Yes, the Pittsburgh Steelers and Denver Broncos clashed less than a month ago, but you should expect this game to be much different. The Broncos scored 27 points in the first half before being outscored 21-0 in the second half when these two teams met on December 20. Brock Osweiler was at the helm in that unseasonably warm day at Heinz Field, but Peyton Manning will take back the mantle of starter for the Broncos this time around.
Manning saw game action in Week 17 for the first time since November 15. Before patrolling the sidelines for over a month, Manning was going through the worst year of his career with nine touchdowns and 17 interceptions through 10 games. Hell, despite not playing six games, Manning still finished with the second most interceptions in the league.
The Steelers could be dealing with quarterback issues themselves heading into the divisional round game. Ben Roethlisberger missed most of the fourth quarter of the Steelers Wild Card round win over the Cincinnati Bengals and backup Landry Jones pretty much sucked in his limited time on the field.
Despite marquee names on offense, this game could easily turn into a defensive struggle (especially if ineffectiveness or health limits quarterbacks). The Broncos were the best defense in the NFL this season as they allowed the fewest yards per game and the second fewest points. The Steelers secondary has struggled most of the season as they entered the playoffs as one of the worst in the league, but they did hold the Bengals to just 279 yards. These two teams also finished the season first and third in sacks, respectively.
For all the empirical data that can be applied, you need to wonder what the Steelers have left in their tanks following their Wild Card game. The fourth quarter of that game was ridiculous and it saw both Big Ben and Antonio Brown get hurt.