Affiliate: Football fans are given a gift from schedule-makers in Week 1 as the Denver Broncos will be at home versus the Pittsburgh Steelers in the season’s first edition of Sunday Night Football.
The NFL odds give a good barometer of what’s expected out of these teams this season.
As it stands, the Steelers are the one-point underdogs for this Week 1 meeting in the high altitude of Denver, Colorado. Normally, home-field advantage is worth three points in football, meaning Pittsburgh is the more respected team this year, at least according to oddsmakers.
Ben Roethlisberger is still at the helm of the team and is fully healthy for the first team in years it seems like.
Now that Mike Wallace has reported to the team, Roethlisberger will have some excellent targets to throw to. Wallace had a big year, but Antonio Brown also emerged as a viable number one receiver with his deep-ball ability. Don’t forget about Jerrico Cotchery, Emmanuel Sanders, and Heath Miller too.
The Steelers, though, are known for their bruising defense and it all starts up front with Brett Keisel, Ziggy Hood and Casey Hampton.
The defense gets even tougher though when you move back, as James Harrison headlines one of the best group of linebackers anywhere in the NFL. Harrison’s status is up in the air this week and if he can’t go then Chris Carter will take his place opposite Lamarr Woodley.
Any secondary that has Troy Polamulu in it is extremely strong. There may not be a better playmaking safety in the league.
As you can gather, the Broncos may have a tough time dealing with both the offense and defense of Pittsburgh, especially when you consider the changes that have gone on in Denver.
The Steelers should have more continuity over from last season and that could lead them to a mammoth opening win in Week 1.