Final

Steelers 28

(4-2, 1-2 away)

Broncos 31

(3-3, 2-2 home)

Coverage: NBC

8:15 PM ET, October 21, 2007

Invesco Field, Denver, CO 

1 2 3 4 T
PIT 7 0 7 1428
DEN 7 14 7 331

Top Performers

Passing: B. Roethlisberger (PIT) - 290 YDS, 4 TD, 2 INT

Rushing: W. Parker (PIT) - 21 CAR, 93 YDS

Receiving: H. Ward (PIT) - 7 REC, 78 YDS

Elam's last-second field goal dumps Steelers

Associated Press

DENVER (AP) -- The Denver Broncos took the city's minds off the Colorado Rockies for a few hours Sunday night.

"However we can take it," Jason Elam said after his 49-yard field goal as time expired beat the Pittsburgh Steelers 31-28. "We want to do this whole Rockies thing, 21 out of 22, that works for us."

It's a start.

Rookie Tim Crowder had a 50-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown, Jay Cutler threw three TD passes and the Broncos (3-3), coming off their worst home loss in 41 years, looked nothing like the troubled team that had lost playmakers on both sides of the ball and whose season was threatening to unravel before the leaves had finished falling.

Suddenly able to get to the passer despite Champ Bailey (thigh) missing a game for just the third time in his career and fellow Pro Bowl cornerback Dre' Bly injuring his right shoulder on a first-half interception, the Broncos forced three turnovers and sacked Ben Roethlisberger four times.

Bly stayed in the game and broke up several of Big Ben's passes.

The Steelers (4-2), who had allowed just five touchdowns all season, surrendered four, including Cutler's throws of 15 yards to Brandon Stokley and 1 yard each to Tony Scheffler and Cecil Sapp.

Elam, who has the game-winner in all three of the Broncos' wins so far, nailed his kick to cap a seven-play, 49-yard drive that covered the final 1:10 after Pittsburgh had rallied from a 14-point second-half deficit to tie it.

"He's a darn good closer," safety John Lynch said. "You wouldn't want anyone else in that position. You have a sense of calm when he's booting it. He's very good at what he does. No question, right down the middle.

"This is the first step in turning this thing around."

The Broncos, who lost running back Travis Henry for the night with bruised ribs in the third quarter, snapped a three-game skid.

Pittsburgh rallied from a 28-14 second-half deficit with a 94-yard drive capped by Matt Spaeth's 13-yard TD grab and another long drive in which Roethlisberger completed all eight of his passes for 80 yards, including a 12-yard strike to tight end Health Miller, his second touchdown of the night.

Then, it was Cutler's turn.

"That's where you make your money," Cutler said. "That's where the fun is."

The drive started with Scheffler catching a 16-yard pass and then hopping off the field with an apparent right foot injury. He broke that foot in the summer and only recently returned to full strength.

Brandon Marshall caught a 9-yard pass and an offside call put the ball on the 50. Glenn Martinez caught an 11-yard pass and tight end Daniel Graham caught another 9-yarder with 20 seconds to go on a play that was initially ruled an incompletion before a booth-ordered replay overturned the call.

Selvin Young lost a yard and, after a timeout, Elam split the uprights.

The Broncos seized the momentum with their first touchdown by a defensive lineman since Ellis Johnson's interception return against Oakland on Nov. 28, 2004.

Elvis Dumervil split blockers Marvel Smith and Alan Faneca and dumped Roethlisberger for a 12-yard loss, while stripping the ball from the quarterback's grasp.

"The play clock was running down," Roethlisberger said. "Looking back, I probably should have called timeout, but I didn't. When I bent down to pick it up I looked up and there were guys all around me."

All of them were thinking the same thing.

"We were all trying to get it," said Crowder, who scooped it up and raced half the length of the field for a 21-7 lead just 90 seconds after Sapp's 1-yard touchdown grab had given Denver its first lead.

"Elvis saw me and he just kicked it out to me and I picked it up and took off. I have to remind people that I can run, too."

Denver is last in the NFL in stopping the run and the Steelers have the league's second-best rushing offense. Yet, Pittsburgh running back Willie Parker (93 yards on 21 carries) had only three rushes for 10 yards in the first quarter, and the Broncos began to build confidence.

"At times it looked like they had nine or 10 guys at the line of scrimmage," Roethlisberger said.

The Broncos became the first team this season to score on Pittsburgh's defense in the first half when Stokley caught a 15-yard pass from Cutler to tie the game at 7 in the first quarter.

The night began with a ceremony to honor cornerback Darrent Williams and running back Damien Nash, two 24-year-old Broncos who died last winter. Williams was killed in an unsolved drive-by shooting in downtown Denver on New Year's Day and Nash died two months later after a charity basketball game in St. Louis.

"We talked a lot about honoring our teammates," by playing well, Lynch said, "and I think we did."

Game notes


Bailey hadn't missed a game since 2005, when he missed two with a pulled hamstring. Domonique Foxworth took his place in the starting lineup. ... Steelers DE Aaron Smith injured a knee.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
Pittsburgh
Denver
1st Downs2421
3rd down efficiency
8-127-10
4th down efficiency
1-10-0
Total Yards379324
Yards per play5.85.9
Total Drives12
Passing260234
Comp-Att
24-3522-29
Yards per pass
7.48.1
Interceptions thrown
22
Sacks-Yards Lost
4-302-14
Rushing11990
Rushing Attempts
2624
Yards per rush
4.63.8
Penalties3-232-20
Turnovers32
Fumbles lost
10
Interceptions thrown
22
Possession31:3528:25

Passing Leaders

PITC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Roethli...24/352908.3424-30
DENC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Cutler22/292488.6322-14

Rushing Leaders

PITCARYDSAVGTDLG
Parker21934.4027
Roethli...3206.7011
DENCARYDSAVGTDLG
Henry17513.008
Cutler34113.7031

Receiving Leaders

PITRECYDSAVGTDLG
Ward77811.1018
Holmes6549.0116
DENRECYDSAVGTDLG
Marshall67712.8022
Stokley57014.0117

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERPITDEN
TD11:00Heath Miller 1 Yd Pass From Ben Roethlisberger (Jeff Reed Kick) 70
TD06:17Brandon Stokley 15 Yd Pass From Jay Cutler (Jason Elam Kick) 77
SECOND QUARTERPITDEN
TD04:01Cecil Sapp 1 Yd Pass From Jay Cutler (Jason Elam Kick) 714
TD02:31Tim Crowder 50 Yd Fumble Return (Jason Elam Kick) 721
THIRD QUARTERPITDEN
TD08:10Santonio Holmes 13 Yd Pass From Ben Roethlisberger (Jeff Reed Kick) 1421
TD00:00Tony Scheffler 1 Yd Pass From Jay Cutler (Jason Elam Kick) 1428
FOURTH QUARTERPITDEN
TD10:10Matt Spaeth 13 Yd Pass From Ben Roethlisberger (Jeff Reed Kick) 2128
TD01:10Heath Miller 12 Yd Pass From Ben Roethlisberger (Jeff Reed Kick) 2828
FG00:00Jason Elam 49 Yd 2831