Sun Nov 25 7:51pm ET
By ARNIE STAPLETON
AP Pro Football Writer
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.
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.
Steelers: Return home to host Chargers in another prime-time matchup.
Broncos: Travel to Cincinnati to face the league's worst defense.
Denver Broncos tight end Noah Fant looks to separate himself from his teammate tight ends on the roster for the Broncos, as the team drafted him with high expectations this spring. Offensive coordinator Rich Scangarello has spoken highly of Fant's preseason, as the rookie looks to follow-up a prolific career at the University of Iowa with similar results in the NFL. Fant's main competition is returning tight end Jeff Heuerman, who has been battling injury this preseason after a sub-par 2018 campaign.
Denver Broncos wide receiver Courtland Sutton sees an opening for the number one receiver spot on the roster entering his sophomore season. The SMU product has a new-look offense, with quarterback Joe Flacco at the helm, and colleague Emmanuel Sanders aging and coming off an injury in 2018. Sutton looks to take the next step in his career, and he has looked the part with an impressive preseason.
Denver Broncos wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders anticipates that he will be able to play week one, as the Broncos take on the Raiders in Oakland. Sanders season ended early last year due to an Achilles injury, but he has eased his way into practice this offseason and seems to be ready to go for 2019. The veteran receiver will have to be on his A-game to keep his role as the primary receiver in Denver, as the young guns alongside him fight for his job.
Oakland Raiders wide receiver Marcell Ateman is fighting for a roster spot in his second season in the NFL. He's currently listed behind Tyrell Williams on the WR2 depth chart, but he's been outplayed throughout most of the preseason by his teammates. With two catches for 33 yards in two preseason contests, Ateman hasn't seen as many looks or gotten as much praise as other receivers so far in camp. He appears to be on the outside looking in as of now, but there is still time for the roster to shake out. Even if Ateman does crack the roster, he won't hold any fantasy relevance in 2019.
Oakland Raiders tight end Foster Moreau is having a strong preseason, but likely won't find much success in the passing game this year. Rookie tight ends are notorious for starting slow offensively, and Moreau will likely follow this trend. With standout Darren Waller thriving as a pass-catcher so far in camp, the Raiders can afford to ease their fourth-round selection into the passing offense. The good news is Moreau has already surpassed veterans Derek Carrier and Luke Willson on the depth chart, but he remains a stash in dynasty formats for now.
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger didn't appear in Saturday night's preseason game against the Kansas City Chiefs. This is of no surprise as the 37-year-old has nothing to prove to the team, so they decide to take it easy with him until the third week of the preseason. Roethlisberger led the NFL in attempts, completions, passing yards, and interceptions in 2018, while he also threw a career-high 34 touchdowns. Roethlisberger is a great target if you're waiting until the later rounds for a quarterback, as his ADP finds him routinely going early in the 11th round.
Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Zach Pascal was dead silent in their Week 2 preseason matchup against the Cleveland Browns. He was targeted twice, and he registered no catches. With the injury to wideout Daurice Fountain, there is a role open for a number of wide receivers to capture. With the performance fellow wide receiver Deon Cain put up, this was not the type of performance that he needed.
Indianapolis Colts tight end Eric Ebron was a touchdown machine last season, and he maintained that performance during the team's Week 2 preseason matchup with the Cleveland Browns. He caught just two passes for 28 yards during his limited work, and one of those two catches was for a touchdown. Regardless of the presence of fellow tight end Jack Doyle, Ebron will continue to have a role especially down in the red zone.
Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Deon Cain has been showing out throughout training camp. That remained true during the team's Week 2 of the preseason game against the Cleveland Browns. He was their best offensive player with seven catches for 80 yards. Behind wide receiver T.Y. Hilton and Devin Funchess, there is a role available for someone to capture, and Cain is doing his best to make his case. If he's able to maintain similar levels of performance moving forward, he can become a great weapon for this offense.
Indianapolis Colts running back Jordan Wilkins (foot) was expected to miss the team's Week 2 preseason game against the Cleveland Browns, and that remained true. With a cluster of running backs fighting for roles behind the two lead backs of Marlon Mack and Nyheim Hines, he needs to get himself back onto the field. As long as he's able to show the consistency we saw from him last year, he should be fine.
Dallas Cowboys rookie running back Tony Pollard led the backfield in Saturday's preseason game, running the ball five times for 42 yards and a touchdown. He added a nine yard catch as well. Pollard got the most carries and yards and the only touchdown among Cowboys running backs. With Ezekiel Elliott possibly on the sidelines for Week 1 or more, Pollard could be in for a couple of RB1 weeks.
