Broncos’ Next Opponent: Pittsburgh defense shut down Giants’ running game in Week 1 – The Denver Post

Broncos at Steelers, 11 a.m., Sunday, CBS

For the record. Like the Broncos, Pittsburgh opened its season Monday night. The Steelers (1-0) scored 23 unanswered points to win 26-16 at the New York Giants. The Steelers’ run defense bottled up Saquon Barkley, limiting him to six yards on 15 carries. The Giants totaled only 29 yards rushing on 20 attempts (1.5 average). In his first game since last year’s elbow surgery, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was 21-of-32 passing for 229 yards and three touchdowns.

Who’s hot. Running back Benny Snell gained 113 yards on 19 carries (long of 30) after replacing starter James Conner (ankle) early in the Giants game. A fourth-round pick in 2019, Snell gained 428 yards as a rookie.

Who’s not. The offensive line’s health. Right guard David DeCastro missed the Giants game (calf) and during the win, fill-in starter Stefan Wisniewski (pectoral) was injured and starting right tackle Zach Banner reportedly sustained an ACL tear and is out for the year. Chuks Okorafor, who competed with Banner in camp, is expected to play right tackle. If DeCastro and Wisniewski are unavailable, rookie Kevin Dotson is expected to play right guard.

Key statistic. 278. The Steelers’ regular-season home wins since the 1970 merger, most in the NFL. The Broncos are second with 266. The Steelers are 278-109-1 at home during that span.

Streaking. Acquired in-season last year from Miami, safety Minkah Fitzpatrick has found a home in the Steelers’ secondary. He led the NFL with eight takeaways (five interceptions/three fumble recoveries) in 2019.

FYI. The Broncos lead the regular-season series 15-8-1 and the playoff series 5-3. … Roethlisberger is 2-4 against the Broncos in the regular season (14 touchdowns and 11 interceptions). … Broncos inside linebacker Mark Barron, who missed Week 1 with a hamstring injury, played for Pittsburgh last year. … Three picks after the Broncos drafted receiver KJ Hamler, the Steelers selected Chase Claypool, who had two catches for 39 yards (19 snaps) in Week 1.

 

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