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Denver Broncos running back Javonte Williams (33) catches a pass during the Denver Broncos home game against the Baltimore Ravens at Empower Field at Mile High in Denver, Colo., on Sunday, Oct. 3, 2021. The Broncos lost the game to the Ravens by a score of 23-7.(Chancey Bush/ The Gazette)

Week 5 Prediction: Broncos at Pittsburgh Steelers, Heinz Field, 11 a.m. Sunday


For all the fingers pointed at John Elway during the Broncos’ slide, it must be noted how he built the 2015 defense that saved the final season of Peyton Manning’s career. Otherwise it would have looked like Ben Roethlisberger right now.

Advantage: Broncos


The Broncos have an embarrassment of riches on 'D' once again. Ronald Darby, who signed a $30 million contract with the team, was activated from injured reserve Saturday. Denver’s is one seriously talented defensive secondary now.

Advantage: Broncos

Special teams

Brandon McManus has been perfect so far this season. Perfect from 20-29 yards (2-for-2), 30-39 (3-for-3) and 40-49 yards (4-for-4). Sunday figures to be a low-scoring game where the Broncos will need McManus to be perfect again.

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Advantage: Steelers


Mike Tomlin’s 3-5 vs. the Broncos, and the Broncos holding an advantage is not unusual in this series. Denver’s 15-9-1 in the regular season. Sunday would be a good time to reverse one trend, though: Denver hasn’t won in Pittsburgh in 15 years.

Advantage: Steelers


When Denver’s schedule comes out this is a game you go, “Probably an L. It’s in Pittsburgh.” But this isn’t the usual Steelers we’re talking about. Ben Roethlisberger is driving the struggle bus, and Denver wins on a field goal at the horn.

Advantage: Broncos

Klee’s prediction: Broncos (plus-1) 20, Steelers 17 (Straight-up record: 2-1; ATS: 1-2)

(Contact Gazette sports columnist Paul Klee at [email protected] or on Twitter at @bypaulklee.)