Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Denver's `Big Plays' Leave Pittsburgh Reeling

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Denver's `Big Plays' Leave Pittsburgh Reeling

Article excerpt

Broncos 37 Steelers 13

Quarterback John Elway had his way with the National Football League's No. 1 defense.

Elway dissected the Pittsburgh Steelers, completing 18 of 25 passes for 276 yards and a touchdown as Denver routed Pittsburgh.

"We knew they had a good defensive team," Elway said, "but we felt if we went out and quit beating ourselves that there was no one that was going to stop us."

The Broncos corrected some season-long indiscretions; they had no turnovers and only three penalties for 22 yards.

Elway, throwing for more yards in the first half alone (230) than the Steelers had been yielding in total offense per game (225.9), staked Denver to a 20-0 halftime lead. His 13-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Vance Johnson - Denver's second TD in a span of 19 seconds in the third quarter - gave the Broncos a commanding 34-3 advantage.

Denver (6-4), drawing within one game of American Football Conference West leader Kansas City, capitalized on three turnovers and four sacks. Pittsburgh (6-4) fell into a first-place tie with Houston in the AFC Central.

The Broncos, moving the ball effectively on the ground as well as through the air, scored on six of their first seven possessions and beat the Steelers at their own game - with defense and a clock-devouring offense.

"We dominated the game," Denver coach Wade Phillips said. "This might be the game that puts us over the hump. But we're not a great football team unless we play like that every week."

Steelers coach Bill Cowher said the outcome hinged on "big plays - they had many, we had few. Denver was able to complete passes against our man-to-man coverage."

Denver scored on four of its five first-half possessions, generating 279 total yards in the half compared to Pittsburgh's 85. …

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