Pittsburgh Steelers Vs. Denver Broncos : Three Things To Look For.

By Curt Popejoy

The wait is almost over for my fellow Pittsburgh Steelers fans.  The 2012 NFL season is upon us, and it all kicks on in the Mile High City of Denver, Colorado in a matchup against the  Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos.

I have looked at this game from just about every angle I can think of and there are 3 things that I just can’t get out of my head, so I’m going to share them with you.

Can the offensive line keep Ben Rothlisberger upright?

The Steelers offensive line has been through a lot of turmoil this off-season, and it’s going to be a work in progress at least early on.  This doesn’t bode well for them considering they are going to be trying to stop pass rush specialists Elvis Dumervil and Von Miller.

Tackles Max Starks and Marcus Gilbert are going to have their hands full, and for this offense to hum, Roethilsberger needs time.

What should the Steelers expect from Peyton Manning? I was able to catch one Broncos pre-season game this year, and I thought Manning looked sharp as a tack.  Arm had zip on it, and he looked like he was in full command of the offense. This Steelers defense is predicated on getting pressure up front to take heat off the secondary.

But I have always felt the Herm Lewis-ism is true that you pressure average quarterbacks, and you play coverage on the great ones.  I’m not sure which side the Steelers will choose but if I know defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau, it’ll be pressure.   If they don’t get to Manning, he’s going to have places to throw.

Will this game decide the season?  I realize I am over stating this, but all I hear on sports talk radio is that the Steelers are the 2nd and in some cases 3rd best team in the AFC North.  A big win opening weekend against a Hall of Fame quarterback on the road with a depleted roster would be big in shutting up the critics. I hope the Steelers go into this game with a huge chip on their shoulder, and blow the Broncos out of the stadium.

More analysis and my offiicial predicition for the game Friday right here on Rant Sports.

Follow me on Twitter@nfldraftboard

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