There is no question the Pittsburgh Steelers have a talented defense, but it has struggled in critical areas that could benefit the Denver Broncos. The area of concern for the Broncos is the Steelers' defensive front line and how talented it is in getting after the quarterback.
This concern is heightened with the Broncos' known issues in pass protection. Denver has to figure out how to counteract the Steelers pass rush, which plays to where the Broncos have an advantage.
The Steelers have struggled in each game to counter a quick passing game, and that is something Teddy Bridgewater, the expected starter this week, does exceptionally well. This will put some strain on the receivers to get open quickly, but they should be able to against this secondary.
The Steelers play zone coverage over 60% of the time, and Denver has done well when working against such defenses. The Broncos' receivers do an excellent job of finding the soft spot in the zone and lie in wait for the pass. That will have to be replicated this week against a struggling Pittsburgh secondary.
If the Broncos can weaken Pittsburgh's pass rush with quick passes it should help open up a running game and even some deep shots. The Broncos must keep the Steelers pass rush at bay or else they could wreck the day for Denver. Just think back to last year in Week 2.
Even with the injuries that have befallen the Broncos, the team still has plenty of weapons that can still make plays and against zone coverage, tight end Noah Fant typically shines.
After the first game, Fant has largely been missing in action, but he will be called upon in this one. He can find the soft spot in the zone and that propensity could really help exploit the Steelers in their weakest area in coverage.
Denver needs its former first-round tight end to step it up at Heinz Field and forestall falling to 3-2 with even more demanding games on the horizon.
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