Denver Broncos Get Destroyed in Second Half, Lose 34-27


Denver Broncos could not hold off Antonio Brown and Ben Roethlisberger in second half, end up blowing 14 point lead to lose 34-27.

The Denver Broncos entered their matchup against the Pittsburg Steelers with a 10-3 record, but they owned a 6-1 road record on the season. With Peyton Manning not ready for a return to game action, Brock Osweiler started, once again, under center for the Denver Broncos. The Pittsburg Steelers received the opening kickoff; however, after a quick six-play drive, the Steelers punted the ball to end their opening drive.

Next: Peyton Manning Returns to Practice for Denver Broncos

In the subsequent drive by the Denver Broncos, Ronnie Hillman fumbled on the Denver 21-yard line to give the Steelers great field position on their next possession. Following the Hillman turnover, the Steelers scored a touchdown, capped off by a DeAngelo Williams 2-yard run. With the score, the Steelers took an early lead by a score of 7-0; however, the Denver Broncos quickly responded with a touchdown of their own.

Brock Osweiler led the Denver Broncos on an impressive 12-play, 85 yard drive down the field to tie up the game 7-7. Osweiler connected with Demaryius Thomas on an 18-yard touchdown pass with just under five minutes remaining in the first quarter. After a quick three-and-out by the Steelers, the Denver Broncos scored on their first play following the punt, a 61-yard touchdown pass from Osweiler to Emmuel Sanders, to put them ahead 14-7. 

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Following the home run pass from Osweiler to Sanders, Josh Bush of the Denver Broncos intercepted Ben Roethlisberger to give the team good field position. After the interception, Osweiler led the Denver Broncos on a 10-play, 50 yard drive to extend the lead to 20-7 (Brandon McManus kick no good). Osweiler found the endzone on a seven-yard run, and he showcased his mobility outside of the pocket.

After 20 unanswered points, the Steelers managed to score a field goal to cut the deficit to 10 points (20-10). The Denver Broncos answered the Steelers’ field goal with a touchdown of their own, putting them up 27-10 with just under two minutes left to go in the first half. Demaryius Thomas and Brock Osweiler connected for the second time in the game, this time a six-yard score. However, the Denver Broncos left enough time on the clock for Roethlisberger to march down the field to get his team in field goal position right before time expired. With the field goal, the Denver Broncos were up 27-13 entering halftime.

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The second half of the game belonged to the Pittsburg Steelers, as the Denver Broncos could not get anything going on offense. The Denver Broncos punted the ball six times in the second half, Osweiler threw one interception, and they turned the ball over on downs twice. The Steelers shut out the Denver Broncos in the second half, and they scored 21 unanswered points to get the come-from-behind victory in epic fashion.

Roethlisberger connected with Antonio Brown on two touchdown passes, with the other touchdown coming from Markus Wheaton. Antonio Brown routinely torched the Denver Broncos’ secondary, leading to an unbelievable stat line on the night. Brown finished with an amazing 16 receptions for 189 yards and two touchdowns. No one on the Denver Broncos could stop him, and the team paid dearly for their mismatch. 

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  • Ben Roethlisberger finished with 380 passing yards, three touchdowns, and two interceptions. He threw the ball an eye-popping 55 times, due to the Steelers basically ditching the running game. This marked the first time all season that the Denver Broncos gave up a 300 yard passing game, but they got embarrassed from the dynamic duo of Big-Ben and Antonio Brown. Brock Osweiler finished with a respectable stat line (296 passing yards, three touchdowns, one interception); however, he could not come through when the passes mattered.

    The Denver Broncos are in the midst of a two game losing streak, and they need to right the ship before they enter the playoffs. The Denver Broncos finish off their 2015 regular season with two games at home, against the Bengals and Chargers, leaving them with a solid opportunity to gain some much-needed momentum heading into the playoffs. With the loss to the Steelers, the Denver Broncos fall to 10-4. Also, with another week of reps, Peyton Manning nears a return to game action.

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    Whether Manning returns to the starting lineup next week against the Bengals remains to be seen, but Gary Kubiak must address the quarterback situation this week. Osweiler shows his inconsistencies at times, but Manning might not be up to game speed upon his return. It is somewhat a double-edged sword with whom starts at quarterback. As of now, it is a wait-and-see approach to next week’s matchup against the Bengals.