Now that Week 1 of the season is in the books, we can begin to look ahead to NFL Week 2. In the first week, we saw a multitude of upsets that have affected NFL betting odds going forward. Those interested in NFL betting may want to pay close attention to NFL odds through their favorite online sports betting source before locking in their bets. In this NFL game preview, we highlight the matchup between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Denver Broncos.
What To Look For
After Week 1, fans of both the Broncos and Steelers have a lot to be excited about heading into Week 2. The Steelers won their game against the Giants in primetime on Monday night.
Their defense smothered all game, while Big Ben Roethlisberger played in his first game since September of 2019 after needing elbow surgery. Of course, there was some rust to knock off after not seeing live action in a long time. With that said, Roethlisberger looked pretty close to the Big Ben of old.
Denver, without star pass-rusher Von Miller, played an inspired game against the Tennessee Titans, only to lose in the last minute of the game on a field goal kick. Not all was bad though, as their young weapons offered fans plenty of encouragement going forward. Even though they didn’t win their first game, they showed plenty of potential and have the weapons on offense to scare any team in the NFL.
Key Players To Watch
Ben Roethlisberger, Quarterback
Ben Roethlisberger is known to be tough. Always seemingly battling an injury of some sort, he has been a top quarterback in the AFC since being drafted 11th overall in the 2004 NFL Draft.
Finally healthy again, Big Ben has a chance to put up some big numbers with the weapons Pittsburgh has surrounded him with. After all, the last time Roethlisberger played a full season, he led the NFL in total passing yards with 5,129.
Against a talented Broncos secondary, this next game should offer a good test for how he feels after his elbow surgery in the offseason.
T.J. Watt, Linebacker
If you are a big fan of football, you are well aware of the damage the Watt brothers are capable of on defense. T.J. Watt is a heck of a player for the Steelers. Capable of rushing the passer, making great tackles, and as we saw Monday night in primetime, he can also pick off passes. If the Broncos hope to have a chance to win, they need to make sure they keep Watt in check.
Bud Dupree, Linebacker
Anyone who watched the Steelers play the Giants on Monday night, saw Bud Dupree do what he does. In this game, in particular, he showed up in the opponent’s backfield on what felt like every snap. If Bud Dupree again goes unaccounted for, look for him to have a similarly big game at home in Pittsburgh.
Drew Lock, Quarterback
As John Elway’s personal protege, Drew Lock has a lot going for him. The Broncos have done a good job of supporting him with plenty of weapons to go around. From Noah Fant, Jerry Jeudy, Courtland Sutton, plus the two star running backs in Phillip Lindsay and Melvin Gordon, Lock has to like what he sees.
Although, Lock is still learning how to play in the NFL with only 6 games under his belt so far. The Pittsburgh Steelers defense should prove to be a tough test for the inexperienced signal caller.
Bradley Chubb, Linebacker
Normally, we’d be talking about Von Miller and the dominance he displays on Sundays here. Unfortunately with Miller out for several weeks with a leg injury, Bradley Chubb becomes the focal point.
There are many talented players among the Broncos defense, but Chubb may be the one who can make the biggest impact on this game. In his rookie season, we saw Chubb generate 12 QB sacks. Not bad for a first-timer. Last year, he was only able to play in four games due to a devastating knee injury. Healthy again, the Broncos will need to see Chubb get after Big Ben to make things easier on the secondary against the Steelers.
Where Do They Stand?
With just one game played, both teams can still take their season anywhere. With at least 15 games left to play, the year is wide open. It will be up to the individual teams to perform if they want to have a chance at performing in the playoffs.
The Pittsburgh Steelers are off to a good start though, by winning their first game of the season. With the Steelers at 1-0, they are tied with the Baltimore Ravens for the AFC North division lead. Can they continue their success against the Broncos?
Although they played decently in Week 1, the Denver Broncos find themselves in an 0-1 hole after losing their first game. In the AFC West, where the Broncos play, they currently sit in last place after the other three teams in the division emerged victorious. If the Broncos want to have a shot at playing for the playoffs down the stretch, they can’t afford to keep losing winnable games.
Past Historical Matchups Between the Steelers and Broncos
As two legendary franchises with plenty of history in the playoffs, both the Steelers and Broncos have high standards for success. In total, the Broncos lead the series between these storied teams, 20-11-1.
The last time they faced each other was in 2018. In that matchup, the Broncos were victorious 24-17. Of course, each team had very different rosters at that time, so not much can be taken from those results.
NFL Betting Picks and Predictions
Facing off in Pittsburgh at Heinz Field, the Steelers won’t have any fans at the game, due to COVID-19 regulations. It remains to be seen how much of an effect that may have on the outcome of the game.
I expect Roethlisberger and the rest of the Steelers to pick up where they left off in Week 1. The Broncos, if they have any shot to stay in the game, will have to hope for explosive plays from their young offensive weapons. Though, if they can’t keep the physical Steelers defense in check, it could be a long day for Drew Lock and company.
Early NFL betting lines have the Steelers coming away with a win. With how they looked in Week 1, that might make sense. But the Broncos are packed with young talent on offense and always have a chance to make enough plays on D to keep this close. We expect the Steelers to win this one by a field goal.