eye-3-yellow-3d-2-new-logo philly_kyw_new philly_94wip_new 35h_cbssportsrad_philly philly_wpht_new

TALE OF THE TAPE

Week 1: Denver Broncos Vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

Broncos
Steelers
Seattle Seahawks v Denver Broncos
Pittsburgh Steelers v San Francisco 49ers
Quarterback
Winner Peyton Manning is a Hall of Fame quarterback who gets a chance to write a new chapter in his career with the Broncos. While he must show he can take the abuse that comes with playing the position in regular season games, he is a huge upgrade for the Broncos over Tim Tebow.
Ben Roethlisberger is one of the most unique quarterbacks in the league. He has the size and strength to shake off a big hit, slide to the outside and buy time and then make a big play. He can take a lot of punishment and throw an accurate pass, giving the Steelers a chance to win most weeks.
Offense
The Broncos have some workable tools on offense. Start with hard-working Willis McGahee, who no longer is a breakaway threat but can punish a defense when he lowers his shoulder. Demaryius Thomas is the Broncos big-play receiver while Eric Decker can make the possession catch.
Winner The Steelers want to run the ball with Rashard Mendenhall, but he won’t be recovered from his torn ACL until midseason. That means Isaac Redman will be asked to run the ball. Mike Wallace is a big-play wideout who can break the long one at any time while Antonio Brown is quick, agile and knows how to get open.
Defense
While Tim Tebow got the bulk of the publicity in Denver last year, the play of the Bronco defense was a surprise. Elvis Dumervil can pressure the quarterback from the defensive end slot and outside linebacker Von Miller can do the same. Champ Bailey is still one of the best cover men in the league.
Winner It’s almost like clockwork. You can count on the Steelers to have one of the best defensive units in the league under defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau. This year is no different. The Steelers have Troy Polamalu to run the secondary and underrated Ziggy Hood on the defensive line. Outside linebacker James Harrison (knee) probably won’t be ready for the start of the season.
Special Teams
Matt Prater was the best kickoff man in the league last year, but he gets a boost because he kicks in Denver. His field goal kicking was ordinary and so was the Broncos’ return game.
Winner The Steelers got a big boost from Antonio Brown in the return game as he averaged 27.3 yards per kickoff return and 10.3 yards per punt return. Shaun Suisham has a strong leg for kickoffs but struggles on field goals.

The Winner Is

Pittsburgh Steelers v San Francisco 49ers
Winner Steelers
3 out of 4

Circumstances have changed dramatically since the Steelers’ season ended in Denver in the wild-card playoff game, but this game is still important. The Steelers want revenge while the Broncos want to see that Manning can play a regular-season game without getting hurt.

MORE TALES OF THE TAPE

  1. (Photo Credit: Getty Images/Richard Heathcote) (Photo Credit: Getty Images/Warren Little)
    Tale Of The Tape: Winter Olympics In Sochi Vs. FIFA World Cup In Brazil

    With both sites having their share of issues in hosting major international sporting events, we went to the tape to decide who was the worst host of 2014.

  2. (Photo credit: Jesse D. Garrabrant/Getty Images) (Photo credit:  Sam Forencich/Getty Images)
    Tale Of The Tape: Michael Carter-Williams vs. Dante Exum

    Who will be the better NBA point guard? MCW or Exum?

  3. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) LeBron James (Photo Credit: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
    Tale Of The Tape: LeBron James Decision 1 Vs. Decision 2

    Let’s compare LeBron James’ first decision to leave the Cavs to his decision to opt out with the Heat.

See All Tales of the Tape
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 31,503 other followers