Countdown to 2020: The Broncos

Date: Sept. 20.

Time: 1 p.m.

Venue: Heinz Field

All-Time Regular-Season Series: Broncos lead, 15-8-1. Denver also leads the all-time postseason series, 5-3.


Last Meeting: Broncos 24, Steelers 17, Nov. 25, 2018, Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The Steelers tied the game at 10-10 on a 2-yard touchdown pass from K Chris Boswell to OT Alejandro Villanueva on a fake field goal on the last play of the first half and took a 17-10 lead on a 97-yard scoring strike from QB Ben Roethlisberger to WR JuJu Smith-Schuster in the third quarter. But the Broncos scored the next two TDs and preserved the lead late when NT Shelby Harris intercepted a Roethlisberger pass intended for WR Antonio Brown on third-and-goal from the Denver 2-yard line with 1:07 left in regulation. The Steelers out-gained the Broncos, 527-308, but turned the ball over four times and didn't register a takeaway.

Game action photos from the Pittsburgh Steelers' Week 12 game against the Denver Broncos at Mile High Stadium.

Last Season: The Broncos went 7-9 and finished second in the AFC West. Denver ranked 28th in total offense (20th rushing, 28th passing) and 12th in total defense (16th rushing, 11th passing).

Since Then: The Broncos spent the offseason collecting weapons for second-year QB Drew Lock. Denver added RB Melvin Gordon (Los Angeles Chargers) in unrestricted free agency and drafted WR Jerry Jeudy (Alabama) with the 15th overall selection in April, WR K.J. Hamler (Penn State) on the second round (46th overall) and TE Albert Okwuegbunam (Missouri) on the fourth round.

Eight sacks in 15 games. Broncos OLB Von Miller in 2019

Headliners: Lock started the final five games in 2019 and went 4-1. He completed 64.1 percent of his passes (100-for-156), for 1,020 yards, with seven touchdowns and three interceptions. RB Phillip Lindsay was 15th in the NFL in rushing with 1,011 yards and averaged 4.7 yards per carry. OLB Von Miller had eight sacks in 15 games and has 106 in 135 career starts.


Stat That Matters: The Broncos' 17 takeaways in 2019 surpassed only the Chargers (14), Raiders (15), Giants, Bengals and Dolphins (16 each). But Denver still finished plus 1 in turnover margin thanks to turning the ball over a mere 16 times. Only the Saints (eight), Packers (13), Ravens, Chiefs and Patriots (15 each) had fewer giveaways.

Memorable Meeting: With a spot in Super Bowl XL up for grabs the Steelers started fast and finished strong in winning the 2005 AFC Championship Game, 34-17, on Jan. 22, 2006 at Invesco Field at Mile High. The visitors scored the first four times they gained possession (a 47-yard field goal by K Jeff Reed followed by three consecutive touchdowns). Roethlisberger completed 21 of 29 passes for 275 yards and two touchdowns, and also had a rushing TD (which provided the exclamation point late). The defense collected three sacks of Denver QB Jake Plummer, including two by DE Brett Keisel. It was the Steelers' third straight postseason victory on the road on the way to the Super Bowl in Detroit, where they'd beat the Seahawks and capture the franchise's fifth Vince Lombardi Trophy.