Steelers vs. Broncos score: Ben Roethlisberger, defense propel Pittsburgh after Drew Lock exits with injury

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The Steelers, despite leading throughout the day, had to hang on before defeating the visiting Broncos on Sunday, 26-21. Pittsburgh took a 12-point lead in the fourth quarter, but the Broncos cut the lead to five, then threatened to take their first lead before Terrell Edmunds' sack of backup quarterback Jeff Driskel helped seal the win for Pittsburgh. 

The Broncos, who were without quarterback Drew Lock for most of the game after the second-year quarterback suffered an early shoulder injury, pulled to within five points after Driskel hit Melvin Gordon for a 16-yard touchdown with 7:43 left. Pittsburgh's defense, however, wouldn't allow the Broncos to get any closer. After Denver reached the Steelers' 15-yard line, Driskel was sacked by Edmunds on a safety blitz. The sack gave the ball back to the Steelers, who put the game on ice following a 59-yard run by James Conner. Conner, who missed most of Pittsburgh's season-opener with an injury, rushed for 106 yards on 16 carries on Sunday. 

Ben Roethlisberger, who on Sunday moved past Eli Manning on the NFL's all-time career list for passing yards and touchdown passes, threw for 311 yards and two touchdowns. His 84-yard strike to Chase Claypool helped Pittsburgh take a 17-3 halftime lead, while his 28-yard touchdown pass to Diontae Johnson stretched the lead to 24-14 with 11:26 left. 

Four first half sacks and two forced turnovers played a significant role in Pittsburgh's early success. Bud Dupree's forced fumble of Lock (the play where Lock sustained his injury), set up Conner's 2-yard first quarter touchdown. Joe Haden's interception of Driskel set up a Chris Boswell field goal just before halftime. 

Denver, led by its defense, scored 11 unanswered points in the third quarter. Justin Simmons' interception of Roethlisberger set up a field goal, while a turnover on downs on Pittsburgh's ensuing possession set up Driskel's 20-yard touchdown pass to Noah Fant. Fant's 2-point conversion moments later made it a three-point game heading into the fourth quarter. 

Pittsburgh responded with Roethlisberger's touchdown pass to Johnson, which came two plays after Big Ben hit JuJu Smith-Schuster on a critical fourth down play. Pittsburgh padded its lead after Denver punter Sam Martin muffed the snap moments later. The Broncos' defense, however, gave Denver new life after Shelby Harris forced a fumble of Pittsburgh running back Benny Snell. The turnover set up Driskel's touchdown pass to Gordon. 

Denver fell to 0-2 heading into next Sunday's game against the visiting Buccaneers. The Steelers, 2-0 for the first time since 2017, will host Houston next Sunday. 

Relive Sunday's action in real time by checking out our live blog of Sunday's action below. 

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Season Leaders

passing
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D. Lock 679 YD, 1 TD, 4 INTS
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D. Lock 679 YD, 1 TD, 4 INTS
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B. Roethlisberger 1446 YD, 13 TDS, 4 INTS
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B. Roethlisberger 1446 YD, 13 TDS, 4 INTS
rushing
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M. Gordon 82 ATT, 349 YD, 4 TDS
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M. Gordon 82 ATT, 349 YD, 4 TDS
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J. Conner 95 ATT, 451 YD, 4 TDS
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J. Conner 95 ATT, 451 YD, 4 TDS
receiving
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T. Patrick 23 REC, 354 YD, 2 TDS
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T. Patrick 23 REC, 354 YD, 2 TDS
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C. Claypool 18 REC, 333 YD, 4 TDS
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C. Claypool 18 REC, 333 YD, 4 TDS
Live updates
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@steelers via Twitter
September 20, 2020, 8:46 PM

Thank you for joining us for this one! Make sure to stay on CBS Sports for all the updates on every NFL game being played today.

September 20, 2020, 8:21 PM

And that's a final. Steelers escape with a 26-21 win. Gritty effort for the Broncos, who played most of the game without Drew Lock. Denver scored 18 of the game's 27 second half points, with Driskel firing two touchdown passes. Pittsburgh got seven sacks and two turnovers, while Big Ben looked good yet again after his strong season-opener.

September 20, 2020, 8:21 PM

James Conner rips off a big run, as Steelers can now run the clock out. A 59-yard run for Conner, as he is now over 100 yards. Huge response from Conner after missing most of last game with an injury.

September 20, 2020, 8:17 PM

Huge third down sack by Terrell Edmunds gives the ball back to the Steelers. Missed blocking assignment by the Broncos fees up Edmunds, as Driskel really had no chance. Denver will likely get another shot as long as they don't allow another first down.

September 20, 2020, 8:15 PM

Steelers challenge Noah Fant's 23-yard catch. It looks like a completion. Fant juggled it, but got both feet in bounds with possession. Officials do say the pass was complete, as Steelers down to one timeout left. Denver still has all three. 

September 20, 2020, 8:08 PM

Minkah Fitzpatrick flagged for PI on 3rd and 11, giving Denver a fresh set of downs. Fitzpatrick has been flagged several times in this game. Penalties one of the reasons why the Steelers never distanced themselves from Denver. Steelers have 10 penalties for 89 yards, while Broncos have been flagged 4 times for 30 yards.

September 20, 2020, 8:07 PM

Steelers were great against the run last week, not so much today. Broncos have rushed for 88 yards on 21 carries. They're doing a great job of mostly going north and south. You can tell Denver, after watching the Giants fail on their outside runs, decided to keep it simple with basis runs between the tackles.

September 20, 2020, 8:03 PM

Big third down drop by Diontae Johnson forced Steelers to punt with six minutes left. Pass was a little low, but still should have been a catch. Broncos have the ball just inside their 20-yard-line with 6:08 left. Also have all three of their timeouts.

September 20, 2020, 8:01 PM

Driskel and the Broncos aren't going away. Driskel hits Melvin Gordon for a score, so it's 24-21 Steelers with half a quarter left. Broncos are giving Driskel more time to throw, and he's making the most of it. That was also a great catch by Gordon, showing why he is a multiple Pro Bowl player.

September 20, 2020, 7:56 PM
@steelers via Twitter
September 20, 2020, 7:55 PM

Appeared the Steelers were about to salt this one away before Benny Snell puts the ball on the ground. Denver will have another chance to make this a game with 9:41 left. I'm looking for Fant if I'm Driskel after the success he had in the third quarter.

September 20, 2020, 7:50 PM
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