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FFL: Preseason | NFL: Week 1

Broncos snap Steelers' six-game winning streak 24-17

Sun Nov 25 7:51pm ET
By ARNIE STAPLETON
AP Pro Football Writer

Players: Ben Roethlisberger, Emmanuel Sanders, Case Keenum, Antonio Brown, Vance McDonald, Chris Boswell, Xavier Grimble, Jeff Heuerman, Phillip Lindsay, JuJu Smith-Schuster

Denver Broncos defensive end Shelby Harris (96) celebrates his interception in the end zone with offensive tackle Billy Turner during the second half of an NFL football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Sunday, Nov. 25, 2018, in Denver. The Broncos won 24-17. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)


Denver Broncos defensive end Shelby Harris (96) intercepts a pass in the end zone against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 25, 2018, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)


CORRECTS TO A FIRST DOWN AND GOAL CATCH NOT A TOUCHDOWN CATCH - Denver Broncos wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders (10) pulls in a first down and goal catch as Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Joe Haden defends during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 25, 2018, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)


Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) celebrates his touchdown throw to wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster (19) during the first half of an NFL football game against the Denver Broncos, Sunday, Nov. 25, 2018, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)


Pittsburgh Steelers running back James Conner (30) is hit by Denver Broncos outside linebacker Bradley Chubb (55) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 25, 2018, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)


Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster (19) breaks free for a touchdown as Denver Broncos cornerback Bradley Roby (29) and strong safety Darian Stewart pursue during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 25, 2018, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)


DENVER (AP) Nose tackle Shelby Harris picked off Ben Roethlisberger's 2-yard pass to Antonio Brown in the end zone with 1:03 remaining to seal Denver's 24-17 win over Pittsburgh that snapped the Steelers' six-game winning streak Sunday.

The Broncos (5-6) used four takeaways to counter a 97-yard touchdown toss from Roethlisberger to JuJu Smith-Schuster.

Roethlisberger was 41 of 56 for 462 yards, but he was intercepted twice and the Steelers (7-3-1) lost two fumbles in losing for the first time since September.

Phillip Lindsay rushed for 110 yards and the game-deciding touchdown on just 14 carries for Denver, which also ended the Chargers' six-game winning streak last week and would have snapped Houston's five-game roll were it not for a missed field goal as time expired.

Cornerback Bradley Roby and safety Darian Stewart were burned on Smith-Schuster's long touchdown grab, but they made up for it when they teamed up on the final play of the third quarter for Denver's third takeaway.

Roby forced James Connor to cough up the football after a 23-yard gain and Stewart recovered it at the Denver 21.

The Broncos then went 79 yards in 11 plays with Lindsay taking it in from 2 yards to break a 17-17 tie.

Earlier in the third quarter, Roethlisberger was backed up into his own end zone after the Broncos downed a punt at the 3, and he was knocked down by Harris as he uncorked the pass.

Smith-Schuster, who raced past Roby, hauled it in at the Pittsburgh 35, then evaded Roby and Stewart the rest of the way, finally shoving Stewart to the ground in front of the Broncos' bench before running into the end zone to break a 10-10 halftime tie.

The Broncos tied it at 17 on Case Keenum's 5-yard strike to Emmanuel Sanders two plays after Chris Harris Jr. intercepted a pass intended for Brown at the Steelers 43.

Brown, who burned Denver for 189 yards the previous time he played them, finished with just 67 yards on nine catches this time. Smith-Schuster got 189 yards this time, on 13 catches.

Roethlisberger had 25 completions by halftime, the most in the first half in the regular season by a Steelers QB since 1960, but it took a fake field goal for Pittsburgh to reach the end zone.

Kicker Chris Boswell threw a 2-yard touchdown pass to left tackle Alejandro Villanueva to tie it at 10.

Boswell took the direct snap and threw a perfect pass to a wide-open Villanueva - who was a receiver and tight end at Army and became the first Steelers O-lineman to catch a touchdown pass since Ray Pinney did it against the Browns in 1983.

The Steelers frittered away a shot at 10 more points in the first half.

Justin Simmons blocked Boswell's 48-yard field goal attempt and safety Will Parks punched away the football just as tight end Xavier Grimble was about to score on a 24-yard catch-and-run. The ball went out of bounds in the end zone for a touchback.

