December 21, 2015 / 1:36 AM / 3 years ago

Steelers stage second half rally to tame Broncos

(The Sports Xchange) - Ben Roethlisberger threw for 380 yards and three touchdowns, including a game-winning strike to Antonio Brown with 3:24 remaining, as the Pittsburgh Steelers erased a 17-point deficit to beat the Denver Broncos 34-27 on Sunday.

Dec 20, 2015; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) throws a pass under pressure from Denver Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall (54) during the second half at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

Roethlisberger’s second touchdown pass to Brown, who had 16 receptions for 189 yards, broke a 27-27 tie and gave the Steelers (9-5) their fifth win in six games.

With its 10th consecutive December win, dating to 2013, Pittsburgh kept pace with the Kansas City Chiefs and New York Jets at the top of the AFC wild-card standings with two games left.

Roethlisberger completed 40 of 55 against the NFL’s No. 1 defense in points (17.3 per game) and total yards (272.3) allowed. The Broncos had two interceptions, including a pick by linebacker Brandon Marshall with 2:08 left.

The Broncos were unable to take advantage of the turnover as quarterback Brock Osweiler threw four straight incomplete passes, giving the ball back to the Steelers on downs with 1:40 remaining.

Roethlisberger has averaged 365.8 yards passing over the last six games with 13 touchdowns. Brown has 64 catches for 868 yards in that same span.

Osweiler, subbing for injured Peyton Manning for the fifth straight game, threw three touchdowns passes and ran for another as the Broncos built a 27-10 lead in the second quarter.

However, Denver (10-4) failed to score in the second half and lost a second straight game to see its lead in the AFC West over the Chiefs trimmed to one game.

Osweiler was 21 of 44 passing for 296 yards and was intercepted once. In the second half, though, he was 7 of 26 for 82 yards in the second half.

Former Steelers receiver Emmanuel Sanders had 10 receptions for 181 yards and a touchdown for the Broncos, but nine of the catches came in the first half for 139 yards. Wide receiver Demaryius Thomas had two touchdown catches.

Down 27-10 with just under two minutes left in the second quarter, the Steelers started their comeback on kicker Josh Boswell’s 41-yard field goal with four seconds to go.

The Steelers tied it on a pair of nine-yard touchdown passes from Roethlisberger in the second half.

Editing by Steve Keating

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