DENVER 20 PITTSBURGH 17 It was a rough start for future Hall of Fame QB Peyton Manning, but it's how he finished that really matters most. Even with Ben Roethlisberger throwing multiple INTs early in the game, the Steelers were able to capitalize - the ineffective Denver offense gave them great field position on most of their drives. PIT RB Rashard Mendenhall was an all-purpose machine racking up yards on the ground and through the air. He broke a 3-3 tie late in the first half with a 36 yard TD reception. After an atrocious first half against the Steelers, the Broncos went into the locker room down 10-3. Manning continued to shake off the rust in the third, missing open receivers and hanging on to the ball too long in the pocket. After failing to move the ball again, the Broncos gave the ball back to the Steelers, who scored what looked to be the decisive touchdown when Roethlisberger hooked up with TE Heath Miller on a 19 yard red-zone pass. 17-3 The Steel Curtain continued to frustrat Denver's offensive staff and their star quarterback for three full quarters until a breakthrough happened early in the fourth quarter. Manning got into a rhythm with his wideouts and the machine started rolling... After a long offensive drive of dink-and-dunk football, the Broncos were finally in position to score...but the Steeler D held strong and stonewalled Manning and the Broncos for three straight red-zone plays. Down two scores and the game slipping through their hands, Denver dialed up a perfect play on 4th and Goal - Manning hit veteran wideout Andre Caldwell in the back of the endzone for six. 17-10 Momentum started to shift - the Denver defense forced a punt on Pittsburgh's next offensive possession and Manning never looked back. He orchestrated the hurry-up offense with perfecting hitting targets left, right, and over the middle. Demaryius "Bey-Bey" Thomas, who had a pretty quiet game until the fourth quarter, wanted the football late in the game. Manning saw a mismatch outside the numbers, and threw a deep jump ball. Bey-Bey came down with it, broke a tackle, and took it to the house for the equalizing score with a little over a minute to play. 17-17 Denver prides itself on clock-control and managing their timeouts. They still had all three before kicking the ball off to Pittsburgh for one last time. With the momentum still clearly on their side, the Broncos' defense went out and stopped a pass-heavy Steeler offense and got the ball back around midfield with about 50 seconds left in the game. Manning and crew didn't need much time to get going again. A few plays in, Manning launched a long ball for #2 WR Eric Decker, who quickly ran under the beautiful throw and landed within field goal range. Matt "Money" Prater, who has one of the biggest legs in the NFL, came on for the 27 yard chipshot. Money knocked it down with ease in front of his home crowd. ...and the Broncos comeback was complete. 20-17 --- Key Stats: PITTSBURGH: QB Ben Roethlisberger: 11 of 22 for 138 yards with 2 TDs and 3 INTs RB Rashard Mendenhall: 11 carries for 57 yards with 3 receptions for 57 yard and 1 TD WR Antonio Brown: 4 receptions for 46 yards LB Lawrence Timmons: 5 tackles and 2 sacks DENVER: QB Peyton Manning: 14 of 28 for 233 yards with 2 TDs and 1 INT WR Demaryius Thomas: 4 receptions for 109 yards and 1 TD LB Gary Brackett: 5 tackles and 1 sack LB Von Miller: 3 tackles and 1 sack --- Great game, Chris. Like I said on YIM, just a hell of a defensive performance from you and your Steelers. Excellent, competitive game.