Final thoughts as Week 9 begins speeding into memory …
You might remember a 2004 game against the Atlanta Falcons when the Broncos piled up 567 yards, but still fell 41-28 as the Falcons amassed 467 yards themselves and won the turnover margin by a 3-1 count. Well, Sunday, such numbers went in the Broncos favor, as the Steelers sprinted to 499 yards — their most in a loss since 1986.
Sunday, the Steelers were doomed by the Broncos’ six takeaways — including five by the defense that came inside the Broncos 10-yard-line. Back in 1986, it was something different entirely.
That day, it was not turnovers that did in the Steelers, but special teams. Pittsburgh was only minus-1 in giveaway-takeaway ratio, but surrendered touchdowns on a blocked field goal, a blocked punt and a kickoff return. Kansas City’s Nick Lowery added a 47-yard field goal to complete a day in which the Steelers outgained the Chiefs 515 yards to 171, but still could not keep Kansas City from a win that clinched their first postseason bid in 15 years.
- Chicago allowed 31 points Sunday while the Broncos gave up 20; this puts Denver back in the league lead in points allowed with 98 so far this season.
- Six of the eight division winners in 2005 lead their divisions at midseason. The exceptions are the Cincinnati Bengals (4-4, second place in the AFC North) and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-6, fourth place in the NFC South).
- Al Wilson was credited with nine tackles to lead the Broncos.
- Brian Clark had a 65-yard kickoff return called back on account of a penalty. He still leads the Broncos in average per kickoff return.
- Javon Walker is on pace for 1,338 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns through eight games.
- Jason Elam is back on a 100-point pace, scoring seven points to push his season total to 51; he has only missed two kicks this year, and none from 40 yards or closer.
- The 11-point margin of victory was the Broncos’ largest of the year.
Head Coach Mike Shanahan talks at 1:30 p.m. MDT today.