- Plenty of confidence: The defense stepped up huge in the second half against the Broncos on Sunday, making up for what they admitted wasn't their best play in the first half. At halftime the Broncos were eight-for-eight on third down conversions, and quarterback Brock Osweiler had 214 yards passing. The defense got stingy in the second half, allowing just 82 yards passing by Osweiler and the defense buckling down on third downs, allowing the Broncos to convert just one of nine in the second half.
Coach Mike Tomlin was asked if he felt more confident in the defense seeing the way they played in the second half, but he said confidence is something that has never been lacking.
"I don't lack confidence in their level of play, but we have to play consistently good," said Tomlin. "I don't think anybody in that group lacks confidence. I think one of the defining characteristics of the group individually and collectively, when you look at the cast of characters, guys young and old, guys like Mike Mitchell and Stephon Tuitt, they are not lacking in confidence. I think often times we as coaches get our confidence from them in some ways. They are not lacking in confidence. They are a very capable group. We just expect our play to look more like it did in the second half than it did in the first half last week."
- Cool as a cucumber: The last time the Steelers played the Ravens Chris Boswell was an unemployed kicker looking for a shot. This week he is a kicker who isn't just cool under pressure, but someone that has had a huge impact on the team.
"He has been very good and solid," said Tomlin. "For a young guy he doesn't ride the emotional rollercoaster. I like his game day demeanor. We are starting to pick up and be in significant games and have some of those types of moments. From time to time I will make eye contact with him or check on him to see how he is processing it all. He is very level headed and even keeled young man. That has aided him in the manner in which he has delivered for us to this point."
Pick it up: It was a moment all of Steelers Nation held their collective breath. Down 27-20 in the third quarter, Jordan Berry punted and it appeared safety Shamarko Thomas downed the ball. But Thomas didn't pick it up, leaving the live ball on the field, and Broncos receiver Jordan Norwood picked it up and returned it 71 yards for an apparent touchdown. The Steelers got a huge break when the Broncos sideline assumed Thomas had picked up the ball, and offensive players started to take the field, bringing on a flag for illegal substitution and nullifying the score.
Tomlin said he didn't have to address it with Thomas to be certain that something like that won't happen again.
"I am sure he is very aware of the rule," said Tomlin. "I didn't have a conversation with him because I didn't deem it necessary. It is acknowledging the sky is blue. He needs to pick the ball up and hand it to the official."