--RB Willie Parker said he might abandon the special Nike shoes made for him after he suffered turf toe. He believes the toe has healed enough to do that.
--QB Ben Roethlisberger needs one more passer rating of 100 to give him more than Hall of Fame quarterback Terry Bradshaw. Each recorded 31 games of at least 100.
--WR Hines Ward has never had a 100-yard receiving game in Denver. His best came in 2003 when he caught eight passes for 81 yards.
The Steelers would like to run the ball in Denver and keep the Broncos' pass rush at bay and Rashard Mendenhall has done well in his four starts and averages 5.4 yards per carry. On defense, they always try to stop the run first and will do that, and try to tighten up the middle of their defense against the Broncos patient dink-and-dunk passing attack; that will be more difficult for them if either or both LB Lawrence Timmons and FS Ryan Clark do not play.
MATCHUPS TO WATCH
Steelers LOLB LaMarr Woodley vs. Broncos RT Tyler Polumbus. Woodley has only two sacks this season but goes against backup making his first start.
--Steelers LT Max Starks vs. Broncos ROLB Elvis Dumervil. Dumervil, who has 10 sacks, is only 5-foot-11; Starks is 6-8.
It looks as though FS Ryan Clark will not play. Tyrone Carter with possible help from Ryan Mundy will replace him. DE Travis Kirschke (calf) likely will be out, meaning Nick Eason will start and rookies Ziggy Hood and Sunny Harris will serve as the top DE backups. ILB Lawrence Timmons (sprained ankle) is questionable. If he does not start, Keyaron Fox will take his place.
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