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 Post subject: Breaking down the Steelers’ D vs. Broncos’ O
PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2016 12:25 am 
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http://www.todayspigskin.com/afc-today/matt-williamson-breaking-down-the-steelers-d-vs-broncos-o/


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Peyton Manning against a Steelers secondary that is lacking talent? You would think this sets up as a no-brainer 400-yard passing day for the future Hall of Famer. Heck, maybe it will, but my hunch is that is goes drastically different.

When these teams met late in the regular season, Brock Osweiler and especially Emmanuel Sanders (against his former team) had very strong outings. But with Manning behind center, this could be a much different game.

The pro of Manning at quarterback rather than Osweiler in this matchup is that Manning remains incredibly smart and a master of quarterbacking like few we have seen. The Steelers have some good pass-rushers in James Harrison and Cameron Heyward, but they get after opposing quarterbacks mostly with their blitz packages. They disguise things well and have improved in this area as the season has gone along under Keith Butler as defensive coordinator.

Manning should do a fine job of reading these blitzes, often from a defensive back. However, his offensive line still remains a huge liability in one-on-one matchups and Manning, who was never a great foot athlete but used to navigate the pocket extremely well, now is an immobile sitting duck to this bevy of athletic pass-rushers.

Contrary to popular belief, the Steelers’ defense has become a middle-of-the-pack unit and when they create big plays, Pittsburgh is an extremely difficult team to beat. While Manning didn’t throw any interceptions in Week 17, he only threw the ball nine times in that game. Before that, he threw at least one interception in every game he appeared in. No quarterback in football was worse at turning the ball over than Manning in 2015. His lack of arm strength certainly is a factor for that issue, as has adapting to a new offense, but so has the flat-out poor decision-making.

While Pittsburgh’s group of cornerbacks, especially Antwan Blake, can be picked on and are at massive disadvantages against Sanders and Demaryius Thomas, this is also a very opportunistic group. If Manning cannot protect the football, and there is little evidence that he will at this advanced stage of his career, the Broncos’ offense could be in for a real long day and the defense would end up in compromising starting field position situations.

So to alleviate these concerns, running the football seems like Denver’s best approach to winning this game at home. Running the ball would theoretically keep an extremely dangerous Steelers’ offense off the field while winding Pittsburgh’s defense in the thin Denver air. But the problem with that strategy is that what the Steelers do best on defense is stop the run. The Broncos’ offensive line has improved as the season has gone on in executing Gary Kubiak’s zone blocking system and CJ Anderson appears healthier now than early in the season, but man for man, they are at a disadvantage across the board against the Steelers’ front seven in the run game. Ryan Shazier was the best player on the field in Cincinnati last week and has become a true star with rare speed for the position in tracking down opposing running backs while the Steelers front line rarely give ground vs. opposing run blockers.

What the Steelers do worst on defense is defend the deep ball. But can Manning attack said weakness? His aged and battered body certainly could be fresher now after his time sidelined and his arm is probably feeling better than it has in some time, but again, he has shown little acumen for hitting on passes deep downfield due to substandard arm strength and lack of touch on his deep ball.

Manning certainly could prove everyone wrong and resort back to the form we have seen from him so many times and slice up Pittsburgh’s suspect secondary. But otherwise, the matchup on this side of the ball is rather precarious for Manning and his Broncos. Pittsburgh’s defense is a poor matchup for what the Broncos do well and mostly, not so well.


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 Post subject: Re: Breaking down the Steelers’ D vs. Broncos’ O
PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2016 12:43 am 
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Matt Williamson knows the steelers well-- it's David Todd that has him on weekly, I think.

This is an unusually lucid breakdown of Manning and the Steelers.

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 Post subject: Re: Breaking down the Steelers’ D vs. Broncos’ O
PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2016 12:47 am 
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bradshaw2ben wrote:
Matt Williamson knows the steelers well-- it's David Todd that has him on weekly, I think.

This is an unusually lucid breakdown of Manning and the Steelers.


got the link perusing David Todd's twitter feed.


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 Post subject: Re: Breaking down the Steelers’ D vs. Broncos’ O
PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2016 12:48 am 
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Does Manning do anything other than a 3 step drop anymore?

I'd eliminate the cushions and play tighter...take away the easy throws that go along with a 3 step drop...force PeyPey to try to beat you deep. Bring pressure up the middle.

Need to stuff the run and get PeyPey in plenty of 3rd and longs.


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 Post subject: Re: Breaking down the Steelers’ D vs. Broncos’ O
PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2016 2:15 am 
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Nice read, thanks for posting stillthere.


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 Post subject: Re: Breaking down the Steelers’ D vs. Broncos’ O
PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2016 10:40 am 
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There is a world of tape on how to play against Noodle-arm's limited passing game.
As I recall teams werent bothering to defend anything past 20 yards or so... definitely 30.
Yeah. he has had a month or so to recover strength, but he was weak from the word go this season.

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 Post subject: Re: Breaking down the Steelers’ D vs. Broncos’ O
PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2016 9:33 am 
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I pull everyone up tight, square up on their WRs at the beginning of the snap count, then move to direct the WRs away from where they thought they would go (ex. start squared off, then cheat to the inside to force them either outside or around you taking away the quick inside slants (he loves those)). Then, I blitz the hell out of him!


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 Post subject: Re: Breaking down the Steelers’ D vs. Broncos’ O
PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2016 10:40 am 
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Ugh, I'm getting Tebow flashbacks.

It's not totally apples to apples though since Peyton moves at about 10% of the speed Tebow did.


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 Post subject: Re: Breaking down the Steelers’ D vs. Broncos’ O
PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2016 12:09 pm 
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Steel Mike wrote:
Ugh, I'm getting Tebow flashbacks.

It's not totally apples to apples though since Peyton moves at about 10% of the speed Tebow did.


The Steelers aren't going to be scared to death of Peyton running the ball and gameplan to prevent that while leaving themselves vulnerable to the pass.

So, not at all like Tebow.

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 Post subject: Re: Breaking down the Steelers’ D vs. Broncos’ O
PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2016 12:17 pm 
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Wasn't talked about much if all but bungs climbed back in when steelers D started blitzing. It's extremely risky when Butler sends blitzers particularly dbs, and especially against Manning.

Anyway good to hear the doncs line might be a weakness. I'm looking for some plays out of Dupree, heyward, tuitt.

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