Pittsburgh Steelers tackle Chukwuma Okorafor was not only a surprise start in Week 12 against the Denver Broncos but he played all the 78 offensive snaps. Starting right tackle Marcus Gilbert was again inactive for his fifth consecutive game. Backup tackle Matt Feiler, who many thought would start, was active but seemingly only available in case of an emergency due to a pectoral injury sustained the week before against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Fans were already anxious due to Broncos strongside linebacker Von Miller. Miller would see extensive action against the right tackle position. The six-time Pro Bowler is having a banner year as Miller came in tied for fourth in the NFL with 10 sacks heading into the contest.
Okorafor, the 2018 third-round pick out of Western Michigan, did not embarrass himself during the game but he received help from Steelers tight ends, running backs and Pittsburgh’s right guard David DeCastro in trying to limit the destruction that Miller could bring to the field.
Miller did not take over the game like some fans feared, but he was a disruptive factor while being lined up across from Okorafor. Below is some good, bad and ugly tape on Okorafor against Miller but also other Bronco defenders in the pass and run aspect of the game.
Miller came out of the game productive with one sack, two tackles and a quarterback hit and Okorafor gave up other pressures to Broncos defenders. It was not an abysmal day for the raw first-year Steelers tackle, but it was far from a glowing first full complement of snaps either. Feiler has practiced all week and should be on track to start at right tackle Sunday. Feiler should be an upgrade over Okorafor, but is coming off a poor game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Steelers will need to give the right tackle position help tonight against the Los Angeles Chargers and Melvin Ingram, as the team did against the Broncos. Ingram not only leads the Chargers in sacks (5.5), but also in tackles for losses (6).