INJURIES

Steelers: T.J. Watt left in the first quarter with a wrist injury, but returned after halftime. ... TE Vance McDonald left in the third quarter with a hip injury, but returned in the fourth.

Broncos: CB Tramaine Brock hurt his ribs tackling Smith-Schuster in the third quarter. In the fourth quarter, TE Jeff Heuerman (back) and OLB Shaq Barrett (hip) left the game.

UP NEXT

Steelers: Return home to host Chargers in another prime-time matchup.

Broncos: Travel to Cincinnati to face the league's worst defense.

Player Notes
Jarvis Landry Aug 8 5:10pm ET

Cleveland Browns wide receiver Jarvis Landry (hip) was activated from the active/PUP list on Saturday. Landry opened the preseason on the PUP list after having hip surgery back on February 4. The veteran wide receiver is trending up as the team gets ready to start practicing in the next week. Landry caught 83 passes for 1, 174 yards and six touchdowns last season. Look for him to return low-end WR2 value in PPR leagues in 2020.

From RotoBaller

Kenjon Barner Aug 8 9:53am ET

Free-agent RB Kenjon Barner (Falcons) is visiting the Baltimore Ravens and beginning the testing process Saturday, Aug. 8.

From TheHuddle

Jakeem Grant Aug 8 9:23am ET

Miami Dolphins WR Jakeem Grant has an opportunity for playing time with WRs Albert Wilson and Allen Hurns opting out.

Fantasy Spin: The absences vault Preston Williams and Grant into the starting lineup, potentially, and Grant could be in the slot. Williams has more upside of the two, but he's coming off an ACL tear. Grant is a WR5 candidate that will need a good camp to hold a final roster spot in fantasy.

From TheHuddle

Derrius Guice Aug 7 11:30pm ET

The Washington Football Team has released running back Derrius Guice following a domestic abuse arrest. The oft-injured Guice was expected to be the lead back for Washington's running back committee this year, but the release obviously changes everything in Washington. Veteran running back Adrian Peterson should now see the bulk of the carries, while rookie Antonio Gibson gets chances on passing downs. Gibson gets a boost in dynasty leagues after Guice's release, while Peterson is now a viable top-100 pick in virtually all re-draft leagues. As for Guice, his arrest could be the end of his disappointing NFL career. He's off the radar in redraft and becomes borderline rosterable in dynasty.

From RotoBaller

Mike Williams Aug 7 11:13pm ET

Los Angeles Chargers WR Mike Williams' ability to catch contested passes has QB Tyrod Taylor excited, and Taylor said that 50-50 balls are 'more like 70-30 or 80-20' balls when throwing to Williams.

Fantasy Spin: Although he scored just twice, Williams is coming off a 2019 season when he set career highs in catches and yards and led the NFL with 20.4 yards per reception. Losing Philip Rivers at quarterback isn't ideal, but Williams' big-play ability allows him to turn a couple of catches into a big performance. He is still worth grabbing as a WR3.

From TheHuddle

Jerick McKinnon Aug 7 10:30pm ET

San Francisco 49ers running back Jerick McKinnon has been one of the more impressive players at training camp, according to Cam Inman of The Mercury News. In particular, McKinnon's route running out of the backfield has looked crisp. It is welcomed news for the 28-year-old, as he has missed the entirety of the past two seasons with injuries. McKinnon may be able to carve out a role for himself as a pass-catching, third-down back, but he has to battle Raheem Mostert and Tevin Coleman for touches. If McKinnon continues his strong play, the 49ers backfield may become even more of a headache for fantasy owners.

From RotoBaller

Brandin Cooks Aug 7 9:43pm ET

Houston Texans WR Brandin Cooks said he has 'zero' concerns about his concussion history. 'For me, I'm not worried at all,' said Cooks. 'If there is any hesitation or worry, I wouldn't be here right now.'

Fantasy Spin: While Cooks may not be concerned, fantasy owners have to be a little worried if Cooks will be available for a full season. He has delivered WR2 production for a majority of his career, but between the concussion issues and changing teams over the offseason, he is a more palatable option as a WR3.

