A combination of strong defense and an offense that made great halftime adjustments, the Steelers dominated the Denver Broncos on Monday night football to win 28-10 at Invesco Field. The defense intercepted Broncos quarterback Kyle Orton 3 times with one being returned for a touchdown by free safety Tyrone Carter. Carter started in place of Ryan Clark, who sat out because of possible sickle cell complications, and had 2 of the 3 interceptions. The defense was also without starting defensive end Travis Kirschke and linebacker Lawrence Timmons, but they did not miss a beat. The unit held the Broncos to just 27 yards rushing and 221 yards passing. Most importantly they held Denver to 5 of 14 on 3rd down conversions and only 12 total first downs.
The scoring opened with a 9 play, 56 yard drive that resulted in a Matt Prater 40 yard field goal. That was all the offensive scoring the Broncos would have on the night as Denver could never put together anything on offense after that.
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On offense, the Steelers were led by running back Rashard Mendenhall and the stellar offensive line run blocking. Mendenhall carried the ball 22 times for 155 yards and broke off several long runs in the process. After a sluggish offensive start, the Steelers finally started to attack the short middle portion of the field in the passing game. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was 21 for 29 passing for 233 yards and 3 touchdowns. Santonio Holmes led Steelers receivers with 93 yards receiving on 6 catches and Hines Ward chipped in 44 yards on 7 catches and a late 3 yard touchdown to put the game away. It was Ward\’s second 3 yard touchdown of the night.
The only other Broncos score came on a Robert Ayers fumble return after defensive end Kenny Peterson stripped the ball from behind on a Roethlisberger pass attempt early in the 3rd quarter. The Steelers answered the score and marched 80 yards on 4 plays for the first of Ward\’s two touchdowns. After that, it was all Steelers as they kept their defense off the field and the Broncos defense on the field.
The Steelers move to 6-2 on the season and remain tied with the Cincinnati Bengals for the AFC North division lead who they host next Sunday in a huge divisional clash.