, trying to call the plays (and funny part is he HATES the Steelers with a passion). So they tie the game and he's like there's no way Denver wins this. And I knew it was going into OT the minute Pitt tied the game. Denver defense was just too good to blow the game like that. I knew something HUGE was gonna happen, I just knew it. My gut feeling.....

    So OT starts, Tebow drops back to pass, we're both just sitting there like "ok, he's gonna throw it, whoop-dee-do" and then BAM, Thomas catches it & NEVER EVER EVER stops running. I fly up off the couch, I'm screamin bloody murder for him to keep running. I look back at Jimmy, his jaw just dropped to the floor in complete disbelief. I look back at the TV and he's in the end zone, man I was ballistic. I thought I was gonna lose my voice. lol

    After a few minutes of celebrating, I finally sat back down and he barely said a word for the next hour that I was there. lol He absolutely could not believe what just happened... I could & couldn't either, I mean the very first play of OT??? Just crazy but so awesome to watch. My phone almost exploded too lol, I had like 10 people call & text me at the same time once it was over all in excitement.

    Was an all-around TEAM win but once again, our defense really stepped up for us. I cannot believe Champ dropped that INT, man he HAD that thing!! But just goes to show, he's still got it. Holding Wallace to only 3 catches, that speaks volume about Champ the Man. lol

    Justice has been served ;)

  18. Though we didn't earn our way into the playoffs like we should have or like any Bronco fan would like to have seen it happen... EVERYTHING does happen for a reason.

    Whatever the reason is for us to be where we are now, I don't know what that reason is & right now I don't care. We flat out won that game, the underdogs beat the better team, and that's ALL that matters. It was a TEAM effort from start to finish.

    Can we finally beat NE... on the road?? I'm not sure I can even answer that. I always believe this team can win but to beat the AFC's #1 seed in THEIR home is a long shot, for sure. Long shot, as in from earth to the sun. But it is possible. I dare this Denver team to do the unthinkable... talk about shocking the world. That would be a massive win.

    Can't blame a person for dreaming big.....

  19. Really sucks to see Decker get hurt like that. Injury bug continues to plague this team but we can still fight it out with the NFL's best. We just can't afford anymore big blows to this team, especially offense. Losing Kuper & Decker is bad enough.

    I will end my rant by saying how impressed I am with how well D. Thomas has stepped up on our offense. He's been a big playmaker for us in recent games. Glad to see him staying healthy & playing like he is. About time....

  20. What up princess, great story it was crazy how open bay bay got on that play, that was good play calling. As for me I was at work and had just got back from the toilet to check the score, then boom! Haha I was doing fist pumps in my cubicle.

    I hope Decker is ok, we will need every weapon we can get for the pats.

    Also princess are you going to be able to put a post game together? Or too busy celebrating haha

  21. Re-watching the game these are the notes I made:

    Ayers hits Berger
    Tebow looks like he has some zip on the ball
    Blitzing Ayers over G out of a LB look.
    No FB for the game so it won't be a good day in the running game, well I think at least, not Fox's style
    Bruton great tackle techique
    Bush 36 seems to be playing well as the 4th CB, the Dime
    Love the Orange towel idea, I can't tell the difference between the two plus I don't think there are many Steelers fans here this week
    Carter tackles well
    Bruton great coverage
    Love the Orange things in the crowd (Jersey and all)
    Harrison Dirty, wanted the injury, you could see the intention, he could have hit him in the chest and laid him out but he wanted to injury
    Tebow nice strikes to DT.
    Zane Beadles is a great puller hehe
    Tebow throwing great balls
    Carter great pick caused by Von Doom pressure
    Mays needs to wrap up
    Love me some Carter huge hit
    Miller has a cast but he seems more mobile than usual, maybe confidence.
    Bruton is quick
    Very consertive 3rd Quarter.
    Mays is terrible.

  22. Sorry about the post game, been busy. I could still put one up and I might just cause this was a real good win for us. I know I didn't do one for any of the 3 losses lol

    If I don't get to it by tomorrow, I won't do it.

  23. It's OK BP, it's time to get ready for NE now anyway. Bring on pretty boy.

    1. Test

      Looks like we got a new comment section now with reply button, seems to be working.

    2. Ok Si u can't reply to a reply like MHR does but you can reply to the original poster.

  24. Larsen on IR with the same injury Decker just sustained. Dawkins still having tingling in his hands. Not good. Backups stepped up big last week. Royal actually caught that TD. Amazing. Mays sucks though. He has some highlight hits, but that's it. Ayers with two sacks, gotta love that. Champ is awesome. I know he dropped the easy int. I don't care he's awesome. In fact, Doom, Miller and Champ are 5 star players. Ayers, DJ, Bunkley, Goodman, Harris are 4 star players at their positions. Our D is fricking good. M.Thomas has been showing signs. Carter is improving. Irving and Moore on the bench have tons of potential. WOW!

  25. Cool princess, if u don't get it up don't worry as soon I will have this weeks preview up.

    I was surprised they put Larsen on IR and not Dawkins, but if we make the superbowl I guess he will play no matter what.

    I would like to see the TEs more involved this week and JJ.

    As for the defense I said it before that start of this season, with a good draft and key signings we can get better on defense in a hurry, I think the D can only get better and with another draft and FA we could be set.