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Steelers head to Denver as a wild card after beating Browns

Hines Ward, Dimitri Patterson AP

The Pittsburgh Steelers are headed to Denver to take on the Broncos in the first round of the AFC playoffs.

The Steelers won today in Cleveland, 13-9, but the Ravens’ win over the Bengals prevented the Steelers from winning the AFC North. So as the No. 5 seed in the AFC, the Steelers will go on the road to face the Broncos, winners of the AFC West.

It was an ugly win for the Steelers in Cleveland, marked by Rashard Mendenhall leaving the game with a knee injury, and a limping Ben Roethlisberger not getting much going in the passing game. The most noteworthy accomplishment for the Pittsburgh passing game was that Hines Ward got five catches, putting him at an even 1,000 for his career in what may have been his final regular-season game with the Steelers.

But as ugly as the Steelers’ offense looked today, their defense should give them an excellent chance of beating Tim Tebow and the Broncos in Denver next weekend. There are good reasons to think the Steelers will play beyond the wild card round. And if Roethlisberger gets healthy and gets the offense going, they may be playing for two or three games beyond that.

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30 Responses to “Steelers head to Denver as a wild card after beating Browns”
  1. randomguy9999 says: Jan 1, 2012 7:30 PM

    so now it’s Steelers time for Tebow…. and Tebow is going to get the embarrassment of his life….

  2. wawa33 says: Jan 1, 2012 7:30 PM

    The Denver Tebows will beat the Stillers 2-0 next week.

  3. musiccitymiracle says: Jan 1, 2012 7:31 PM

    The matchup with Denver is arguably better than a bye. You stay warm but probably can pull your starters in the second half.

  4. trbowman says: Jan 1, 2012 7:31 PM

    Troy Polamalu and company are disappointed they won’t be seeing pick six Palmer.

  5. trbowman says: Jan 1, 2012 7:32 PM

    Then again, a matchup with Tebow is promising.

    Broncos should start Brady Quinn!

  6. garyman1 says: Jan 1, 2012 7:32 PM

    After watching Tebow and Denver today, I don’t see how in the heck they can beat the Steelers.
    Tebow was horrible.

  7. jeepin08 says: Jan 1, 2012 7:32 PM

    Wow, what a way to end their season by getting Tebowed to finsh it.
    Barely beat the Browns, what a joke.

  8. frankgarrett says: Jan 1, 2012 7:33 PM

    Good. Can’t wait for Tebow to go away . Oh wait . Skip Bayless will make sure he won’t

  9. edukator4 says: Jan 1, 2012 7:35 PM

    sucks that clark cant play.
    is there any way to vote (bcs style) for the chargers to get the afc west title? denver has no business being in the playoffs. havent beaten a winning team (cincy either) all year.

  10. tdk24 says: Jan 1, 2012 7:36 PM

    Enjoy this feeling Denver fans, it won’t last long.

  11. kingpel says: Jan 1, 2012 7:38 PM

    Now that everyone will jump off the Tebow bandwagon, I have no doubt he will win and cost us all a lot of money next week.

  12. KIR says: Jan 1, 2012 7:38 PM

    That’s about as close to a bye as you can get.

  13. ravenator says: Jan 1, 2012 7:38 PM

    Stick a fork in em. Pittsburgh is done, way to old and they already got swept by the Ravens.

  14. test2402 says: Jan 1, 2012 7:41 PM

    Timothy R. Tebow!

  15. KIR says: Jan 1, 2012 7:43 PM

    Tebow has been figured out. Put 8 in the box play man to man and it’s a wrap. He can’t consistently make passes in tight coverage. NEVER go to a prevent defense at the end of the game.

  16. citizenstrange says: Jan 1, 2012 7:43 PM

    Hopefully the Steeler defense can hold the Broncos to a field goal.

    Roethlisberger has gotten a grand total of 30 points in his last three starts.

    And he made the Pro Bowl. Yikes.

    GO STEELERS!

