5 Reasons Why The Broncos Will Upset The Steelers In Week 9

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The defending Super Bowl champion Steelers return to action after last week’s bye with a Monday night visit to Denver. The surprising Broncos will be glad to return home after suffering their first defeat of the season last week at Baltimore. Pittsburgh is favored by a field goal in the battle of AFC playoff contenders.

1.) Denver’s defense

The Broncos lead the NFL in total defense entering this week’s action. Former 49ers head coach Mike Nolan has done wonders with Denver’s stop unit in his first season as the club’s defensive coordinator. Denver’s defense is in the top eight in the league in passing and rushing defense. The defensive balance has kept opposing offenses on their heels in 2009. Elvis Dumervil leads the AFC in sacks with ten as a disruptive force up front for Denver this season.

2.) Josh McDaniels

The former New England offensive coordinator has reenergized the Denver franchise in his first year as head coach of the team. Denver’s six wins before the midway point of the season are more than many expected for the entire 2009 campaign. The Bill Belichick pupil has carried some of New England’s winning swagger to the Rocky Mountains.

3.) Fundamental football

Denver’s five offensive turnovers are tied for the fewest in the NFL this season. New starting quarterback Kyle Orton’s lone interception of the season was on a desperation throw to the end zone on the final play of the first half against New England. The Broncos are plus seven in turnover margin to rank second in the AFC.

4.) A rebound spot

For the first time this season, the Broncos are entering a game following a loss. Denver was in a tough spot last week against a Ravens team that was in a dire situation after three straight losses. The Broncos were still in the game entering the fourth quarter before running out of gas on the road. The defeat should bring the Denver team together for even more focus this week. With a two-game division lead in the AFC West, the Broncos have plenty at stake in each of their nine remaining regular season games.

5.) The champs are in town

The defending Super Bowl champions are usually going to get the best shot from their opponents over the course of a season. This is especially true on the road. The Steelers have already been victimized in 2009 at Chicago and Cincinnati. Pittsburgh will face another hostile environment on Monday in Denver. While the Steelers are 5-2 this season, the club is still vulnerable in some areas. Pittsburgh is in the bottom half of the NFL in rushing offense and passing defense after seven games. It was just two years ago when Pittsburgh traveled to Denver for a night game in the favorite role. The Broncos pulled a 31-28 upset over the Steelers. There is a very good chance that history may repeat itself on Monday when the two clubs meet again under the lights in Denver.