The Pittsburgh Steelers lost when they could lose

The Pittsburgh Steelers lost when they could lose
Von Miller channels Belichick: On to Cincinnati
In a league that sometimes snuffs out personalities, the characters that shine through blaze bright against the solemn backdrop. Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller can be one of those big personalities.

After Sundays victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers, Miller pulled out a Bill Belichick impersonation, repeatedly saying hes "On to Cincinnati" — the Broncos next opponent.

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Of course, one huge difference is that the New England coachs original "On to Cincinnati" comment came after a blowout loss in 2014. Millers homage came after the Broncos battled back, forcing four turnovers to beat the AFC North-leading Steelers.

They now sit with the rest of the AFC fighting to beat out the Kansas City Chiefs. Only a game and a half back from first place, they’ll look to regain ground with a big win over Las Angeles. Adding another loss to the Chargers record not only removes them from the herd but lifts them back to the top.

Wearing a hoodie and talking in a low, monotone voice, the usually boisterous Miller kept in character throughout his postgame performance.

The Steelers need to take advantage of tough matchups. The playoff race this season won’t be easy. If anything, the road to the Super Bowl is looking more difficult than in years past. New England isn’t even talked about as the best team in the conference, that’s saying something.

On the defense forcing four turnovers "We played great defense. We played great offense. Great team win. Its on to Cincinnati."

On NT Shelby Harris performance "We had a great win today, great team win. [NT] Shelby [Harris] had an incredible day, but its on to Cincinnati."

Watch Von Miller Imitate Bill Belichicks Famous 2014 Press Conference

On whether this game meant something extra for Harris "Yeah, I guess. He had a kid on Friday. Now its on to Cincinnati."

"It was a run-pass option," Roethlisberger said. "Once you are late to the handoff, you dont want to force the play. Bad things can happen. I never would have thought in a million years that a defensive lineman would get blocked off the ball that far, right into an interception. Good play by him. AB (Antonio Brown) was coming. I just never would have thought that guy would make that play."

On S Will Parks forced fumble that resulted in a touchback "That was an incredible play right when we needed it. Wills been playing great for us. Its a great team win and its on to Cincinnati."

On the defenses mindset during the final drive "Same mindset we always have. Its on to Cincinnati now."

Roethlisberger threw two interceptions, including a backbreaking pick just two yards from the end zone with 1:07 left and the game on the line. But his stat line outside of that, in what was a wacky, entertaining game, wasnt as miserable as the legend/myth would lead you to believe.

On to Cincinnati, indeed. A win over the reeling Bengals next week would push the Broncos back to .500.

Big Ben completed 41 of 56 passes for 462 yards, one touchdown and the two aforementioned interceptions. Of those 462 yards, 189 came via connections with JuJu Smith-Schuster, who flourished in a game in which Denver did everything it could to take away Antonio Brown as an option.

Sundays big victory over Pittsburgh put the Broncos one game out of the wild card spot with five games to play, just one of which is against a team currently with a winning record (Chargers, Week 17). If they play to their talent level, Denver will be in the thick of the playoff race in a muddled AFC.

Millers message in his "On to Cincinnati" impersonation is clear: Despite the current optimism, the Broncos must turn the page, take it one game at a time, and continue to stack wins.

NOT WHAT THEYD ENVISIONED: The first turnover resulted in a touchback that ended the Steelers second possession. Tight end Xavier Grimble caught a short pass from Roethlisberger on third-and-1 from the Broncos 24-yard line and rumbled to the goal line, where he was blasted by safety Will Parks. Grimble fumbled into the end zone and out of bounds.

Share Share AFC Playoff Picture: Steelers fall in standings, but are still in good shape tweet share Reddit Pocket Flipboard Email Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports The Pittsburgh Steelers are coming off a disappointing loss to the Denver Broncos in Week 12, and with the rest of the AFC wrapping up their games this week, it is time to put things in perspective as it relates to the AFC Playoff Picture.

Sure, there is still a lot of football left to be played, but at the same time it doesnt hurt to look ahead and see just where every team resides in the playoff picture, and who they have coming up, to get a grip on the Conference Playoff scenarios.

Im a tackle, Im not a wide receiver, said Villanueva, who caught five touchdown passes as a wide receiver at Army in 2009. I dont get as excited about those plays. I get more excited if I can do my job blocking and giving Ben time to throw to the play-makers and the dancers.

