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What Went Right, What Went Wrong

What went right, wrong at Denver

The highs and lows of the Steelers matchup at the Denver Broncos.

COIN TOSS: Steelers call tails. It's tails. Steelers win the toss and elect to defer. The Broncos get the football first.

4:27 p.m. – What Went Right: After the Steelers won the toss and elected to defer, the Broncos began the opening offensive series on their own 25-yard line. After two runs by Phillip Lindsay gained 5 total yards, Case Keenum's pass to DaeSean Hamilton was broken up by Joe Haden. Following the punt by Colby Wadman, the Steelers took over at their 23-yard line.

4:37 p.m. – What Went Wrong: The Steelers needed nine plays to move from their 23-yard line to Denver's 30-yard line and all nine of those plays were passes. Ben Roethlisberger completed 5-of-8, and Antonio Brown was 0-for-1 on an attempted trick play that failed. Chris Boswell's 48-yard field goal attempt was blocked by Justin Simmons, and the Broncos took over at their own 38-yard line with 9:36 remaining in the first quarter.

4:45 p.m. – What Went Wrong: The Broncos capitalized on the good field position generated by the blocked field goal to take a 3-0 lead on a 41-yard field goal by Brandon McManus with 6:26 remaining in the first period. The big play in the eight-play, 39-yard scoring drive was a 29-yard completion to tight end Jeff Heuerman.

5:03 p.m. – What Went Wrong: It was a third-and-1 from the Denver 24-yard line. The play-call was perfect. The execution of the play was perfect, too, except for the end. After a play-action fake to James Conner, Ben Roethlisberger threw a perfect pass to a wide-open Xavier Grimble, who seemed to have a clear path to the end zone. But with just one man to beat to get into the end zone, Grimble tried to run over safety Will Parks instead of just avoiding him at the goal line. Parks' hit cause Grimble to fumble the ball out of bounds for a touchback.

5:21 p.m. – What Went Right: The Steelers tied the game, 3-3, on a 41-yard field goal by Chris Boswell with 6:29 remaining in the second quarter. The Steelers were moving the ball nicely until a questionable offensive pass interference call on Vance McDonald. The nine-play drive covered 56 yards.

5:29 p.m. – What Went Wrong: Denver marched right down the field – 75 yards in six plays – to take a 10-3 lead on a 10-yard touchdown pass to Matt LaCosse with 3:27 remaining in the second quarter. The big plays on the drive were a 32-yard run by Phillip Lindsay and a 17-yard pass to LaCosse on the play before his touchdown catch.

5:45 p.m. – What Went Right: The Steelers tied the game, 10-10, on the final play of the first half, and it came on a fake field goal. Chris Boswell passed to a wide-open Al Villanueva for the first touchdown scored by a Steelers offensive lineman since Ray Pinney turned the trick in the 1982 season. The 12-play drive covered 75 yards, and Ben Roethlisberger completed 8-of-10 for 71 yards. Ryan Switzer caught three of those for 44 yards.

6:13 p.m. – What Went Right: One play, 97 yards, touchdown. After a 50-yard punt by Colby Wadman was downed at the 3-yard line, the Steelers needed only one play to take a 17-10 lead. That play was a Ben Roethlisberger pass that he got off despite being hit by nose tackle Shelby Harris as he delivered the ball. Smith-Schuster was wide open, got a block in the open field from Antonio Brown on Chris Harris, and then he stiff-armed Darian Stewart to clear his path to the end zone.

6:18 p.m. – What Went Right: On the series following the touchdown, the Broncos went three-and-out, and the Steelers got the ball back after the punt on their own 23-yard line with 9:34 left in the third quarter.

6:25 p.m. – What Went Wrong: On a third-and-3, Ben Roethlisberger again got pressure up the middle from Shelby Harris and got hit as he threw the ball, and it was intercepted by Chris Harris, whose return gave the ball to the Broncos at the Steelers 43-yard line with 6:07 remaining in the third period.

6:28 p.m. – What Wwnt Wrong: Two plays after the interception by Chris Harris, the Broncos had forged a 17-17 tie with 5:30 remaining in the third period. The first play was a 38-yard completion to Emmanuel Sanders to the Steelers 5-yard line, and that was followed by a 5-yard completion to Sanders for the touchdown.

6:46 p.m. – What Went Wrong: Late in the third period, the Steelers were moving the ball into Denver territory when another turnover sabotaged the possession. A 23-yard pass to James Conner turned into disaster when a hit by Bradley Roby knocked the ball loose, and it was recovered by Darian Stewart at the Broncos 21-yard line on the final play of the third quarter with the score still tied at 17-17.

6:57 p.m. – What Went Wrong: The Broncos took a 24-17 lead with 9:17 remaining in the fourth quarter on an 11-play, 79-yard drive that ended with a 2-yard touchdown run by Phillip Lindsay. Big plays on the drive included an 18-yard run by Lindsay, a 15-yard completion to Jeff Heuerman, and a 14-yard catch by Emmanuel Sanders.

7:25 – What Went Wrong: This time, there was no miracle finish. On a third-and-goal from the 2-yard line with 1:03 remaining, a bad snap, and a clumsy play-fake to James Conner resulted in a Ben Roethlisberger pass that was intercepted in the end zone by Shelby Harris. That final play allowed the Broncos to take a knee three times and clinch a 24-17 victory.

FINAL SCORE: Broncos 24, Steelers 17