Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Broncos say they're prepared for shorthanded Steelers

DENVER — The Steelers stagger into Denver for today's AFC division-round game with ailing Ben Roethlisberger, who won't have his leading rusher or his top receiver against the league's best defense.

So what?

The Steelers (11-6) are deep even without All-Pro receiver Antonio Brown (concussion) and running back DeAngelo Williams (foot), and the Broncos insist Big Ben can go deep even with a sprained throwing shoulder.

The Broncos (12-4) swear they won't make the same mistake as last year, either. Denver came off a bye and faced a banged-up underdog. Result? Indianapolis 24, Denver 13.

"I think we were focused on New England," cornerback Aqib Talib said. "There was a bunch of future talk when we didn't even get the Colts yet."

Broncos receiver Demaryius Thomas, whose 80-yard touchdown in overtime from Tim Tebow was the dagger the last time these teams met in the playoffs four years ago, said, "All we're worried about now is the Steelers."

Roethlisberger threw for 380 yards and three touchdowns in a 34-27 win over Denver on Dec. 27; Brown had 16 catches for 189 yards and two scores.

And even with Brown out, the Steelers still have Martavis Bryant, Markus Wheaton and tight end Heath Miller, who combined for 163 catches and 14 touchdowns.

"We've got great wideouts," rookie Sammie Coates said. "We're going to … fill in his shoes and make the plays we know we've got to make."

Thomas has extra motivation of his own — his mother will see him play in person for the first time. Katina Smith was released from federal prison last summer when President Barack Obama commuted her sentence on drug trafficking charges. Smith went to a halfway house, then home, but was restricted from traveling until now. "I'll be excited, she'll be excited," said Thomas, whose mother and grandmother were arrested and incarcerated when he was 11; he went to live with an uncle.

Steelers at Broncos, 4:40, Ch. 10

Line/OU: Broncos by 71/2; 40

The Steelers tied Dallas last week for most playoff wins (34) all time. This game marks the eighth playoff meeting between the teams; Denver has won four. Ben Roethlisberger led the NFL with 328.2 passing yards per game, third-highest single-season average in NFL history. He is 11-5 in the playoffs; Denver QB Peyton Manning is 11-13. Denver has 15-5 home playoff record. Manning (foot) is set for his first start since Nov. 15. Emmanuel Sanders has 19 catches for 347 yards and two TDs in past three games. He previously played for Pittsburgh. Denver led NFL in total defense (283.1 yards per game) and pass defense (199.6).

Broncos say they're prepared for shorthanded Steelers 01/16/16 [Last modified: Saturday, January 16, 2016 9:50pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. USF tight end Palmore faces charge of credit card fraud

    Crime

    A University of South Florida football player faces charges of fraudulent use of a credit card and petit theft following his arrest by Temple Terrace police on Monday.

    USF senior tight end Adrian Palmore faces charges of fraudulent use of a credit card and petit theft after his arrest by Temple Terrace police on June 19, 2017. [Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office]
  2. Rowdies defender gets the call to represent Jamaica

    Soccer

    ST. PETERSBURG —- Damion Lowe has loved his first season with the Rowdies but has some other soccer-related business that might pull him away for a bit.

    Family business, too.

    Tampa Bay Rowdies defender Damion Lowe collides with Louisville City FC forward Luke Spencer earlier this year.
  3. Sarasota's Scooter Gennett: Utility man turned historic slugger

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — On June 10, 2009, the Brewers selected a Sarasota High School shortstop in the 16th round of the MLB draft. He'd assembled an impressive resume in prep ball, but as one of more than 1,500 players drafted that year, he had a tough road to the big leagues.

    Cincinnati Reds second baseman Scooter Gennett (4) of Sarasota makes the throw to first as Rays DH Trevor Plouffe (14) grounds into a double play at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg Monday, June 19, 2017. For Gennett, the three-game series this week with the Rays was his first trip back to Tampa Bay since his historic four-home run game June 6, 2017 against St. Louis. DIRK SHADD   |   Times  

  4. Vegas Golden Knights expansion selections

    Lightning Strikes

    Vegas Golden Knights expansion selections

    Goaltenders

    Calvin Pickard, Colorado Avalanche

    J.F. Berube, New York Islanders

    Marc-Andre Fleury, Pittsburgh Penguins

    Forwards

    Teemu Pulkkinen, Arizona Coyotes

    William Carrier, Buffalo Sabres

    Cody Eakin, Dallas Stars …

  5. Lightning's Victor Hedman third in Norris Trophy voting

    Lightning Strikes

    Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman knew he was a long shot to win the Norris Trophy, given to the league's top defenseman, at Wednesday's NHL awards show.

    LAS VEGAS, NV - JUNE 21:  Victor Hedman of the Tampa Bay Lightning attends the 2017 NHL Awards at T-Mobile Arena on June 21, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images) 700065353