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Pittsburgh Steelers vs Indianapolis Colts Postgame Analysis

J2-S2 and Le’Veon Bell re-enact A.J. Green’s takedown

Final Score: 

Steelers 20  –  Colts 17

Passing Stats:

Quarterback  Completions   Attempts Yards QBRating
Jacoby Brissett 14  24  222   99.7
Ben Roethlisberger 19  31  236   92.9

Receiving Stats:

JuJu Smith-Schuster: 5 receptions for 97 yards – 1 Touchdown

Antonio Brown: 3 receptions for 47 yards 

Martavis Bryant: 3 receptions for 42 yards

Le’Veon Bell:   5 receptions for 32 yards

Vance McDonald: 2 receptions for 16 yards – 1 Touchdown

Eli Rogers:  1 reception for 2 yards

Rushing Stats:

Le’Veon Bell:  26 rushes for 80 yards,  Avg: 3.1 yards

James Conner:   1 rushes for  12 yards,  Avg:  12.0 yards

Ben Roethlisberger:  2 rushes for 5 yards, Avg: 2.5 yards

Kicking Stats:

Chris Boswell –  FGM: 2 for 3,  PCT: 100%,  XPM – 0,  PTS: 6

Game Summary:

The game may not have started the way they would have envisioned, but it ended the way they wanted it. Pittsburgh Steelers kicker Chris Boswell‘s 33-yard field goal completed an improbable 20-17 comeback victory over the Indianapolis Colts in front of a capacity crowd at Lucas Oil Stadium. The victory helped further solidify their top position in the AFC North with a 7-2 record and extended their winning streak against the Colts to 5, dating back to September 25, 2011.

For both sides of the ball, it was a tale of two halves. On offense, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethliberger‘s deep ball intended for receiver Martavis Bryant was intercepted by Colts cornerback Pierre Desir. The Colts’ offense quickly capitalized on their turnover as Colts quarterback Jacoby Brissett completed a 61-yard pass to receiver Chester Rogers giving them the early 7- 0 lead. The Steelers’ offense failed to convert on several first downs and only managed a Boswell field goal before the end of the half.
In the second half, Roethliberger was able to convert a 7-yard touchdown to standout rookie receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster; Boswell failed to convert the extra point but the lead was down to 8. In the 4th quarter, the Steelers’ offense was able to capitalize on linebacker Ryan Shazier’s interception, with a touchdown to tight end Vance McDonald. Following a successful 2-point conversion to Bryant, the contest was tied at 17 apiece.
On the final drive of the game, Roethliberger was able to find 3 different receivers, including a 34-yard completion to receiver Antonio Brown, giving Boswell the field position needed to complete the comeback with a 33-yard field goal to give them the victory.
On defense, the first half was less than ideal, as Brissett was efficient and converted several times on first down. Perhaps the biggest obstacle the defense faced was losing veteran cornerback Joe Haden in the first half with a left leg injury. In his place was Steelers training camp standout Coty Sensabough. The Colts’ offense keyed on his side of the field often, completing several passes in the process. Up front, the Steelers defensive line’s four-man rush was ineffective in getting pressure on Brissett, as he was comfortable in the pocket for most of the half.
In the second half, Steelers defense’s barrage of blitzes made life difficult for Brissett, as the defense was able to force an interception, several pressures and two sacks courtesy of Steelers defensive end Stephon Tuitt and linebacker Vince Williams.

The defense forced two important 3-and-out possession near the end of the game, giving the Steelers offense the opportunities needed to steal the victory from the Colts. Standouts on offense included rookie JuJu Smith-Schuster who continued his campaign for offensive rookie of the year with another strong performance and accounted for 97 yards on 5 receptions. Running back Le’Veon Bell ended the day with 80 yards on 26 carries. Receiver Martavis Bryant added 42 receiving yards, including a 2-point conversion catch to tie the game.

Defensive standouts included outside linebacker Bud Dupree, who had 4 tackles and the only sack of the first half. Safety Sean Davis accumulated 8 total tackles.  Linebacker Ryan Shazier had 5 tackles and the key interception that led to McDonald’s touchdown.

Postgame Commentary:

It was perhaps their ugliest win in recent memory, but it was also my favorite win of the season. This game was a milestone in many ways offensively speaking, as it was the first game where it was truly a collective effort, as the offense utilized all their weapons to their advantage. On the Vance McDonald touchdown drive, three different Steelers players touched the ball, including the 2-point conversion to the much maligned Martavis Bryant. Their finest moment however came in the final drive, where four different players touched the ball, including Eli Rogers’ reception, which turned out to be arguably the most important reception made in that final drive to keep it alive.  I have always said, if this offense gets all their weapons involved, it would make it difficult for a team to stop them. It was fitting that this collective contribution materialized against a team that Ben once threw six touchdowns against.

Defensively speaking, I am coming to the realization that Keith Butler is one of the most underrated defensive coordinators in the NFL. Noticing that the four-man rush was not working in the first half, the adjustments he made in the second half resulted in the demise of the Colts offense, and helped the defense regain their identity. The way this unit was able to rally together after losing their most valuable secondary player in Haden speaks volumes about how this unit is very much about playing for each other.

One thing I have learned is that great teams always find a way to win no matter the circumstance. With every passing game, I believe we all need to come to the realization that we absolutely are witnessing something great with this team.