From TheHuddle

Jerick McKinnon Aug 7 9:33pm ET

San Francisco 49ers RB Jerick McKinnon (knee) has looked sharp catching passes out of the backfield during training camp, according to QB Jimmy Garoppolo. 'Even just throwing routes on air this offseason, he runs them differently than most running backs and he has a feel that's like a receiver, but he feels space like a quarterback,' Garoppolo said.

Fantasy Spin: McKinnon has missed consecutive seasons while recovery from a knee injury, but he will rejoin the backfield in 2020. It sounds like he could carve out a role on passing downs, but for now, he is a late-round flier in PPR formats, at best.

From TheHuddle

Logan Ryan Aug 7 8:13pm ET

Free-agent CB Logan Ryan (Titans) could receive interest from the New York Giants, in the opinion of ESPN.com's Jordan Raanan.

From TheHuddle

Dontari Poe Aug 7 8:03pm ET

Dallas Cowboys DE Tyrone Crawford (hip) and DT Dontari Poe (quadriceps) do not have timetables for when they will be able to be activated from the Active/Physically Unable to Perform list, according to head coach Mike McCarthy.

From TheHuddle

Derrius Guice Aug 7 7:23pm ET

Washington Football Team RB Derrius Guice was released Friday, Aug. 7.

Fantasy Spin: Guice likely will not receive much interest from other teams because of the arrest, but fantasy players can keep an eye on the situation. Adrian Peterson likely will handle most of the carries for Washington this season and can be at least a No. 3 running back in standard fantasy leagues.

From TheHuddle

Calvin Ridley Aug 7 7:00pm ET

Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Calvin Ridley is looking "bigger and stronger" according to head coach Dan Quinn. Quinn said that Ridley had a good offseason and is coming into training camp hungry. The Alabama product is a popular pick for a third-year breakout after he was well on his way towards his first 1000-yard season before getting hurt. The 25-year-old has had no trouble finding the end zone in his first two years, compiling 17 touchdowns, though he'll need to slightly raise his yards per game and catch percentage numbers to reach his goal. Playing in an offense that has ranked in the top-five in pass attempts in each of the last two years should give Ridley a great chance at becoming elite in 2020.

From RotoBaller

Joe Mixon Aug 7 6:23pm ET

Cincinnati Bengals RB Joe Mixon may receive a bigger role in the passing game this season, according to offensive coordinator Brian Callahan.

Fantasy Spin: Mixon will see plenty of carries in the running game but may be a popular target for Joe Burrow out of the backfield. Mixon should already be considered a starting running back in all fantasy leagues but more catches would increase his value.

From TheHuddle

Willie Snead Aug 7 6:13pm ET

Baltimore Ravens WR James Proche is considered the leading candidate for the punt returner job this season. WR Willie Snead and Marquise Brown are also options for the job.

From TheHuddle

Nigel Bradham Aug 7 5:43pm ET

Free-agent LB Nigel Bradham (Eagles) officially signed with the New Orleans Saints Friday, Aug. 7. Official terms of the contract were not disclosed.

From TheHuddle

Aug 7 5:23pm ET

Free-agent TE Jordan Leggett (Buccaneers) and DT Darius Kilgo (Lions) recently met with the New England Patriots.

From TheHuddle

Kenny Stills Aug 7 5:13pm ET

Houston Texans WR Kenny Stills (illness) was placed on the Active/Non-Football Illness list Friday, Aug. 7.

Fantasy Spin: It is not known how long Stills will be sidelined, but he does not appear to be in danger of missing the start of the season. His role may be smaller this season since the team added Brandin Cooks and Randall Cobb during the offseason. Fantasy players in most leagues probably can avoid Stills in drafts.

From TheHuddle

Vic Beasley Aug 7 4:43pm ET

Tennessee Titans LB Vic Beasley was activated from the Reserve/Did Not Report list Friday, Aug. 7.

From TheHuddle

Jack Crawford Aug 7 4:43pm ET

Tennessee Titans DT Jack Crawford was placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list Friday, Aug. 7.

From TheHuddle

Marcell Dareus Aug 7 4:13pm ET

Free-agent DT Marcell Dareus (Jaguars) could be an option for the Seattle Seahawks since they are looking to add depth at the defensive tackle position, in the opinion of Sirius XM NFL Radio's Adam Caplan.

From TheHuddle