There are very few, if any, guarantees in this world but this Sunday’s matchup of the Pittsburgh Steelers taking on the Indianapolis Colts presents a couple scenarios that are as close to a guarantee as it can get.
For the fourth time in the last five occasions, the Colts will take on the Steelers without the services of their starting quarterback. Jacoby Brissett will follow in the footsteps of Scott Tolzien and Matt Hasselback in relieving Andrew Luck for the Colts. In fact, the Colts’ starting quarterback woes date all the way back to 2011 when Kerry Collins started in place of the injured Peyton Manning. Since then, the Colts have only had the services of a starting quarterback once – a 2014 matchup in which the Colts and Luck were defeated 51-34.
It is no surprise that amidst all the Colts’ quarterback issues that the Steelers have won the last four matchups against the Colts. Not only have the Steelers won their last four matchups with the Colts, they have dominated the Indianapolis squad, treating the opposition like a scout team on the practice field. The Steelers have won their last four matchups against the Colts by margins of 21, 35, 17 and 3, giving the Mike Tomlin led team an average margin of victory of 19 points over the last four matchups.
And now with Brissett assuming the role that many other journeyman quarterbacks have been inserted into during Luck’s absence, the writing is on the wall for another Steelers’ victory. Brissett has limited his turnovers this season, only throwing four interceptions in eight starts, but then again, it is hard to throw interceptions when you are lying on the ground with a defender standing over you. Brissett has been sacked a whopping 32 times this season and has been sacked three or more times in seven of his eight starts this season. That’s blood in the water for a Steelers’ defense that is currently fourth in the NFL with 26 sacks.
In fairness to Brissett, the Colts have many more holes than just the quarterback position as even Luck would have likely struggled to win with this team at hand. The Colts currently have the 31st ranked pass defense, giving up an average of 279.7 passing yards per game and the 16th ranked run defense, giving up an average of 113.9 rushing yards per game. Any quarterback would struggle to win when their defense is giving up almost 300 yards in the air and over 100 yards on the ground per game.
Brissett and this year’s Colts team may just be another pawn in a long history of the team’s losing ways against the Steelers. The Steelers have dominated the Colts throughout their history. Dating back to 1985, the Steelers are 14-2 (including playoffs) against the Colts. The Steelers are also 22-6 all-time against the Colts, with half of those six losses coming against the Baltimore Colts. The Steelers will look to repeat history once again this Sunday and add another win to their long compilation of victories over the Colts.