The Broncos got hit with a dose of reality last week. The Raiders and Derek Carr exposed the Broncos last week by not only covering the spread but beating them straight up. Carr is quickly accumulating some impressive wins under his belt, with that win against the Broncos his most impressive yet. The Broncos’ Brock Osweiler played a pretty good game. He wasn’t the reason for the loss. But the offense was stymied for only 12 points in the 15-12 loss. The Raiders do not have a good defense, in fact they are 25th in the NFL. They went up due to that performance last week against the Broncos. Against the pass they are 28th, but the Broncos were unable to take advantage of their defense.
Like I said, Osweiler wasn’t the problem, but there are other holes in this offense. The offensive line isn’t good, and as a result, the running game is in shambles. Last week against the Raiders they were able to run for only 37 yards. They are not pushing the pile and facilitating running room for the backs. What happens with no running game is that down the field plays do not work out so well. The Broncos are not a quick strike team. Play action used to work beautifully with Peyton Manning when he was healthy. The offensive line was much better then as well. Also, Julius Thomas was a big threat in the passing game, now he is with the Jaguars. What the Broncos would do to have a big effective tight end in the passing game.
The Steelers are coming off a victory against the Bengals, a big win against a division foe. The rest of the AFC is certainly starting to get nervous as the Steelers begin to heat up. The Steelers had to contend with injuries to Roethlisberger, but now that he is in top form, the Steelers are firing on all cylinders. The Steelers will pose some problems for Osweiler and the Broncos this afternoon. But will it be enough to derail the Broncos and pack them another loss in week 15? I get to that below.
Denver Broncos vs. Pittsburgh Steelers NFL Betting Odds:
vs. Steelers -6.5(-110)
Odds provided by Bovada.lv
Broncos vs. Steelers Pick:
The Steelers are playing the kind of football we expected from them this season. It didn’t help at all that Roethlisberger had to sit as a result of injuries and a combination of Mike Vick and Landry Jones took over at quarterback. With Ben healthy now, the Steelers have scored more than 30 points five straight weeks. The one coming up a loss against the Seahawks in a 39-30 loss. During that five game stretch Pittsburgh averaged 35.2 points per game. Their last two wins were won in impressive fashion, a 45-10 beat down of the Colts and 33-20 victory over the Bengals.
I’m afraid that the Broncos are not going to be able to counter the Steelers’ weaknesses in this game. The weakness for the Steelers is the passing defense. That will come to hurt them if they make the postseason, but for today, the Broncos should not pose any problems in the passing game. The vertical game for the Broncos is lacking. It is the system as a whole, it isn’t just that Peyton Manning isn’t playing and it’s Osweiler. The Broncos went run heavy through the mid-way point of the season. That offense will not work here, they do not have the offensive line for it, nor do they have any running backs that can get it done through 4 quarters. In my opinion this looks like a 10 point win for the Steelers.
PICK: STEELERS -6.5 (-110)