2012 NFL Playoffs: Breaking Down The Steelers Vs. Broncos AFC Wild Card Matchup

With the AFC Wild Card matchup between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Denver Broncos rapidly approaching, SB Nation's team blogs for both teams have been working overtime trying to break this game down from every angle imaginable. Most recently, the Steelers blog, Behind the Steel Curtain, has done some great work on comparing this iteration of the Steelers to the 2010 version, while the Broncos blog, Mile High Report, launched into some in-depth statistical comparisons between the Broncos and Steelers.


More: A Look At How Ben Roethlisberger Compares To His 2010 Season

For a look at how Ben Roethlisberger, Mike Wallace, Isaac Redman and the rest of the Steelers offense stacks up against Von Miller and the Broncos defense, here is a visual breakdown of the two units. The chart is taken from Mile High Report and includes last week's rankings for the Broncos to highlight progress or regression. The DVOA stat is taken from Football Outsiders and is explained here.

Steelers Broncos
Offense Rank Category Rank Defense
20.3 22nd Points For 24th 24.4
372.3 12th Total Yds 20th 357.8
253.4 10th Pass Yds 18th 231.5
118.9 14th Rush Yds 22nd 126.3
42 10th Sacks 10th 41
N/A N/A Forced Fumbles 26th 11
15 T-17th fewest Interceptions T-28th 9
46% 4th 3rd Downs 6th 33.50%
16.30% 6th Overall DVOA 19th 6.40%
-13 T-28th Turnover Margin T-26th -12
77 14th QB Hits Allowed N/A N/A

For more on how Tim Tebow and the Broncos offense compares to Troy Polamalu and the Steelers defense, and how the special teams units rate, be sure to check out the complete article from Mile High Report. Here is how they eventually come out in the end after all the analysis is done:

THE BOTTOM LINE
I won't lie to you, this is going to be a tough matchup for Denver. They have lost their last three games and they are going up against the #1 Defense in the NFL. I am more concerned with what the Broncos can do Offensively against the Steelers Defense than I am about Pittsburgh's Offense matching up with the Denver Defense. Still, the slate is wiped clean and it's a new, albeit short season and on any given Sunday, one team can beat another in the NFL. It only takes one win to advance.
For updates, stay tuned to SB Nation Denver. For more in-depth coverage of this matchup, head to Broncos blog, Mile High Report, and Steelers blog, Behind the Steel Curtain. For more news and notes from around the NFL, visit SB Nation's NFL news hub.

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