The Pittsburgh Steelers were able to get the win against the Giants in both real life and Madden, last Monday. Now Pittsburgh is tasked with defeating the Denver Broncos in their home opener at Heinz Field this Sunday, September 20th @ 1 pm.
As we saw from Monday’s game, the offense started off slow but the defense picked up right where they left off. In preparation for the game, let’s see what Madden 21 thinks. Hopefully, they believe the Steelers will win.
The First quarter of the game saw the Steelers get off to a quick start with Ben Roethlisberger finding Eric Ebron for the one-yard touchdown on the Steelers’ first drive. While that would be the only touchdown of the first quarter by both teams, the Steelers’ defense played phenomenally.
Minkah Fitzpatrick recorded an interception off Drew Lock with five minutes to go in the first quarter at the Steelers’ twenty-five-yard line, which was huge considering on that the drive Joe Haden was sidelined with what appeared to be an ankle injury. Luckily, Haden returned on the next drive after the Steelers’ did not maximize on the interception.
Quarter two was similar to the first quarter, not a vast amount of offense but rather the defense leading the way. Wendell Smallwood however, did find the endzone for Pittsburgh on a two-yard rush with four minutes to go but that would be the only offense the Steelers produced. Ben Roethlisberger made an insane throw to JuJu Smith-Schuster for fifty-eight-yards which helped set up the Smallwood touchdown.
The Steelers’ defense was able to shut down Drew Lock in part to two sacks being recorded with one by Bud Dupree and one by the best linebacker in the league, T.J. Watt. The Broncos would not score until the final second when Brandon McManus kicked a forty-eight-yard field goal making the score going into the half, 14-3.
After halftime, the Steelers opened with the ball only for the first drive to be cut short when Roethlisberger threw an interception to Kareem Jackson on the Steelers’ thirty-two-yard line while trying to target rookie wide receiver, Chase Claypool. The Broncos would not score despite the great field position because once again Bud Dupree and Mike Hilton combing for half a sack each which netted in a five-yard loss.
Brandon McManus would miss the kick and the Steelers would get the ball almost near midfield. Ben Roethlisberger would find Eric Ebron again for a twenty-yard completion and then James Washington for a ten yard gain putting the Steelers close to the endzone. James Conner would walk it in on a three-yard touchdown with three minutes and thirty-nine seconds to go putting the Steelers up, 21-3.
The fourth quarter was the most eventful and it was for good reason. The Denver Broncos would score fourteen points early on. First from a seven-yard touchdown by Courtland Sutton with eight minutes to go. After a costly fumble by James Conner, Drew Lock found the rookie wide receiver, Jerry Jeudy, for a thirteen-yard touchdown with six minutes and twenty seconds to go.
The score quickly went from being 21-3 to 21-17 and that is when the Steelers’ decided to come alive. The Steelers defense shut down Lock with Vince William and Stephon Tuitt recording a sack and the rest of the defense prevented any further scoring. However, Bud Dupree made the key play of the game by forcing a strip-sack on Lock for his second full sack of the night at the Broncos’ twenty-five-yard line.
Snell Jr was able to redeem himself after his fumble and scored the go-ahead touchdown with one minute and thirty seconds to go. The Broncos failed to score on the final drive of the game and thus the Pittsburgh Steelers won the game, 28-17.
Ben Roethlisberger- 343 yards, 1 touchdown, 1 interception, 89.4 passer rating
James Conner- 53 yards rushing on 15 attempts, 2 touchdowns, 1 fumble
Eric Ebron- 80 yards on 8 receptions, 1 touchdown
Bud Dupree- 5 solo tackles, 2.5 Sacks, 1 tackle for loss
Minkah Fitzpatrick- 1 interception
The game should have not been as nerve-racking as it was in the fourth quarter but it is games that put us at the edge of our seats that are often the best. Now, let us hope the Steelers can replicate this success against the Broncos without the fourth-quarter meltdown. The Steelers now improve to 2-0 on the season in Madden and have their eyes set against the Houston Texans.