Tidbits, thoughts and anecdotes from Heinz Field as the Broncos grapple with the Steelers:
5:54 P.M. EST: Halftime numbers — and aside from turnovers and the score itself, none of them are pretty for the Broncos:
- Total Yardage: Pittsburgh 266, Denver 106.
- Passing Yardage: Pittsburgh 199, Denver 89.
- Rushing Yardage: Pittsburgh 67, Denver 17.
- Time of Possession: Pittsburgh 19:06, Denver 10:54.
- First Downs: Pittsburgh 13, Denver 5.
- Yardage Per Play: Pittsburgh 6.7, Denver 4.8.
- Turnovers: Pittsburgh 3, Denver 0.
- Net Punting Yardage Avg.: Denver 43.5, Pittsburgh 39.0.
Since the Broncos tallied their last first down, the Broncos have been outgained 204 yards to 23.
5:54 P.M. EST: That changed fast. Javon Walker’s first NFL rushing touchdown — a 72-yard end-around … silences the crowd before it shuffles back into its seats from its halftime Primanti Brothers run. It is the Broncos’ longest longest run in nearly six years — since an 80-yard Mike Anderson touchdown run at New Orleans in 2000.
6:01 P.M. EST: As the Steelers drive into Broncos territory, more on Walker’s run: According to Broncos media relations, it is the longest for an NFL wide receiver since Peter Warrick sprinted 77 yards for a touchdown at Denver’s expense in 2000. It is also the fourth-longest run by a wide receiver since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970.
6:02 P.M. EST: There’s holding, there’s blatant holding, and then there’s what Chukky Okobi just did to Gerard Warren, which was to seemingly put his arm in Warren’s as if they were doing the do-si-do. Meanwhile, Ben Roethlisberger got away … and got intercepted by Champ Bailey, giving the Broncos possession at their 3-yard-line.
6:08 P.M. EST: James Farrior’s penalty keeps the Broncos’ drive alive; he gets involved in a slight scuffle with Tom Nalen, giving the Broncos new life at their 23-yard-line.
6:14 P.M. EST: Pittsburgh seems to have begun most of its drives near midfield, and this is no different.
6:21 P.M. EST: The Steelers have never failed to run at least seven plays, gain a minimum of 33 yards and amass at least two first downs on each of their last seven drives. As a result, the Steelers are now outgaining Denver 348 yards to 190 — and have trimmed a 14-point deficit to four points.
6:29 P.M. EST: A crucial drive for the Broncos as they moved to the Pittsburgh 37. Five plays for 52 yards move the Broncos into Steelers territory, and now the Broncos await word on their instant-replay challenge of a DeShea Townsend interception.
6:34 P.M. EST: Much to the consternation of the Pittsburgh media sitting in front of us — who all groaned as though their halftime victuals of hot dogs and pretzels weren’t quite settling right — Townsend’s interception is overturned. But Mike Bell has nowhere to go on the ensuing play, losing two yards and setting up third-and-12 as the final quarter begins.