Week 1: Denver Broncos Vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

Seattle Seahawks v Denver Broncos
Pittsburgh Steelers v San Francisco 49ers
Winner Peyton Manning is a Hall of Fame quarterback who gets a chance to write a new chapter in his career with the Broncos. While he must show he can take the abuse that comes with playing the position in regular season games, he is a huge upgrade for the Broncos over Tim Tebow.
Ben Roethlisberger is one of the most unique quarterbacks in the league. He has the size and strength to shake off a big hit, slide to the outside and buy time and then make a big play. He can take a lot of punishment and throw an accurate pass, giving the Steelers a chance to win most weeks.
The Broncos have some workable tools on offense. Start with hard-working Willis McGahee, who no longer is a breakaway threat but can punish a defense when he lowers his shoulder. Demaryius Thomas is the Broncos big-play receiver while Eric Decker can make the possession catch.
Winner The Steelers want to run the ball with Rashard Mendenhall, but he won’t be recovered from his torn ACL until midseason. That means Isaac Redman will be asked to run the ball. Mike Wallace is a big-play wideout who can break the long one at any time while Antonio Brown is quick, agile and knows how to get open.
While Tim Tebow got the bulk of the publicity in Denver last year, the play of the Bronco defense was a surprise. Elvis Dumervil can pressure the quarterback from the defensive end slot and outside linebacker Von Miller can do the same. Champ Bailey is still one of the best cover men in the league.
Winner It’s almost like clockwork. You can count on the Steelers to have one of the best defensive units in the league under defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau. This year is no different. The Steelers have Troy Polamalu to run the secondary and underrated Ziggy Hood on the defensive line. Outside linebacker James Harrison (knee) probably won’t be ready for the start of the season.
Special Teams
Matt Prater was the best kickoff man in the league last year, but he gets a boost because he kicks in Denver. His field goal kicking was ordinary and so was the Broncos’ return game.
Winner The Steelers got a big boost from Antonio Brown in the return game as he averaged 27.3 yards per kickoff return and 10.3 yards per punt return. Shaun Suisham has a strong leg for kickoffs but struggles on field goals.

The Winner Is

Pittsburgh Steelers v San Francisco 49ers
Winner Steelers
3 out of 4

Circumstances have changed dramatically since the Steelers’ season ended in Denver in the wild-card playoff game, but this game is still important. The Steelers want revenge while the Broncos want to see that Manning can play a regular-season game without getting hurt.


  1. MINNEAPOLIS, MN - OCTOBER 9: Quarterback Brock Osweiler #17 of the Houston Texans drops back to pass during the first quarter of the game on October 9, 2016 at US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) SAN DIEGO, CA - OCTOBER 13:  Trevor Siemian #13 of the Denver Broncos warms up before the game against the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium on October 13, 2016 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
    Week 7 Tale Of The Tape: Houston Texans At Denver Broncos

    The Broncos square off against their former QB as they welcome in Brock Osweiler and the Texans.

  2. SEATTLE, WA - OCTOBER 16:  Quarterback Russell Wilson #3 of the Seattle Seahawks passes against the Atlanta Falcons at CenturyLink Field on October 16, 2016 in Seattle, Washington.  (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images) GLENDALE, AZ - OCTOBER 17:  Quarterback Carson Palmer #3 of the Arizona Cardinals looks to make a pass against the New York Jets in the first half of the NFL game at University of Phoenix Stadium on October 17, 2016 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
    Week 7 Tale Of The Tape: Seattle Seahawks At Arizona Cardinals

    The Seahawks face their NFC West foe on the road as the Cardinals look to get above .500 for the first time this season.

  3. FOXBORO, MA - OCTOBER 16:  Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots prepares to receive a snap during the game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Gillette Stadium on October 16, 2016 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images) PHILADELPHIA, PA - SEPTEMBER 25:  Quarterback  Landry Jones #3 of the Pittsburgh Steelers throws a pass during warm ups before playing against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on September 25, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
    Week 7 Tale Of The Tape: New England Patriots At Pittsburgh Steelers

    The Patriots are riding high and now face a Steelers team who will be without their starting QB.

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