  17. easyeddie says: Jan 1, 2012 7:45 PM

    Steelers may beat Broncos, but as long as they’re on the road it won’t be long. they’re way overrated.

  18. Rob says: Jan 1, 2012 7:45 PM

    The Raiders didn’t make the playoffs?

  19. Deb says: Jan 1, 2012 7:47 PM

    Really, ravenator? Did Ed and Ray find the long lost Fountain of Youth? :)

    Since we’ve wound up wildcards anyway, I just wonder whether we’ll spend the off season wishing we’d sat Ben for that 49ers game. Better to have spared him for that debacle than have him limping into Denver or anywhere else when the outcome is sudden death.

  20. zonedogz says: Jan 1, 2012 7:54 PM

    That Carson Palmer trade really worked out well for the Raiders didn’t it?

  21. rodgers419 says: Jan 1, 2012 7:56 PM

    Enjoy your bye week Pittsburgh.

  22. vanmorrissey says: Jan 1, 2012 8:00 PM

    Think Pittsburgh could even win resting Big Ben another week. Won’t happen but Batch could fill in and beat Denver the way they’ve been playing.

  23. barklikeadog says: Jan 1, 2012 8:18 PM

    Go Tebow! If Seneca freaking Wallace can almost best the (overrated) stillers, Tebow’s got a shot. Never thought I’d say this: Go Broncos!!!

  24. sdiegosteel says: Jan 1, 2012 8:22 PM

    If Ben is only 60% two weeks from now, the Steelers are one win and done. If he can get healthy, there’s no reason to think that they couldn’t beat Baltimore and New England, especially if both Woodley and Harrison could be playing and healthy at the same time.

  25. melikefootball says: Jan 1, 2012 8:30 PM

    Lets give it up for Hines Ward, 1000 catches when he played his best years when the Steelers were a running team. Raw Raw re way to go Hines.

  26. ttorch82 says: Jan 1, 2012 9:36 PM

    pitsburgh cant beat baltimore with a healthy ben they tried and failed twice and they couldnt do it with a lead there pass d is horrible and there corners are horrible in big situations

  27. brownsfantildeath says: Jan 1, 2012 11:44 PM

    The steelers just won by the skin of their teeth today. I mean… skin of their gums, since they and their fans have no teeth!!!

  28. steelersmichele says: Jan 2, 2012 12:02 AM

    ravenator says: Stick a fork in em. Pittsburgh is done, way to old and they already got swept by the Ravens.

    Who you calling old and done?

    Those “old” guys on defense went from being a joke in week 1 to finishing with the #1 overall defense–better than your old guys.

    You can’t be talking about the “old” guys on offense, because Wallace and Brown had more yards than any receiver on your team.

    Just remember sweeping us has nothing to do with your first playoff game. You still have to beat another team to get to the Super Bowl.

  29. somesome says: Jan 2, 2012 8:59 AM

    #1 overall best defense in WHAT? The old NFL yards allowed … who cares. What the Steelers have shown over the last three games is nothing to blow your horn about, WHAT OFFENSE???

    A road game in Denver , could be the best thing for the Steelers to happen … maybe even a wake up call …

    … and yes, compared to the Steelers, the Ravens’ D is and has become young. Just Red and Ray you can point out Deb? How about 6 starters in the Pro Bowl … how about that Deb? Not much on the Steelers to pick from except for the “old” safety and Pouncey who knows how he got the selection, he seems to briddle for a center ….

  30. Deb says: Jan 2, 2012 11:29 AM

    somesome, I was joking with ravenator about that tired old line of Sapp’s. Good grief, son, get a grip. The Steelers have a lot of young talent on defense who’ve done a great job subbing in for Harrison, Farrior, Woodley, and Hampton when they were out this year. That’s why our defense was ranked #1 overall going into yesterday’s game. Telling people over and over that our team is too old to perform and is out of the running doesn’t make it true. But if it makes you happy to think so, carry on.

    And I voted for some of those Ravens, so I don’t suffer from this hysterical fear of rivals that plagues the rest of you.

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