Broncos Report Card vs. Steelers

Check out how the Broncos graded out against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

PASSING OFFENSE: C-minus -- The Broncos did a pretty good job moving the ball through the air in the first half, but a interception returned for a touchdown was a key mistake. After halftime, the Broncos did almost nothing, with Kyle Orton throwing for 58 yards. Orton also threw three interceptions.

RUSHING OFFENSE: F -- The Steelers are very good against the run, but the Broncos were surprisingly poor on the ground. They had 14 attempts for 27 yards, and the longest run was 7 yards. Rookie Knowshon Moreno ran for 3 yards on five carries. Correll Buckhalter started the game and had a modest 24 yards on nine attempts.

PASS DEFENSE: C-minus -- The Broncos were very good in the first half, but Ben Roethlisberger found some holes in the second half. Roethlisberger threw for three second-half touchdowns and finished with 233 yards. The Broncos used CB Champ Bailey to match up on Santonio Holmes, and Holmes had 93 yards on six catches.

RUSH DEFENSE: D-minus -- The good news is the Broncos held Rashard Mendenhall to 25 yards before halftime. The bad news? He had 130 yards in the second half. Mendenhall picked up yards in huge chunks, averaging 7 yards per carry. The Broncos haven't been as stout against the run the past couple weeks as they were early in the season.

SPECIAL TEAMS: D -- Denver didn't allow a kick return for a touchdown, which was progress after allowing two in two games. But there are still issues. P Mitch Berger is struggling, and the team didn't get any big plays out of the return game to help out the stagnant offense.

COACHING: D -- The Broncos have not been nearly as good at second-half adjustments the past two games as they were during a 6-0 start. The opposite is true: They have been destroyed in the past two second halves because the opponents have pushed the right buttons. The Broncos are reeling a bit, and rookie coach Josh McDaniels will be under pressure to get the team back on track.



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