Tim Tebow? Pshaw. It's Peyton Manning now. National audiences will swoon over the New York Jets' only rival for dramatic headlines, as the Steelers could potentially face their second consecutive road opener against a high-powered AFC team .
The Steelers were spanked 35-7 at the hands of the Baltimore Ravens on a Sunday afternoon game to open the 2011 season, and per Klis, the Broncos have been informed they are strong favorites to host the Steelers on Sunday Night Football Sept. 9.
Pittsburgh managed to recover from a 2-2 start to finish 12-4, losing the AFC North title by virtue of a tiebreaker with Baltimore. That sent them to Denver, where injuries and a rare game of huge passing statistics from the pass-allergic Broncos got the better of the defending AFC champions 29-23 in overtime.
Denver wasn't satisfied with the play of their young quarterback, so they exchanged him for an old one - Peyton Manning. Broncos coach John Fox said at the Owner's Meetings in Florida Tuesday the Broncos offense would take on much of what Manning had done in Indianapolis over the past 14 years.
Old school, grind-it-out with popgun passing to high-powered vertical throwing in just one game.
The Steelers' secondary played perhaps a bit too aggressively, with CB Ike Taylor getting caught out of position in reading Tebow, and seemingly expecting low throws. WR Demaryius Thomas, in particular, slipped behind him, and Tebow's throws wobbled but found their targets.
Time will tell what kind of arm strength Manning will have, but odds are good he'll have more of one than Tebow does. And with most of Denver's highly productive defense returning (minus DT Broderick Bunkley), the Steelers will receive a challenge, indeed, in Week 1.
To get it out of the way now, FS Ryan Clark has already Tweeted if the Steelers are at Denver in Week 1, he will not play.