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Denver Broncos running back Melvin Gordon (25) runs past Tennessee Titans free safety Kevin Byard (31), defensive tackle Isaiah Mack (97) and cornerback Kristian Fulton (26) for a first down during the third quarter Monday, Sept. 14, 2020, at Empower Field at Mile High in Denver.The Titans won 16-14. (The Gazette, Christian Murdock)

Broncos Scorecard: Broncos at Pittsburgh Steelers

Offense

Follow the money: to Melvin Gordon. Thank goodness John Elway signed Gordon to a $16 million contract, huh? Phillip Lindsay’s hurt again. This time it’s a toe injury that puts his status for Sunday in doubt. Gordon’s 5.2 yards per rush in Week 1 is promising. Now quit the fumbles.

Advantage: Steelers

Defense

Follow the money: to Bradley Chubb. At this rate, Von Miller’s successor won’t be succeeding Von Miller in Colorado. Yes, Chubb is coming off ACL surgery. But his previous seven games didn’t produce a sack, either. One sack in eight games is no way to earn a Miller-like contract.

Advantage: Steelers

Special teams

Follow the money: to Sam Martin. Time for an apology to the punter. Who doesn’t love a guy who controls his punts like Brooks Koepka with a wedge? While Denver bungled away a Week 1 loss, Martin’s big-time boot confirmed he’s worth all of that three-year, $7 million contract.

Advantage: Broncos

Coaching

Follow the money: to Vic Fangio. Just 17 games in, the margin for error is gone. Week 1 was the fourth time in 17 games his ‘D’ blew a lead in the final minute. About those timeout troubles: “Hopefully it’s an anomaly and we’ll be better at it,” he said. Problem is, Broncos Country is not known for its patience.

Advantage: Steelers

Intangibles

Follow the money: to the ATM machine. Are the Broncos running low on cash money? Only five teams have more salary cap space. Yet Denver so far has decided against paying (or overpaying) for pass-rush help to replace Von Miller. Also, raise your hand if you had the Nuggets stealing the Broncos’ spotlight.

Advantage: Steelers

Klee’s prediction: Steelers (minus-7) 26, Broncos 16 (Season: 1-0 overall, 1-0 ATS)

—Paul Klee

(Contact Gazette sports columnist Paul Klee at paul.klee@gazette.com or on Twitter at @bypaulklee.)

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