After Pittsburghs horrid start to the season, they have rebounded to the tune of a 7-3-1 record, and thanks to some losses to other AFC competitors, find themselves in a Top 4 spot in the AFC Playoff Picture. This weeks loss hurts, though, dropping the team out of the coveted 2 slot.

1. Kansas City Chiefs (9-2) — REMAINING OPPONENTS: at Raiders (2-9), vs. Ravens (6-5), vs. Chargers (8-3), at Seahawks (6-5), vs. Raiders (2-9)2. New England Patriots (8-3) — REMAINING OPPONENTS: vs. Vikings (5-4-1), at Dolphins (5-6), at Steelers (7-3-1), vs. Bills (4-7), vs. Jets (3-8)3. Houston Texans (6-3) — REMAINING OPPONENTS: vs. Titans (5-5), vs. Browns (4-6-1), vs. Colts (6-5), at Jets (3-8), at Eagles (5-6), vs. Jaguars (3-8)4. Pittsburgh Steelers (7-3-1) — REMAINING OPPONENTS: vs. Chargers (8-3), at Raiders (2-9), vs. Patriots (8-3), at Saints (10-1), vs. Bengals (5-6)5. Los Angeles Chargers (8-2) — REMAINING OPPONENTS: at Steelers (7-3-1), vs. Bengals (5-6), at Chiefs (9-2), vs. Ravens (6-5), at Broncos (5-6)6. Baltimore Ravens (6-5) — REMAINING OPPONENTS: at Falcons (4-7), at Chiefs (9-2), vs. Buccaneers (4-7), at Chargers (8-3), vs. Browns (4-6-1)

Running plays, or if they catch the ball, ball searching, always just trying to punch at the football, trying to rip it out, trying to break it out. We gotta do a better job of creating fumbles, fumbles and interceptions, definitely.

Knee injury to Chargers Melvin Gordon could have him miss Week 13

7. Indianpolis Colts (6-5) — REMAINING OPPONENTS: at Jaguars (3-8), at Texans (7-3), vs. Cowboys (6-5), vs. Giants (3-8), at Titans (5-5)8. Tennessee Titans (5-5) — REMAINING OPPONENTS: at Texans (7-3), vs. Jets (3-8), vs. Jaguars (3-8), at Giants (3-8), vs. Redskins (6-5), vs. Colts (6-5)9. Miami Dolphins (5-6) — REMAINING OPPONENTS: vs. Bills (4-7), vs. Patriots (8-3), at Vikings (5-4-1), vs. Jaguars (3-8), at Bills (4-7)10. Denver Broncos (5-6) — REMAINING OPPONENTS: vs. Bengals (5-6), at Chargers (8-3), vs. Raiders (2-9), at Browns (4-6-1), at Steelers (7-3-1)

There isn’t one magical ‘fix’ or ‘formula’ for winning a football game. There are simply too many variables and luck involved to plug in variables into an equation and read the output. However, after defeating the AFC contenders in the Los Angeles Chargers and the Steelers in back-to-back weeks, the Broncos are doing something right that they weren’t doing when they started the season at 3-6 prior to the bye week.

For those who dont know, the reason the Chargers, who have a better record than the Steelers, are behind in the standings is due to Pittsburgh leading their division and the Chargers being behind the Chiefs in the AFC West.

Even with all the different styles of play, there is one thing that rings true for every team playing the game of football at any level: win the turnover battle, and win the game. This doesn’t always happen, but a team is going to give themselves a real chance to compete against anyone any week if they can protect the football on offense and take it away on defense.

As for Pittsburgh, their remaining schedule is riddled with teams who are at, or near, the top of the playoff race. The Chargers, Bengals and Patriots will all come to Heinz Field in the coming weeks as the regular season winds down.

Over the last two weeks, the Broncos have done that quite well resulting in a total of 21 points off of their six takeaways against the Chargers and the Steelers. Taking opponent’s points away hurts them, but taking possession and going down and scoring off of a turnover can be completely demoralizing and change the flow and scope of the game.

Take a look at the above standings, who do you see failing down the stretch? And which team will be a surprise to climb the rankings? Let us know in the comment section below!

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There are many different ways to win football games in the NFL. From last Monday’s 54-51 arcade style of football with explosive plays all over the field to watching the Denver Broncos defeat the Pittsburgh Steelers in a game that had a combined 41 points, styles and schemes can vary greatly from team to team and even week to week.


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