Finally, the NFL exhibition games are done and all football fans are ready to jump back into the sport.
The first regular season game always proves to be an interesting week for all 32 teams. Teams that finished on the bottom last year can look great while other teams tend to start a little slower.
The Pittsburgh Steelers will look for a big win on the road against the Denver Broncos Sunday night.
For those who were able to put the game out of their memory, Denver knocked Pittsburgh out of the playoffs in the first round last season. That was the 10-for-21 for 316 yards Tim Tebow-led Denver Broncos.
This offseason Denver landed Peyton Manning to be their signal caller and sent Tebow packing to New York.
Week 1 will be Peyton’s first game back after missing last season due to injury.
Pittsburgh will be led by first-year captains Ben Roethlisberger and Brett Keisel. Roethlisberger had been selected as a co-captain in previous years with Hines Ward. Keisel will replace long time team captain James Farrior.
This is also one of the Steelers’ most questionable line-ups in recent years as well. One easy pick is that Roethlisberger will be at quarterback.
At running back Mike Tomlin has yet to say who will be the starter. Isaac Redman or Jonathan Dwyer? Most seem to think it will depend on Redman’s week of practice and his injury.
At wide receiver it is still uncertain how much Mike Wallace will play. A gambling man would put his money on a fair amount of time. Tomlin said he is impressed with his knowledge of the playbook already and that Wallace is in decent condition.
The offensive line is going to have a similar line up to previous years with Maurkice Pouncey in the middle, Max Starks and Marcus Gilbert on the edges and Ramon Foster and Willie Colon inside.
Dick LeBeau’s defense has their own problems to worry about with personnel.
Keenan Lewis earned the nod at corner opposite Ike Taylor. Curtis Brown has been banged up with a knee injury but did practice.
Ryan Clark will be out for week 1 due to sickle cell anemia – which flares up at high altitudes – and Ryan Mundy will fill in at free safety. Robert Golden, who will be Mundy’s replacement if needed, was listed as probable with a hamstring injury.
At linebacker Larry Foote and Lawrence Timmons will get the start on the inside. Stevenson Sylvester is listed as out for the game as a back-up inside and special teams player.
Lamar Woodley will be at one outside linebacker spot. James Harrison is questionable for week 1, but the expectation is he will play in limited snaps. If Harrison can’t go then it will be Chris Carter filling in.
Coach Tomlin has reiterated several times that they won’t cry over who is in the game and who is not. They believe they can win with any players on their roster in the game. It’s confidence and it’ll be important on national TV in Denver.