Wild Card weekend is entering day two and on Sunday night we'll be seeing the Denver Broncos hosting the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Steelers are huge favorites and should win this game. Our Steelers blog, Behind The Steel Curtain, agrees and says the Steelers are clearly the better team right now.
But will they win? Behind The Steel Curtain told us why the Steelers will win this game, and why they'll lose.
Why the Steelers will win: The Steelers are clearly the superior team on paper, both on offense, defense, and outside of Matt Prater, probably on special teams as well. Pittsburgh is clearly the more experienced team as well. Nearly one third of the Steelers roster was a part of the team's 2005 and 2008 Super Bowl championship runs. That's an incredible figure really in today's salary cap and free agency era. The Steelers are far from invincible, but they're also one of the best No. 5 wild card seeds in playoff history, and without a question a better football team than the Broncos right now.
Why the Steelers will lose: For as confident as most Steeler fans are, there's quite a few factors in Denver's favor. The Broncos are playing at home obviously. We saw what an overmatched Seattle team did to New Orleans last year in a similar wild card matchup. Ben Roethlisberger also tweaked his ankle during Monday practice this week. He'll clearly play, but who knows how effective he'll be, or if he makes an untimely mistake with the football that allows Denver to hang around. Rashard Mendenhall was lost for the year last week, leaving the onus on Isaac Redman, an undrafted free agent rookie making just his second playoff appearance, to carry the load in the running game. Ryan Clark will also not play due to his medical condition that makes playing in the high altitude of Denver risky. Throw in injuries to young cornerbacks Keenan Lewis and Cortez Allen and the Steelers' secondary is suddenly quite thin. We'll see if Tim Tebow can take advantage of that.
SB Nation's NFL bloggers made predictions for Wild Card weekend and here's a look at the updated NFL playoffs schedule for Sunday. Check out Behind The Steel Curtain for more on the Steelers and Mile High Report for more on the Broncos.