It all started with Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger’s pass on the second play of the game. A long attempt to Martavis Bryant that was intercepted. It just seemed so predictable. The play, the turnover, the Indianapolis Colts manhandling the offensive line and shutting Le’Veon Bell down at the line of scrimmage. Steelers missing tackles left and right. The WR sweep Bryant ran looked predictable; the 9-yard loss leading to a chorus of WHY’s? Ben falling on the bobbled low snap at the end of the half seemed to punctuate a putrid first half. Fortunately, Chris Boswell was able to get the Steelers on the scoreboard.
The vaunted Steelers offense managed 100 net yards and were 0-5 on 3rd down conversion attempts. Joe Haden left the game with what turned out to be a fractured fibula. Jacoby Brissett able to throw untouched. Artie Burns the toast again for a 60-yard touchdown pass. Everyone can see him peeking at the quarterback. Chad Sanborn voiced the frustration of Black & Gold fans in the Steelers Depot 1st half discussion thread, “So the TV announcers just showed how bad this team is on the road against sub .500 teams and after the bye week. THAT is a coaching thing. One game is on the players. A history is on the COACH.” It’s only a one score game but it seems like the Steelers are losing by much more than that.
The 2nd half started off like a continuation of the farce in the 1st half. Wide open Colt receiver with Mike Mitchell and was it Mike Hilton(?) knocking each other down. Our secondary doing its own rendition of the Keystone Kops. Then Roethlisberger made a nice pass to JuJu Smith-Schuster who raced down the field. Who then scores a few plays later after Antonio Brown drew a pass interference penalty. But then doink! Boswell misses the kick. Just 11 days ago, Alex Kozora warned Steelers Depot readers: About One Huge Issue On Special Teams. Luckily it did not cause the Steelers the game, but I hope Danny Smith is finally paying attention. Don’t play weak blockers on the kicks! Jesse James channeled Vance McDonald and made the score saving tackle with help from Jordan Berry who slowed the runner down. Still the Steelers seemed to get some resolve. The Colts next series is when the fumble that was not allowed happened. Defense held. Colts punt, then Steelers punt getting a favorable penalty that backed the Colts up. Brissett got dinged to the head – still not sure if he was trying to draw a penalty or if he was knocked limp.
Colts punt, Steelers punt. Then Ryan Shazier who had been getting ragged by readers in the 2nd half discussion thread for missing tackles made an amazing interception. He grabbed that ball like a frog snapping a fly out of the air with its tongue. Then Ben found Vance McDonald all alone in the end zone – but I swear he almost overthrew him. Going for two. Timeout … and then a delay of game? Not sure if wrong play called or wrong personnel went in. I’m not an expert lip reader but it appeared that Todd Haley was telling Ben; no worries we have more space to play with now – or was it STFU? In any case, Martavis Bryant made a nice catch and we have a tie ball game.
Steelers defense smelling meat. Vince Williams and Stephon Tuitt getting sacks in the same series after a pass is batted down. Boswell misses a field goal but no quit on defense. Coty Sensabaugh in for Joe Haden makes a nice pass defense and they eventually hold. Final drive and we have an Eli Rogers sighting as he just makes a crucial first 1st down on a shovel pass. He only gained 2 yards on the day, but they were an important two yards. Martavis picks up another first down and then Antonio Brown gets yet another – with JuJu blocking downfield. With four seconds left, the win rides with Chris Boswell who has missed a 37-yard Field goal and the blocked PAT. No worries; the Steelers had ‘em all the way.
Greg Payne stated in the thread, “No sense is wasting all that energy for the first 58 minutes …. I’m exhausted.” Indeed; as we all are.
It is a win; but some players banged up and a short week to get ready for Marcus Mariota and the Tennessee Titans. The Colts had been giving up 29 points a game to such formidable opponents that include the Cleveland Browns, San Francisco 49ers and Cincinnati Bengals. While it’s not a loss; it is a win; I feel more of a sense of relief than excitement. Will the Steelers be ready to play Thursday?
For much of the game; the question that must have been lurking in Ben’s mind must have been; I’ve lost my mojo! Fans may have been looking at their Terrible Towels forlornly but by the end starting with Ryan Shazier’s incredible interception; Ben and Steelers Nation were singing with Muddy Waters, Got my Mojo Workin’ … incongruous; but that’s an average Steelers fan for you.