Calm and cool under pressure – those are the words that best described Jake Plummer on Sunday as he led the Broncos to a key road win over the Steelers in Pittsburgh that should for all intensive purposes end any hopes of even a playoff birth for the defending Super Bowl Champions. Plummer was basically mistake free, which cannot be said for Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger, who threw three more interceptions, making that seven over the last two games, and 14 overall this season to go with just seven TD’s.
The afternoon belonged to Plummer, who came in looking to avenge a poor outing against the Steelers in last seasons AFC Title Game at Invesco Field. Plummer Sunday had a QB rating of 123.5, and threw two touchdowns in the first four minutes of the game after a Steelers punt and then a fumbled kickoff to quickly put the Broncos up to stay 14-0. Going 16-for-27 for 227 yards, it was his poise that didn’t really ever allow the Steelers to get back into the contest. Pittsburgh made it somewhat close at 14-10 at the half, then 21-17 in the third quarter, but Plummer would not allow this one to slip away.
After an exchange of possessions, the Broncos D stopped the Steelers at their own one after a sack that forced the Steelers to punt from their own end zone. After a 10-yard return and a 15-yard personal foul on the inept Steelers, Plummer quickly went to work. First it was a pass for 7 yards to get the ball to the 10, then on 3rd and 10, the jump ball worked for a second time, as favorite receiver Javon Walker went up over Ike Taylor for a grab in the end zone to make it 28-17. Game over.
Denver’s defense held from there, and a late field goal for the Broncos sealed the win for good at 31-20. Make no mistake about it, the Steelers defense, which was superb last week against a weak Raiders offense, was no match today for a Broncos offense that was convinced that they could match up well despite the troubles they had last year in the title game. Plummer was the leader of the pack, and his play was the reason why today Denver sits at 6-2, and the Steelers are now in the position to play simply for pride the remainder of the season.