Steelers Play of the Game

Ben Roethlisberger find rookie JuJu Smith-Schuster down the side for the 44-yard gain

About Kelly Anozie (23 Articles)
<p>Born and raised Ottawa, Ontario Canada, Kelly is a Steelers contributor to The Point of Pittsburgh. Formerly a contributor for SBNation’s ‘Behind the Steel Curtain’. Kelly can be reached via the Twitter handle @kanozie80</p>

20 Comments on Pittsburgh Steelers vs Indianapolis Colts Postgame Analysis

  1. mark delsignore // November 13, 2017 at 8:26 AM // Reply

    U-G-L-Y
    You aint got no alibi!
    You UGLY —— You Ugly!

    Man was that……um……….ugly!
    But as the ole cliche goes, a win is a win
    Keeps the showdown at the O.K. Corral in December still on

    I hope Haden’s injury is not bad.

    Looking ahead, two very winnable home games (on paper) but this is the NFL so ya never know.

    Way to hang in there and play 60 minutes.

  2. Ben still isn’t looking very good to me.

    It was nice to see Bryant contribute.

    The defense in the second half was impressive. Butler made good adjustments.

    I would like to see a little more of Conner.

    JuJu is legit.

    • As has been discussed previously on the FOB blog, Ben’s performance has declined fairly significantly since the end of 2015. I don’t think we’ll ever see the old Ben, at least not on a weekly basis. Hopefully he is still good enough to lead them to a championship.

      Agree that Conner should get more carries to save wear and tear on Bell. Conner had run well albeit on very few carries so far.

      • The “intelligent ” posters at the FOB said that Ben was still great

        • And some said he was done…if only this team had a QB…..I believe you already said you were wrong about this.

          The goal is to win, and when they had to have it Ben made the plays….it is what it is. If this team only had a QB though.

        • Kelechi Anozie // November 13, 2017 at 5:44 PM // Reply

          I believe what fans need to remember is what happened to Ben back in 2006, namely the motorcycle accident. That accident in my opinion, took away at least 3 years from his career; till this day, it is a miracle that he even survived.

          Though Ben hasn’t been the same player he once was, he still ranks 9th in the NFL in passing yards. I believe his issues are mental rather than physical.

          From what I have been following, Steelers scouts have been seen attending several college games this seasons, notably in September to view QB Joshua Allen; they were noted this weekend as attendees at the Alabama-Mississippi State contest, as well as the South Carolina-Florida contest.

          From everything I have followed, there is a real possibility the Steelers will likely draft a QB in the first 2 rounds. I will say this now to Steelers fans, don’t be shocked if this is his last season.

          • mark delsignore // November 14, 2017 at 7:02 AM //

            I think it is more about all the hits Ben has received that are now taking their collective toll.

            More of a cumulative traumatic issue than a single, catastrophic issue like the motorcycle accident (although that was both costly and stupid)

            He looked real sharp in the 2009 Super Bowl.

            There is no doubt that He is on the decline at his age and as a result of physical style of play.

            All that said, I still could not name you 5 guys not named Brady or Rogers that I would want who are playing right now and have post season experience save maybe…..maybe Breese

            He does not necessarily need to “be THE man” this year for the Steelers to have post season success.

  3. Jim I think you’re a bit old to be pushing those large goal posts.

    He may not be done, but he’s clearly done as a top QB. You said otherwise. It’s fine Jim I’ve proven people wrong who are far smarter than you. 😅

  4. Did I ever say he was still elite. Is he average Chris? Would you say that or is he below average? Can you answer that question for me please. What did I say about him Chris that was not accurate?

    • You said a lot that was inaccurate Jim, but as is your norm you’re denying it.

      • Gee Chris….I’m denying what Chris….I’m still waiting to hear and why didn’t you answer my question? I think I know why. LOL

        • Actually you have no clue as to why. It is pointless for me to argue with someone like you. You did say he was still one of the top QBs. That’s what you were wrong about. You went on and on about how good he still was. He is below average now contrary to your claims.

          I know you will twist and shift and insult as is your M.O. The fact is your statements about him were highly inaccurate, but you’ll never admit it.

  5. Who’s insulting….why is it you can’t answer my question Chris. Is he average or below average? Still waiting for an answer from you. So lame.

    • I did answer.

    • I will give you the data to support my statement thathe is below average.
      He is rated 24th.
      He is 19th in TD passes
      He is 3rd in INTs.
      He is 26th in comp %.

    • He said, pretty clearly, that Ben is below average. Based on statistics to date, he is no longer a top 10 starting QB. He has a lot of weapons and a good line, and he’s actually still good enough to win a Super Bowl because of the surrounding cast. That is what really matters. Quite a few QB’s that were not ranked in the top 10 in that season have won Super Bowls. It’s actually a lot tougher to make it to the Super Bowl than to win it in my opinion. The Super Bowl is just one game and any QB can win a single game if the rest of his team plays well around him.

      I would not be surprised if Ben hangs it up after this year, but I would also not be surprised if he doesn’t. That day of reckoning is coming though and the Steelers would be wise to draft with that in mind if there is a guy on the board in the 1st or 2nd round that they think can lead an NFL franchise.

      • Thanks Stovey. Jim B. tends to ignore things that prove him wrong. At least this time he didn’t resort to insults as is his norm. He just ran and hid this time.

        • Since I am as guilty of this as anyone, I would like to point out that when people skim information in written format, they often miss words and think they have stated what they read accurately. So, to be objective, I think you and he were trading posts so quickly that he may have overlooked the one where you actually answered his question about Ben.

          To the second part of my post about winning Super Bowls with not so stellar QB’s, Eli Manning comes to mind, and Ben’s first Super Bowl victory was in spite of him and not because of him. He got them to the big game with a great regular season, but he was clearly nervous on that big stage and the running game and slick gadget play along with pretty good defense got them the victory. So if Ben gets us back there, they have a good chance to win. That’s the big if, getting there.

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