Monday, November 09, 2009

Broncos: What are the Chances...?

The Steelers are three-point favorites over the Broncos in tonight’s game, something of a surprise when one considers that Denver has only one loss thus far this season, and possesses a significant home field advantage. Making matters worse, Pittsburgh will be missing several key starters on defense — including safety Ryan Clark, who is expected to be deactivated, as the last time Clark played in Denver he suffered life-threatening complications when his sickle-cell condition was aggravated by the high altitude.

Nevertheless, the Steelers seem to match up favorably with the Broncos on both sides of the ball. Broncos QB Kyle Orton doesn’t possess a style that typically gives Pittsburgh’s D fits. And Ben Roethlisberger and his receivers have the potential to exploit Denver’s pass defense, provided Big Ben gets reasonably good protection from his O-Line. That’s why the key matchup in the game figures to be Steelers LT Max Starks against Broncos LB Elvis Dumervil, who has already recorded 10 sacks this season.

While the Steelers haven’t won a regular season game in Denver since 1990, I’m guessing this is the year Pittsburgh breaks that streak. I’m giving the Steelers a 55 percent chance of coming out of Denver with a win.

What are the Chances…? is 5-2 thus far in 2009 and 44-15 all-time.



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