Steelers Move to 2-0 Behind Defensive Stronghold
PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Steelers started their season 2-0 after defeating the Denver Broncos 26-21 in their home opener at Heinz Field.
A game loaded with injuries on Denver's side, the Steelers were able to take advantage. The Broncos finished the game without Drew Lock, Courtland Sutton or a number of defensive players.
For the Steelers, they relied heavily on the defense to keep them afloat in Week 2. The Broncos held the ball for 30:31 throughout the game, given extra help from the Steelers' two turnovers.
"Thankfully, our defense is fun to watch and they bailed us out," quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said.
The Steelers defense recorded seven sacks, 19 quarterback hits, 11 tackles for loss, an interception, fumble recovery and a safety.
"They were special. They bailed us out numerous times," Roethlisberger said. "They were sometimes even our best offense out there today. I'm very thankful for them and I've told them numerous times, they're one of the big reasons I decided to come back because they're a special group. They won that game for us, no doubt."
The defense stopped the Broncos on fourth down on the Steelers' 15-yard line. Denver was in the midst of a 73-yard drive, with 1:55 left in the fourth quarter.
"Once we started getting closer and closer to the redzone, we started talking about seven shots that we do in practice," cornerback Joe Haden said. "We were like, 'Seven shots. Let's get off the field; let's win this game.' We were locked in."
The drive came down to a fourth-and-two. Broncos quarterback Jeff Driskel dropped back in the pocket and was immediately met by Steelers safety Terrell Edmunds for an 11-yard sack.
"It was fourth down, everyone was out there, we were ready," Edmunds said. "We love the game. That's exactly the words we had on the field, 'We love this. Let's go out and make a play.' I was the open guy to make the play so that's how it came."
The turnover on downs led to a 59-yard run by James Conner to take the Steelers inside the Broncos' redzone and end the game. Sending the Steelers to Week 3, undefeated.