Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 9/8/12

It’s a gorgeous September Friday morning in the City of Champions with the buzz of a road opener putting a spring in the collective step of the “Steeler Nation”.

Our beloved “Stillers” venture to Denver in an effort to get a little payback from that Tebow foolishness last January.

Coach Lebeau, you are a great man, a great coach and a great Hall-of-Famer but you owe us one for calling all the zero coverage that got us beat.

Sorry, I had to get that out.

However, it is interesting to observe that the prevailing wind blowing around town is calling for trouble in Mile High.

You gotta love this town. These sons and daughters (I suppose they are now grandsons and granddaughters) of steel workers and coal miners surely know their football.

I can’t say I disagree with em.

Here are seven reasons to take the Broncos

1. James Harrison effectiveness is very questionable this weekend. No one is even sure if he can go Sunday night. Contrary to popular belief, James is the straw that stirs the drink on the defensive side.

I know that is sacrilege to all of the Polamalu faithful but yeah, I said it. LaMarr Woodley (no knock on him) has a lot of difficulty getting it done without James.

The 3-4 zone blitz defense is predicated on disguised pressure from anywhere near the box; for whatever reason, they don’t get it done without Harrison. Even if he isn’t getting sacks, he still provides value because he gets the proper attention from the opposing offensive line.

2. The Steelers' new offensive coordinator, Todd Haley, is attempting to make the transition back to a more balanced offense that incorporates the run game much more that in the recent past. In my opinion, this move comes at the edict of the Rooney’s themselves as they wish to protect their investment (i.e. Ben Roethlisberger) from further harm.

While I certainly understand the logic, the 2012 Steelers simply don’t have the personnel to carry out the mission. Max Starks will start at left tackle because the second round pick, Mike Adams, who they attempted to plug in at left tackle, is not ready to play left tackle in an NFL setting as of yet.

The first round pick, David DeCastro, who was penciled in at left guard, tore his MCL along with patellar tendon damage.

I don’t want to write a novel here and there are other issues with the offensive line but suffice it to say that the strategy to transition back to the run is a work in progress.

3. The Steelers' running back situation is suspect. In light of this renewed focus on the run, it has me scratching my head. Rashard Mendenhall isn’t ready to play. Isaac Redman, while you gotta love his intensity, is not the answer. Jonathan Dwyer is NFL material but he along with the rest of these guys have a problem. They are going to run behind a line that isn’t built to play smash-mouth football.

4. The failure in the run game (see reason 3) will force the Steelers to throw. Well, that plays right into the hands of the Broncos. Von Miller and Elvis Dumervil may have the Rooneys drinking a few Jameson's in the thin air at Invesco or whatever they are calling the field these days. Hopefully, Bishop Zubik will be making the trip with them. Nice Catholic boys, those Rooneys.

5. In coach Tomlin parlance, the “communication hub” won’t make the trip. As we all know, Ryan Clark’s medical condition will prohibit him from participating on Sunday night. While Tomlin downplays the loss with his normal “Coach-speak”, it is significant since the Steelers face Peyton Manning this time, not Tim Tebow.

The new secondary will be challenged not only due to the fact that there will be one new starter at cornerback but also a backup in the person of Ryan Mundy. While Ryan is an excellent backup, there is some drop-off in calling the secondary and overall ability.

6. The one point Denver is giving is negligible given the fact that they are at home and it is below the key number of 3.

7. I saved the most important point for last. Peyton Manning can and will carve up a Pittsburgh defense that is depleted due to injury and makes a living on pressuring the quarterback. Peyton’s got something for that and you know it.

Now for all of the people who question Peyton’s ability to comeback from over a year away and his depleted arm strength, I say, “He don’t throw it with his neck."

Expect the Broncos to cover and enjoy the weekend!

Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

WATCH: Florida's Chiozza sends Wisconsin home on incredible buzzer-beater

LaVar Ball gets Crying Jordan, meme treatment after UCLA loss

Celtics upset Suns tried to pad Devin Booker’s stats

Five teams that may be interested in Blake Griffin this summer

Report: Tony Romo ‘believes it’s Texans or retirement’


Clay Matthews Sr. passes away at 88

WWE’s Kane is inching toward running for mayor in Tennessee

Jung Ho Kang denied visa for DUI, may miss 2017 MLB season

Jets not ready to say Josh McCown will be starter

Sens owner on Sidney Crosby: He’s 'a whiner' and should be suspended for Methot slash

Report: Griffin could be growing more open to leaving Clippers

Best of Yardbarker: Did Team USA's victory save the World Baseball Classic?

The Rewind: George Mason's improbable run to the Final Four

Breaking down the Naismith Award race

Box Score 3/24: Waiting on West Virginia

Eat, Drink, Watch: Weekends are for upsets

The 'Once again, Barry Bonds is the best power hitter in San Francisco' quiz

With Team USA's victory, World Baseball Classic (finally) lived up to its potential

The NFL distraction playbook

Which Sweet 16 team should you be rooting for?

The Aesthetic: The world of player exclusive sneakers

Lingering issues for each 2016 MLB postseason team

Box Score 3/23: Team USA wins their first WBC title

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Best of Yardbarker: Did Team USA's victory save the World Baseball Classic?

The Rewind: George Mason's improbable run to the Final Four

Breaking down the Naismith Award race

Eat, Drink, Watch: Weekends are for upsets

The 'Once again, Barry Bonds is the best power hitter in San Francisco' quiz

The NFL distraction playbook

With Team USA's victory the WBC (finally) lived up to its potential

The Aesthetic: The world of player exclusive sneakers

Which Sweet 16 team should you be rooting for?

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Steph Curry pushes OKC's buttons

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker