Skip to main content

Xtra Points

Steelers defeat Broncos, 27-19

The Steelers ran back what worked in Green Bay and did much of the rest of what they attempted better against Denver.

The result was a 27-19 victory this afternoon at Heinz Field that snapped a three-game losing streak.

The Steelers used a second consecutive first-possession, deep-ball touchdown pass from quarterback Ben Roethlisberger to wide receiver Diontae Johnson and a second consecutive 1-yard leap for a TD by running back Najee Harris to build a 17-6 lead through 30 minutes.

And in the end, they relied on goal-to-go defense that wouldn't break.

The Steelers improved to 2-3.

The Broncos fell to 3-2.

The Steelers possessed the ball for 19:43 and amassed 92 yards rushing in the first two quarters, more yards on the ground than they'd managed in any of their first four games.

And on their first possession of the third quarter they kept the ball for 7:16 on what became a 14-play, 86-yard touchdown drive.

The Steelers initially settled for a 51-yard field goal by kicker Chris Boswell on fourth-and-12 from the Broncos' 33-yard line. But defensive end Dre'Mont Jones was penalized 15 yards for leverage (leaping over and contacting long-snapper Christian Kuntz) and head coach Mike Tomlin opted to take the field goal off the board and accept a first-and-10 at the Denver 18.

Roethlisberger found wide receiver Chase Claypool for an 18-yard score three plays later and Boswell's extra point upped the Steelers' lead to 24-6 with 2:41 left in the third.

The Broncos closed to within 24-19 on a 39-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Teddy Bridgewater to wide receiver Courtland Sutton that capped a five-play, 72-yard drive in 1:54 with 5:46 left in the fourth quarter. Bridgewater's pass for a two-point conversion was incomplete.

The Steelers took over at their 25 following the kickoff.

Roethlisberger hit Johnson for 22 yards on a slant for a first down and moved the chains again on a 16-yard gain to Claypool.

Running back Benny Snell gained 4 yards on third-and-5 from the Broncos' 30 and Boswell converted a 43-yard field goal for an eight-point advantage at 27-19 with 2:29 remaining in the fourth.

The Broncos responded with a drive that achieved a first-and-goal from the Steelers' 9 with 56 seconds left in the fourth. But they were turned away when cornerback James Pierre intercepted Bridgewater in the end zone on fourth-and-goal from the 3.

Harris' rushing touchdown and Boswell's extra point increased a four-point Steelers' lead to 11 at 17-6 with 2:12 remaining prior to halftime. The six-play, 75-yard possession in 3:35 included a 59-yard, catch-and-run splash play from Roethlisberger to Claypool, who ran away from outside linebacker Von Miller's initial attempt at coverage and then burst past strong safety Kareem Jackson on the way to the Broncos' 13.

Game action photos from the Steelers' Week 5 game against the Denver Broncos at Heinz Field

A pass interference penalty on cornerback Kyle Fuller on a fade to Johnson in the end zone on third-and-15 from the Denver 18 advanced the ball to the Broncos' 1.

Roethlisberger hit Johnson for a 50-yard score on the sixth snap after the opening kickoff. Johnson got behind Fuller on third-and-7 from the 50, hauled in Roethlisberger's pass, trotted into the end zone and put the exclamation point on a six-play, 85-yard drive in 2:58. The Steelers converted a third-and-1 from their 24 on a 23-yard, catch-and-run connection from Roethlisberger to Claypool.

Boswell's extra point gave the Steelers a 7-0 lead with 12:02 left in the first quarter.

The Broncos turned a turnover into a field goal that cut the Steelers' lead to 7-3 with 1:43 left in the opening quarter.

Denver gained possession at the Steelers' 29 on a strip-sack of Roethlisberger by outside linebacker Malik Reed and a fumble recovery and 10-yard return by inside linebacker Alexander Jackson.

The Broncos were unable to move the chains but completed a four-play, 8-yard scoring drive in 2:14 on a 39-yard field goal by kicker Brandon McManus.

Boswell's 48-yard field goal re-established the Steelers' seven-point lead at 10-3 with 12:42 left in the second quarter. The big play on the Steelers' nine-snap, 45-yard possession in 4:01 was a 20-yard scamper by Harris on second-and-5 from the Broncos' 47.

The Broncos used a 29-yard field goal by McManus to close to within 10-6 with 5:47 left in the second.

Running back Javonte Williams broke off a 49-yard run to the Steelers' 2 on third-and-1 from the Broncos' 49 but was penalized 5 yards for delay of game after spiking the ball in the field of play. A sack of Bridgewater by inside linebacker Devin Bush lost 12 yards on second-and-goal from the Steelers' 5 and an 6-yard completion on third-and-goal from the 17 kept Denver out of the end zone.

The Broncos finally reached the end zone when they converted a fourth-and-goal from the Steelers' 2 on a pass from Bridgewater to wide receiver Kendall Hinton. McManus' extra point drew Denver to within 24-13 with 10:15 left in the fourth quarter.

The Steelers lost wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster (shoulder) in the second quarter and Bush (leg) in the second half.

Harris (cramps) was unavailable late in the fourth quarter.