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Week 2 Steelers-Broncos News & Notes

Updated: Sep 26, 2020

The Steelers coming off a 26-16 victory over the Giants on Monday night in Week 1 will face off against the Broncos on Sunday in their home opener. Denver lost to the Titans, 16-14, on Monday night and are looking to avoid an 0-2 start to the season, while the Steelers hope to build off their victory against Big Blue and start the season 2-0 for the first time since 2017.

- The Steelers are 10-3 in home openers under Mike Tomlin. Since 2001, when Heinz Field opened, the Steelers are 15-4 in home openers.

- The Broncos lead the all-time series 20-11-1 against the Steelers. Denver has won four of its last five games against Pittsburgh. The Steelers are 2-5 against the Broncos under Mike Tomlin and Sunday will be just the second time that the Broncos have played at Heinz Field under Tomlin's tenure. The lone appearance was in 2015 when the Steelers defeated the Broncos 34-27. Let's just say it's a good thing the Steelers are not playing in Denver on Sunday, as they've notoriously struggled at Mile High, much like when they had to play the Raiders in Oakland, who has now moved to Las Vegas.

- Ben Roethlisberger is 3-6 in his career against the Broncos, including 1-2 in the playoffs. Despite the losing record against Denver, Roethlisberger has fared well when playing against the Broncos. In regular-season contests, Roethlisberger has the most passing yards per game (minimum three games) against the Broncos in franchise history among all quarterbacks, averaging 340.5 yards in six games, according to CBS Sports HQ. Roethlisberger beat out Dan Marino and Boomer Esiason on the list; Marino averaging 320.0 passing yards in three games and Esiason averaging 295.0 passing yards in four games against Denver. Roethlisberger has averaged 421.0 yards passing against the Broncos in his last two games.

Roethlisberger's most memorable game against the Broncos came in the 2005 AFC Championship Game in Denver, when the second-year quarterback led the Steelers to a 34-17 win to earn their rightful spot in Super Bowl XL in Detroit. Roethlisberger was 21 of 29 (72.41%) for 275 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions, a quarterback rating of 124.9. Roethlisberger also rushed for a 4-yard touchdown to close out the game. It was a vintage performance by Roethlisberger on that day at Mile High, something that Steelers fans would become accustomed to over Roethlisberger's long future Hall of Fame career.

- The Steelers are 7-point favorites against the Broncos on Sunday with the over/under listed at 40.5, according to Denver is 7-3 against the spread in its last 10 games, while the under is 8-1 in Pittsburgh's last nine games, per The total has gone under in 16 of Denver's last 20 games against an opponent in the AFC.

- The Steelers officially ruled David DeCastro (knee) and Stefen Wisniewski (pectoral) out for Sunday's game against Denver. Rookie Kevin Dotson will start at right guard. DeCastro and Wisnewski did not practice at all this week. DeCastro missed most of training camp and hasn't practiced since Aug. 28. James Conner suffered a left ankle injury against the Giants on Monday night and left the game in the second quarter and did not return. Conner missed Wednesday's practice but has been a full participant at practice for the second consecutive day, which means he will be good to go for Sunday. I would imagine that the Steelers will still go with Conner as the starter, but Benny Snell Jr. should get a good amount of carries as well.

The Broncos have ruled out running back Phillip Lindsay (toe) and former Steelers linebacker Mark Barron (hamstring). Denver's No. 1 wide receiver Cortland Sutton (shoulder), who missed the first game, is listed as questionable for Sunday. Denver's left tackle Garrett Bolles (elbow) and wide receiver Tyrie Cleveland (hip) are also listed as questionable. Rookie wide receiver KJ Hamler (hamstring) will be active after missing Monday night's game against the Titans. The Broncos' No. 1 cornerback A.J. Bouye will be out for Sunday's game after being placed on injured reserve on Wednesday after suffering a shoulder injury against Tennessee on Monday night.

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