Below are seven matchups or things to look for on Monday night as the Steelers take on the Denver Broncos.
Woodley vs Polumbus – With Denver right tackle Ryan Harris out with two dislocated toes, second-year-pro Tyler Polumbus will get the start in his place. Outside linebacker LaMarr Woodley will likely be used to rush quite a bit in order to put pressure on Kyle Orton and could have a field day against Polumbus.
Ike Taylor vs Brandon Marshall – Steelers cornerback Ike Taylor has been effective in keeping the opposition out of the endzone, but he is giving up chucks of yardage in the process, especially on get off downs. Marshall is dangerous and needs to be kept in front of the coverage, not behind.
Steelers Get Off Down Defense – I talked about this earlier in the week. Keep Denver under 33% on 3rd conversions and the Steelers will win. Up to this point, the Steelers have had problems getting off the field on not only 3rd downs, but key 3rd downs as well in the game.
Knowshon No Outside – Broncos rookie running back Knowshon Moreno can be dangerous and must be forced to try to run in between the tackles instead of using his speed to turn the corners outside. James Harrison must not get greedy and must hold his ground outside to force Moreno back to where he would rather not have to run.
Heath Miller vs Broncos Linebackers – Tight end Heath Miller is not a secret, neither is the fact that the Broncos are soft in the middle of the field when using a linebacker in coverage. Exploit it until the Broncos are forced to use a defensive back on Miller instead.
Mendenhall Hold The Ball – Everything has been looking good with the progress of Rashard Mendenhall except for the fumbling problem that has reemerged. It is no secret that he holds the ball low and exposed and this needs to change as the turnovers have come at crucial times of games.
Better Kick Coverage – This is starting to be a weekly thing to watch. The Steelers coverage teams have been horrible up till now. Andre Frazier and Keenan Lewis should both be active this week and could provide needed help on kick-off units in particular. The Steelers have been vulnerable on the outsides, especially on the side of Keiwan Ratliff.