The Pittsburgh Steelers offense is about to be tested in a serious way when the Denver Broncos come to Heinz Field in Week 15. The Broncos are the top ranked defense in the league, lead the league in sacks (44), allow well under 100 yards rushing a game (84) and have the front 7 to help their "No Fly Zone" secondary anchored by Aqib Talib and Chris Harris not allow a quarterback to throw for 300 yards throughout the 2015 season.
It will be a tall task for the Steelers offensive line to protect Ben Roethlisberger, allowing him time throw down the field, while opening running lanes for DeAngelo Williams to keep the offense balanced. A difficult job for Mike Munchak's line, which at times has been held together with crazy glue and duct tape. However, the Steelers have faced some elite defenses already in 2015, how have they fared against these units?
In Week 12 the Steelers went head-to-head with the second ranked defense, in terms of yards allowed, in the Seattle Seahawks. In that game, this was their stat line:
Ben Roethlisberger: 36/55, 456 yards, 1 TD, 2 INT, sacked 2 times for 10 yards
DeAngelo Williams: 8 rushes for 29 yards, 1 TD
In Week 6, Pittsburgh went against the Arizona Cardinals, who are ranked 4th in terms of yardage allowed. Here is the stat line:
Landry Jones: 8/12, 168 yards, 2 TD, 0 sacks
Mike Vick: 3/8, 6 yards, 0 TD, 1 sack for 5 yards
Le'Veon Bell: 24 rushes for 88 yards
Mike Vick: 5 rushes for 47 yards
In Week 1, the Steelers played the New England Patriots. New England is the 6th ranked defense in yards allowed, and are 2nd in the NFL in terms of sacking the QB. Here is the stat line.
Ben Roethlisberger: 26/38, 351 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, 2 sacks for 13 yards
DeAngelo Williams: 21 rushes for 127 yards
In Week 7 the Steelers played the Kansas City Chiefs, who are 8th overall in terms of yards allowed, and have the 4th most sacks in 2015. Take a look at the stat line:
Landry Jones: 16/29, 209 yards, 1 TD, 2 INT, 2 sacks for 17 yards (one a strip sack)
Le'Veon Bell: 17 rushes for 121 yards
How the Steelers offensive line has done against other Top 10 teams in pressuring the QB in 2015:
The Steelers have done more than enough to protect their quarterback against some of the top defenses in the league, as well as open up lanes in the running game. When the Broncos come to Heinz Field, it will certainly be a challenge to protect Ben Roethlisberger from Von Miller and DeMarcus Ware, all while opening up holes for DeAngelo Williams in the running game. However, if 2015 has done anything, it has proven this offensive line is more than capapble of winning the battle in the trenches, even against some of the NFL's best units.