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott completed all five of his passes in Saturday's preseason game, gaining 64 yards. As expected, Prescott didn't play much but he should get a larger share of at least the first half in the Cowboys dress rehearsal next week. With Ezekiel Elliott far from a sure thing for Week 1, Prescott may have a bit more on his shoulders than expected to start the season.
Pittsburgh Steelers rookie wide receiver Diontae Johnson caught three of five targets for 46 yards and a touchdown in Saturday's preseason win over Kansas City. Johnson's touchdown didn't come until the fourth quarter when fellow rookie Devlin Hodges was throwing to him, but Johnson made a spectacular catch in the end zone. The third-round pick from Toledo has been opening eyes in training camp in both offensive drills, as well as in the return game. He doesn't hold any redraft value but his dynasty value has seen a nice tick upward over the preseason.
Tennessee Titans undrafted free agent running back Alex Barnes led all running backs in rushing with seven carries for 42 yards in the team's Week 2 preseason matchup with the New England Patriots. Barnes showed an excellent combination of power and patience in only his second NFL game, but he is still considered a long shot to make the roster. Barnes' impressive combine and preseason showing help his chances at landing on a practice squad if he is cut by the Titans, but he should be considered droppable even in deep dynasty formats.
Tennessee Titans tight end Delanie Walker only played two drives in his first action since Week 1 of the 2018 season, but that was enough for him to catch two passes for 26 yards and a touchdown. It seems Walker and quarterback Marcus Mariota are picking up right where they left off prior to Walker's season-ending injury. Walker remains a solid late-round value pick at tight end, but expect his ADP to start to creep up as we get closer to fantasy draft season.
Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Donte Moncrief caught one pass for three yards before fumbling in Saturday's preseason game against the Kansas City Chiefs. It was the first play of Pittsburgh third drive and Moncrief caught the short pass to the right and was stripped. He only played the first quarter before James Washington saw the majority of the work from there on out. Even after fumbling, the fact that Moncrief only played one quarter means that the team is comfortable with where the veteran is at in his first year with the team. He's batting with Washington to be the second starting wide receiver besides JuJu Smith-Schuster but Moncrief continues to be the favorite to win the job. If he can earn the starting role, his 11th round ADP could prove to be an absolute steal for fantasy owners.
Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Vance McDonald caught his sole target for five yards on Saturday against the Chiefs. The starting tight end job is all McDonald's now that Jesse James is gone. McDonald is set to improve upon his 2018 season of 60 receptions for 610 yards and four touchdowns. Naturally, he's been climbing up fantasy draft boards recently due to the increase in opportunity. The 29-year-old has jumped into the seventh round of mock drafts and presents great PPR value.
Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Eli Rogers caught two of his three targets for 31 yards in Saturday's preseason win over Kansas City. The 26-year-old is looking to earn a spot in the offense after missing the majority of 2018 with an injury. However, he earned a start in the final three games and caught 12 passes for 79 yards. Rogers is fighting with Ryan Switzer, Diontae Johnson, and Diontae Spencer for work in the slot this year. Even though Rogers has never truly broken out in his three years with the team, they seem to really see something in him and will likely continue to target him heavily this preseason. Either way, he doesn't hold any fantasy value but could develop into a streamable flex option down the road if he can gain enough chemistry with Ben Roethlisberger.
Houston Texans kicker Ka'imi Fairbairn was 3-for-3 on field goal attempts and 3-for-3 on extra point attempts in Saturday's preseason win over the Detroit Lions. His longest field goal was a 50-yarder. Fairbairn's one of the most promising young kickers in the NFL and has a chance to break into the top tier of fantasy kickers this season based on his accuracy and the opportunities he'll have in Houston's offense. If you're someone who doesn't want to stream kickers, Fairbairn is worth a look.
Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Ryan Switzer caught his only target for five yards in Saturday's preseason win over the Chiefs. Switzer didn't see any action in the first preseason game but his limited role on Saturday causes some questions about his role on the team. The 24-year-old made his money in the return game last season but with the team's addition of Diontae Johnson and Diontae Spencer, Switzer is going to have to work extra hard to carve out a role on the offense. He's battling both previously mentioned as well as Eli Rogers for the slot position. Regardless, he holds no fantasy value and even if he's on the field he'll likely be the fourth and sometimes fifth best option for Ben Roethlisberger.