At the end of the day, the Steelers had no business winning in Denver. They were a tired and battered team facing the off against the best defense in the world. If the Steelers had a found a way to win that game, and they almost did, it would have been an outrageous upset. The Broncos have arguably the best front seven and the best secondary out of any team in the NFL. While at full strength, the Steelers offense is capable of taking down that defense (as evidenced in week 15), this was a team without Antonio Brown, Deangelo Williams (let alone without Le’Veon Bell), and about half of Ben Roethlisberger’s ligaments in his right shoulder. I was at peace with this loss before the game even kicked off.
All that I truly hoped for during the game was to see friendly football after such a shock of disgust in the Wild Card Round. I tip my cap to the Broncos’ defensive. They played with class and complete fairness. I can think of two or three examples off the top of my head when Von Miller, Demarcus Ware, or Terrance Knighton could’ve sent Ben’s shoulder straight to hell. In defense of them, they tackled extremely clean, and about as gentle as you can be. While I can’t exactly express the same respect for Peyton Manning, the defense is really the whole Broncos team, and they played with the utmost class. Thank you, Broncos. Thank you for not making a playoff loss any more brutal than it already has to be.
–First and Goal