In Week 15 of the regular season, the Pittsburgh Steelers were able to defeat the Denver Broncos at Heinz Field after an impressive performance by Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown, but as the two teams prepare for the AFC Divisional round of the AFC Playoffs, there are many differences between these two AFC powerhouses.
Roethlisberger is nursing an injured throwing shoulder, after a Vontaze Burfict hit in the AFC Wild Card round, Antonio Brown and DeAngelo Williams have both been ruled out of the game with injuries, and Peyton Manning will be under center for the Broncos rather than Brock Osweiler.
In terms of the injury report, it is hard to ignore the glaring injuries on the Steelers' offense, but the one aspect many are overlooking is the Steelers' defense playing better football compared to earlier this season. Nonetheless, although picking the game seems like a slam dunk, it may be more difficult than the 7-point spread pointing to the Broncos.
Who do you think will win the game? Place your prediction in the Crowd's Line tool below. If you have created an account, sign in to keep track of your predictions, but even if you don't have an account, place your prediction below. All the predictions will be calculated, tabulated and compared to those from the Broncos' SB Nation website, Mile High Report. Time to prove BTSC has the better, and more realistic, fan base of the two.
As for my prediction, there is something about this 2015 Steelers team which never gives up. They have faced a tremendous amount of adversity all season, and they absolutely have responded. Combine that with the unknown commodity of Peyton Manning and I think the Steelers will keep this game close. Expect a defense which takes the football away, and I like the Steelers to win this game in shocking fashion, to make the AFC Championship game.
Jeff Hartman's Prediction (BTSC Editor):
Steelers - 20
Broncos - 18