Harris fights through shoulder pain, focuses on return to full strength
It was an odd sight watching the Broncos defense work in its base package without
"That's why Roby played all the base [snaps]," Harris said. "I tried to have Roby play as much as he could while I was on the sideline. […]He played tremendous. He stepped up for me. I couldn't play every down like I usually play and I just tip my hat to Roby. That was key for him to be able to come in and replace me today."
Watching the game, it wasn't hard to tell that the shoulder injury was a nuisance for Harris, though he acknowledged he fought through it previously against San Diego in Week 17.
"It's an injury that it's everything I do: putting hands on cats, tackling," Harris said. "It affected my whole game. It was just so hard to play. I preach on getting hands, every time, on somebody. It's hard when that part of my game is taken away, so I had to alter my game and how I play. I've got to figure out a way."
With just a week before the AFC Championship Game against New England, Harris is focused on healing up so he can return to his pristine Pro Bowl form that he's showcased over the past two years.
"I'm still not myself. I'm getting there," Harris said. "I've just got to take it week-to-week and hopefully I get back to 100 percent and be able to play how I want to play. […] I've just got to get to 100 [percent]. That's all I'm worried about."
McManus comes through with five field goals
With swirling gusts slicing through Sports Authority Field at Mile High, Sunday could have been a tough day for
McManus had warmed up to much calmer conditions, but shortly before kickoff, the conditions changed, though his mindset didn't.
The Broncos relied on McManus early and often, and he responded by hitting a 28-yard field goal to open the game, and then a 41 yarder. Both were over the north uprights, rather than the open south side of the stadium.
When the teams switched sides in the second quarter, Denver looked to McManus again to cut into Pittsburgh's lead. In the closing minutes of the first half, the Broncos drove 62 yards to set McManus up with a 51-yard attempt into blustery winds.
"I thought it wasn’t going to be easy down the middle, and it barely snuck in that way," McManus said. "So it definitely made it difficult conditions for us kickers, punters and snappers, but I have the two best snapper and holder for me. I know it’s been tough for the week and laces make a difference and stuff like that. But I have two of the best in the business, [P] Britton [Colquitt] and [LS]
"I want to help my team any way I can. No matter the yards or the field goals, it’s kind of my job out there to make them. So I’m just happy I was able to help the team, and they were able to punch it in for a touchdown and give us a little bit of a lead at the end."