Third-and-12 at the Denver 18 (14:56, 2nd quarter): After a 21-yard pass to Eric Decker was overturned via instant replay challenge, momentum seemed to be on Pittsburgh’s side. Denver faced a third-and-long from deep in its own territory trailing 6-0, but this was the play that swung the momentum back to the home side as Tim Tebow found Demaryius Thomas deep down the left sideline for a 51-yard gain. The big play set up Tebow’s 30-yard touchdown pass to Eddie Royal two plays later that gave Denver a 7-6 lead.
Second-and-10 at the Pittsburgh 20 (13:21, 2nd quarter): Ben Roethlisberger connected on a 52-yard pass to Mike Wallace, but the Broncos successfully challenged the ruling. Instead of a long gain into Denver territory, Pittsburgh faced a third-and-10 and would go three-and-out, turning the ball back to the Broncos.
Second-and-7 at the Denver 30 (12:15, 2nd quarter): The Tebow-to-Thomas connection struck again, this time for 58 yards. Again, two plays after the long pass play, the Broncos found the end zone. This time, Tebow kept it himself and charged up the middle for an 8-yard rushing score to give the Broncos a 14-6 advantage.
3rd-and-16 at the Pittsburgh 14 (9:23, 2nd quarter): With heavy pressure from D.J. Williams, Roethlisberger heaved a pass down the field that ended up in the arms of Quinton Carter. The rookie safety returned the interception 9 yards to the Pittsburgh 18. The Broncos pushed the ball inside the Steelers 5-yard lie before settling for a 20-yard field goal to increase their lead to 17-6.
Second-and-6 at the Denver 35 (4:31, 2nd quarter): Tebow hit Daniel Fells over the middle for a gain of 40 yards to push Denver into scoring position. Prater added his second field goal of the game to give the Broncos a 20-6 lead.
Third-and-4 at the Denver 40 (0:39, 2nd quarter): With the Steelers at the edge of field goal range, Roethlisberger couldn’t handle a high snap from Doug Legursky. Roethlisberger recovered the loose ball, but not before Pittsburgh lost 23 yards on the play. Instead of having a chance to add points before the intermission, Pittsburgh had to punt.
First-and-10 at the Pittsburgh 23 (8:12, 2nd quarter): Roethlisberger threw what replays showed to be a backwards lateral to Mike Wallace. The whistle blew when the ball hit the ground, making what could have been ruled a Broncos fumble recovery non-reviewable. The play remained an incomplete pass, and Pittsburgh would go on to drive down the field for a touchdown to make the score Denver 20 Pittsburgh 13.
First-and-10 at the Denver 48 (7:43, 4th quarter): With the Broncos driving down the field looking to extend a 23-16 lead, Ryan Mundy forced a Willis McGahee fumble that was recovered by LaMarr Woodley. Pittsburgh used the turnover to knot the game at 23-23 after Roethlisberger threw a 31-yard touchdown pass to Jerricho Cotchery on the team’s ensuing drive.
First-and-10 at the Denver 45 (0:29, 4th quarter): Pittsburgh had moved the ball into Denver territory in the final minute of regulation when Elvis Dumervil stip-sacked Roethlisberger for a loss of 11 yards. Roethlisberger recovered his fumble, but the 11-yard loss led to a last-play Hail Mary attempt that resulted in another Broncos sack.