5 Takeaways From Denver Broncos Win Over Pittsburgh Steelers In Divisional Round

By Brad Berreman

The Denver Broncos used a strong defense and a prolific kicker as driving forces to beating the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday, and they’ll host the AFC Championship Game next Sunday. Here are five takeaways from Denver’s narrow victory.

5 Takeaways From Denver Broncos Win Over Pittsburgh Steelers In Divisional Round
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5. Denver Has the NFL's Best Defense

Denver Has the NFL's Best Defense Credit: Justin Edmonds Getty Images
I'm not breaking any news here, but the Broncos legitimately have the league's best defense. Steelers' quarterback Ben Roethlisberger came into the game limited by a shoulder issue, and he topped 300 passing yards, but the Denver defense stiffened when it had to, and led the Broncos to the AFC Championship Game.

5. Denver Has the NFL's Best Defense

I'm not breaking any news here, but the Broncos legitimately have the league's best defense. Steelers' quarterback Ben Roethlisberger came into the game limited by a shoulder issue, and he topped 300 passing yards, but the Denver defense stiffened when it had to, and led the Broncos to the AFC Championship Game.

4. Kickers Are People Too

Kickers Are People Too Credit: Dustin Bradford Getty Images
Broncos' kicker Brandon McManus and Steelers' kicker Chris Boswell combined to go 8-for-8 on field goals Sunday afternoon. Boswell also converted the only extra point attempt in the game.

4. Kickers Are People Too

Broncos' kicker Brandon McManus and Steelers' kicker Chris Boswell combined to go 8-for-8 on field goals Sunday afternoon. Boswell also converted the only extra point attempt in the game.

3. Sammie Coates Is A Promising Talent For The Steelers

Sammie Coates Is A Promising Talent For The Steelers Credit: Jeff Gross Getty Images
Coates was buried on the depth chart during his rookie season, but Antonio Brown's absence opened the door for him to play more and he showed his upside on a 37-yard catch and run. If given the opportunity, the Auburn product should climb the depth chart for Pittsburgh next season.

3. Sammie Coates Is A Promising Talent For The Steelers

Coates was buried on the depth chart during his rookie season, but Antonio Brown's absence opened the door for him to play more and he showed his upside on a 37-yard catch and run. If given the opportunity, the Auburn product should climb the depth chart for Pittsburgh next season.

2. Ben Roethlisberger Is Either Incredibly Tough, Or He Exaggerated His Injury

Ben Roethlisberger Is Either Incredibly Tough, Or He Exaggerated His Injury Credit: Doug Pensinger Getty Images
Roethlisberger would hardly be the first pro athlete to overstate an injury, in an effort to thrown an opponent off. But he didn't appear to be obviously limited by the severe shoulder injury he so willingly told local media he had, and the Steelers' offensive game plan did seem to be altered all that much. Something smells funny about it, and I'm betting "Big Ben" isn't as hurt as he said he was.

2. Ben Roethlisberger Is Either Incredibly Tough, Or He Exaggerated His Injury

Roethlisberger would hardly be the first pro athlete to overstate an injury, in an effort to thrown an opponent off. But he didn't appear to be obviously limited by the severe shoulder injury he so willingly told local media he had, and the Steelers' offensive game plan did seem to be altered all that much. Something smells funny about it, and I'm betting "Big Ben" isn't as hurt as he said he was.

1. Peyton Manning Is Still Good Enough to Win Playoff Games

Peyton Manning Is Still Good Enough to Win Playoff Games Credit: Doug Pensinger Getty Images
The Broncos' receivers did him few favors on Sunday, but Manning avoided big mistakes, was efficient all things considered (21-for-37) and engineered a game-winning drive when it mattered. This clearly isn't the same prolific passer we saw in his prime, but as long as Manning doesn't start throwing interceptions in bunches, he's part of a winning formula for the Broncos.

1. Peyton Manning Is Still Good Enough to Win Playoff Games

The Broncos' receivers did him few favors on Sunday, but Manning avoided big mistakes, was efficient all things considered (21-for-37) and engineered a game-winning drive when it mattered. This clearly isn't the same prolific passer we saw in his prime, but as long as Manning doesn't start throwing interceptions in bunches, he's part of a winning formula for the Broncos.

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