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Steelers vs. Broncos: By the Numbers

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Just a quick look at several revealing Broncos team statistics through their first five games:

Rushing Yards Allowed: 938 yards -187.6 YPG - wow dead last in the NFL

Passing Yards Allowed: 145.6 YPG - best in NFL

Touchdowns: Denver 7; Opponents 16

These are but a few numbers, but they pretty much tell the story for Denver. Obviously yielding 187 rushing yards per game isn't going to win you many football games. And obviously, if you surrender that much on the ground, you're pretty much never going to blow any team out - and Denver hasn't. In their two victories, they beat Buffalo on a last second Jasom Elam FG to go ahead 15-14; and the following week against Oakland, Denver had to rely on a missed-GW FG attempt by Sebastian Janikowsk.

As for the pass defense? It's good. Quite good. Champ Bailey is obviously a great CB and playmaker for Denver. Dre Bly's no slouch either - although I think he's a bit overrated and definitely not any better than Ike Taylor when he's playing well. Still, you can't give all the credit to Bly and Bailey for the small number of passing yards allowed per game. If it's so easy to run against the Broncos, why stop doing it? In Week 2, Oakland threw the ball only 16 times. Smart move, as LaMont Jordan was running all over Denver's defense, racking up 159 yards on 25 carries by day's end. In Week 4, Indianapolis ran the ball 37 times compared to just 27 passes. I might add Peyton Manning had a field day against Denver's D, even though he finished with under 200 yards passing on the day. It will be interesting to see if we take to the air early, thinking that Denver is expecting us to run against their miserable run defense.

Finally, how about that TD ratio. 7 TDs in 5 games? That's weak, especially for a team that has scored over 20 points in two of their games. The bottom line is Denver is moving the ball sufficiently well - they have the 8th best rushing attack per game, and the 5th best offense in terms of total yards per game. They're just not finishing off drives. Some of that has to do with the fact that Jay Cutler has thrown an INT in every start he's made in the National Football League. And some of that I think may have to do with the fact that their TE Daniel Graham has only caught 10 balls this season. It's hard to make things happen in the Red Zone as is, and it's even harder when you're only throwing to your slot and perimeter WRs. Denver's simply going to have to do a better job finishing off drives if they want to win this game on Sunday.

Anyone else seen Denver play much this year? Anything you'd add?