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What Went Right, What Went Wrong

What went right, wrong vs. Broncos

COIN TOSS: Broncos win the toss and elect to defer. Steelers get the football first.

1:07 p.m. – What Went Right: It looked a lot like the opening possession in Green Bay, and that is a good thing. After a holding penalty on Benny Snell nullified 10 yards of Ray-Ray McCloud's opening kickoff return, the Steelers started at their 15-yard line. Two runs by Najee Harris set up a third-and-1, and Ben Roethlisberger converted with a 23-yard pass to Chase Claypool. Two plays later, it was third-and-7 from midfield, and Roethlisberger went down the field to the right, where Diontae Johnson beat cornerback Kyler Fuller, made the catch, and completed the play for the touchdown. After the six-play, 85-yard drive, the Steelers led, 7-0, with 12:02 left in the first quarter.

1:29 p.m. – What Went Wrong: The Broncos went three-and-out on their initial possession, and the Steelers offense was back in business at their 17-yard line. Ben Roethlisberger converted a third-and-2 with a 4-yard pass to Pat Freiermuth, and a third-and-3 with a 5-yard pass to Eric Ebron. After a false start by Chuks Okorafor and a 2-yard run by Kalan Ballage, Roethlisberger was victimized by a strip-sack by Malik Reed, and the fumble was recovered by Alexander Johnson at the Pittsburgh 29-yard line. Thanks in part to a tackle for a 4-yard loss by T.J. Watt, the Broncos had to settle for a 39-yard field goal to cut the Steelers lead to 7-3 with 1:43 left in the first quarter.

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

FIRST QUARTER: Steelers 7, Broncos 3

1:43 p.m. – What Went Right: A Chris Boswell 48-yard field goal recouped the three points the Broncos scored on the previous possession, and the Steelers led, 10-3, with 12:42 left in the first half. Najee Harris carried four times for 35 yards on the nine-play drive, with the big gain being a 20-yard run behind an unbalanced line.

2:04 p.m. – What Went Right: On a third-and-1 from the Denver 49-yard line, Javonte Williams avoided Minkah Fitzpatrick around the line of scrimmage and raced 49 yards to the Steelers 2-yard line where he was run down from behind by James Pierre. Williams was penalized 5 yards for delay of game after spiking the ball in the field of play. After a run for no gain, Devin Bush sacked Teddy Bridgewater for a 12-yard loss, and then a 6-yard pass to Williams brought Brian McManus onto the field for a 29-yard field goal. His kick made it Steelers 10, Broncos 6 with 5:47 left in the second quarter.

2:16 p.m. – What Went Right: Najee Harris vaulted into the end zone for the second rushing touchdown of his career, and it gave the Steelers a 17-6 lead that they ended up taking into the locker room at halftime. A 59-yard catch-and-run by Chase Claypool on second-and-7 from the Pittsburgh 28-yard line gave the Steelers a first down at the Broncos 13-yard line. On second-and-15 from the 18-yard line, Diontae Johnson drew a pass interference penalty that put the ball at the 1-yard line. Two runs by Harris got the ball into the end zone and capped the six-play, 75-yard drive.

HALFTIME: Steelers 17, Broncos 6

2:51 p.m. – What Went Right: The Broncos received the second half kickoff, and their possession began at their 15-yard line. After three first downs, Denver was faced with a third-and-7 at the Steelers 47-yard line. Cam Heyward batted down a Teddy Bridgewater pass, and the Broncos punted. The Steelers began their first possession of the half at their 14-yard line.

3:11 p.m. – What Went Right: On a possession that began at their 14-yard line, the Steelers scored 10 points, but only seven counted on the scoreboard. On the second play, Najee Harris ran for 18 yards to put him over the 100-yard plateau for the first game of his pro career. Kevin Dotson was flagged for holding on a second-and-7, but then then a 14-yard pass to Harris and a 14-yard pass to Claypool gave the Steelers a first down at the 30-yard line. Harris gained 8, and after a dropped pass, Roethlisberger converted again with a 3-yard pass to Pat Freiermuth. The Steelers didn't convert a third-and-11 from the Denver 32-yard line, and Chris Boswell came on to convert a 51-yard field goal. But the Broncos were penalized 15 yards for leverage on the kick, and so the Steelers took the ball at the Denver 18-yard line. Three plays later, Roethlisberger threw a dart to Claypool in the middle of the end zone for the touchdown that upped Pittsburgh's lead to 24-6 with 2:41 left in the third quarter.

3:30 p.m. – What Went Wrong: The Broncos overcame a holding penalty, a sack, and they converted three different fourth downs to drive 75 yards in 14 plays to cut the Steelers lead to 24-13 with 10:15 left in the fourth quarter. On a fourth-and-5, Teddy Bridgewater completed a 5-yard pass to Tim Patrick. Then on a fourth-and-2 from the Steelers 28-yard line, he found Courtland Sutton for a 25-yard gain to the 3-yard line. A holding call on Lloyd Cushenberry cost the Broncos 10 yards, but Bridgewater scrambled for 11 yards and then an incomplete pass set up a fourth-and-goal from the 2-yard line. The Broncos snuck wide receiver Kendall Hinton across the field and Bridgewater hit him for the touchdown.

3:44 p.m. – What Went Wrong: Against Cincinnati, James Pierre allowed JaMarr Chase to get behind him for a critical touchdown catch in the second half, and with 5:46 remaining in the fourth quarter against Denver Courtland Sutton did the same, this time for 39 yards to cut the Steelers lead to 24-19. Denver's attempt for the two-point conversion failed.

3:54 p.m. – What Went Right: With Najee Harris on the sideline with cramps, the Steelers used Ben Roethlisberger's arm and savvy, plus some tough running by Benny Snell to consume 3:17 of the game clock and add to their lead with a 43-yard field goal by Chris Boswell. Ben Roethlisberger converted once with a 22-yard pass to Diontae Johnson and then another with an 11-yard pass to Chase Claypool. After Boswell's field goal and kickoff into the end zone, the Broncos got the ball back with 2:29 left in the fourth quarter.

4:08 p.m. – What Went Right: Starting at the 25-yard line with 2:29 and no timeouts, the Broncos began marching down the field. Teddy Bridgewater completed 4-of-5 for 53 yards, and then after another incomplete pass, he found Kendall Hilton for 23 yards for a first-and-goal at the Steelers 9-yard line. On the next play, Joe Haden broke up a pass in the end zone, then it was Bridgewater to Melvin Gordon for 6, and then another incomplete pass set up a fourth-and-goal from the 3-yard line. Trying to get the ball to Courtland Sutton, Bridgewater was intercepted by James Pierre in the end zone.

FINAL SCORE: Steelers 27, Broncos 19