The Pittsburgh Steelers did not win in impressive fashion but the team demonstrated their adversity as they defeated the Indianapolis Colts 20-17. The Steelers scored 17 unanswered points in order to overcome a 17-3 deficit, as a walkoff field goal sealed it for the AFC’s number one seed.
Fresh off their bye week, the Steelers looked slow and off tempo from the start. Through the first quarter, the Steelers had just 40 yards of total offense, an interception and 30 penalty yards. The nightmare beginning only got worse when cornerback Joe Haden went down with a lower leg injury.
Immediately following Haden’s exit, the Colts connected on a 50-yard touchdown pass from Jacoby Brissett to Donte Moncrief to go ahead 7-0. Cornerback Artie Burns was caught looking into the backfield as the Steelers defense gave up the longest pass play of the season.
This would not be the longest pass play allowed by the Steelers defense as the Colts were able to double down on their long scores. A 61-yard touchdown reception by Chester Rogers to open the third quarter put the Colts back up 17-3. The Steelers secondary looked suspect all game, allowing Brissett to throw for 222 yards and two touchdowns.
The Colts score may have been the catalyst for a Steelers resurgence, as the offense ran Le’Veon Bell into the red zone leaving it to rookie receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster to convert the drive into a touchdown. Unfortunately, the Steelers’ struggles spilled over into special teams as their extra point was blocked, leaving the Colts’ lead at 17-9.
Though the game dragged and looked bleak, the Steelers finally got the break they were looking for when Ryan Shazier intercepted a deflected pass, giving the Steelers offense the ball at the Colts’ 10-yard line. Ben Roethlisberger was able to convert this turnover into eight points as he first connected with Vance McDonald for six and then Martavis Bryant for two.
Bryant put together an efficient game in his first game back since his disciplinary benching, recording 3 receptions for 42 yards and a game tying 2-point conversion. As for his teammate Antonio Brown, the NFL’s leading receiver could only muster 3 receptions for 47 yards. Both of these receivers’ biggest receptions came on the Steelers’ final drive as the offense was able to drive down to get in range for Boswell’s game winning field goal to put the Steelers ahead 20-17.
The Steelers will look to get back into gear as they get ready to return home for a Thursday night matchup against the Tennessee Titans.