2020 Week 16 Steelers Vs Colts Live Update And Discussion Thread – First Half

Steelers versus Colts logos

The Pittsburgh Steelers will be hosting the Indianapolis Colts at Heinz Field in about an hours time as the Steelers look to snap their three game losing streak. This game carries quite a bit of importance, as the Steelers can lock up the AFC North with a victory. That would also mean that some starters would likely get to rest in week 17 before the playoffs since the Steelers have little hope of a first round bye anymore.

A few Steelers players are set to return from injury and illness this week as Vince Williams will be back out on the field from the Reserve/COVID list. Kevin Dotson and James Conner will also likely return after injuries held them out of recent contests. The Steelers might try to establish the running game after some semblance of success in week 15. With James Conner healthy again, it will be interesting if he is the starter, or if Benny Snell gets the nod due to his performance last week.

Over on the Colts side, Braden Smith was placed on the Reserve/COVID list, which means Chaz Green will likely matchup against T.J. Watt. Chaz Green once allowed six sacks against Adrian Clayborn in 2017 and is generally a liability in pass protection, so this is a favorable matchup for the Steelers.

Steelers vs. Colts all time record: 25-6-0
Steelers vs Colts (at home): 16-2-0
Last match result: 26-24 Steelers (2019)
Notable free agent additions: DT DeForest Buckner, CB Xavier Rhodes, QB Philip Rivers
Notable draft picks: WR Michael Pittman Jr., RB Jonathan Taylor, S Julian Blackmon, QB Jacob Eason

Cameron Heyward and Quentin Nelson will also get another crack at each other as Heyward decisively won the last matchup a year ago.

Philip Rivers reportedly has pretty severe turf toe, so his pocket mobility will likely be lacking leading to more potential sacks.

Steelers Inactive Players:

QB Joshua Dobbs
K Chris Boswell
ILB Marcus Allen
OLB Olasunkanmi Adeniyi
RB Anthony McFarland Jr.
DE Isaiah Buggs

Colts Inactive Players:

WR Marcus Johnson
T Anthony Castonzo
QB Jacob Eason
WR Dezmon Patmon
CB Isaiah Rodgers

The Colts won the coin toss and deferred to the second half. The Steelers offense will get a chance to start fast after several weeks of a limping start.

Ben Roethlisberger to Diontae Johnson on 1st, but the ball was low and fell incomplete. On 2nd, a similar story except to Juju Smith-Schuster. This brings up 3rd and 10 where the ball fell incomplete on a short route to Diontae Johnson. A quick three-and-out for the Steelers.

Jonathan Taylor went off left tackle on 1st for a gain of six. On 2nd down, Philip Rivers had plenty of time, but coverage was good and Rivers stepped up into T.J. Watt.

On 3rd down, Cameron Sutton was in coverage in the slot, he took a false step outside which was enough for Michael Pittman Jr. to cross his face for the easy 1st down conversion.

The Colts are marching down the field with one first down play after the next. A good mix of the running game and the quick passing game.

Down near the goal line, Tyson Alualu knifed into the backfield for a loss of two. On 2nd and goal, Philip Rivers lobbed the ball to the back right corner of the end zone nearly picked off by Terrell Edmunds. It’s a shame it wasn’t intercepted because the next play Jonathan Taylor was able to punch it into the end zone on 3rd down. 7-0 Colts.

Pretty much the worst start you could have drawn up for the Steelers.

The Steelers start the drive at the 27. Benny Snell with the first carry of the game for the Steelers, tackled for a loss off the right tackle.

On 2nd down, Ben hit Diontae Johnson along the left sideline who turned upfield for seven yards. The next two plays also to Diontae Johnson for several yards. James Conner on 2nd down for a couple yards, but just shy of the 1st down. 3rd and 1, a place the Steelers have struggled, and Benny Snell tackled for a loss. This brings out the punting unit for the Steelers.

Jordan Berry with an excellent punt that took a Steelers bounce and rolled out at the 9 yard line. There was a flag at the line of scrimmage, called holding on the receiving team. That starts the Colts offense off at the 4 yard line.

Cameron Heyward crashed down on the ball carrier on first down, limiting them to a gain of 2. The Steelers sent the blitz on 2nd down and nearly made the tackle for loss, but Jonathan Taylor broke the tackle and found the hole for a gain of 7. On 3rd and 1, Jacoby Brissett with the quarterback sneak for the 1st down.

Mike Hilton came in from the slot on the blitz to bring down the ball carrier from behind. 3rd and 3 for the Colts. Mike Hilton in coverage on the next play to break up the deep pass intended for TY Hilton. A great series there by Mike Hilton. After the punt, the Steelers get the ball at 41 yard line. The offense needs to take advantage of the short field after the excellent punt and defensive drive.

The Steelers offense used some presnap motion to do a reverse sweep to Diontae Johnson who failed to hit the hole and bounced outside for a small gain.

On 2nd down, the offensive line left a Colts defender untouched for the immediate sack. 3rd and 17, the Steelers threw well short of the sticks to Eric Ebron who picked up several yards, but it results in another punt. Six straight games of the Pittsburgh offense not producing any first quarter points.


Jordan Berry with another good punt, but it was returned for several yards to about the 32 yard line.

Philip Rivers dropped back with Stephon Tuitt and TJ Watt bringing the pressure forcing the fumble. Mike Hilton scooped the ball and nearly returned it for a touchdown. The Steelers offense will need to punch it in from the 3 yard line.

Benny Snell tackled at the line of scrimmage on first. Diontae Johnson with the quick slant and Ben placed it slightly behind him for the incompletion. On 3rd down, Ben threw immediately to Juju Smith-Schuster on a tight fade, but he couldn’t haul it in. The Colts called for an offside, so the Steelers get another chance. James Conner came in and punched it in through contact for the touchdown! 7-7 ballgame.

During the return, holding on the Colts. They will be starting from the 15 yard line. On 1st, Jonathan Taylor tackled at the line of scrimmage by Alex Highsmith. Jack Doyle on 2nd down made the 1st down catch in tight coverage by Avery Williamson.

The Colts used play-action on 1st down, and Steven Nelson got tripped up to allow a wide open TY Hilton to pick up 25 yards. The next play they went deep to Michael Pittman, but it was just barely overthrown and fell incomplete. Could have been a touchdown. TJ Watt was held pretty bad on that play.

TY Hilton with another slant abusing the middle of the field for a first down. Back to back rushes to Taylor sets up 3rd and 3. On 3rd down, Taylor off left tackle for the first down pickup.

The Colts have 1st and goal from the 6 yard line. On first down, Jonathan Taylor up the middle to pickup about 5 yards. Just a yard short of the goal line. This offensive line is too good to get stuffed multiple plays in a row. Sure enough, Jonathan Taylor punched it in through multiple tacklers for the score. 14-7 Colts.

Ben Roethlisberger with a highly risky throw to Eric Ebron on 1st down into triple coverage. Nearly picked off, but it fell incomplete. Another pathetic drive for the offense who managed 0 net yards.

On the punt, another flag but this time on the Steelers for an illegal block. Colts getting good starting field position around the 47 yard line with under five minutes to play in the half. A score here gets the Colts the ball back next half which could put the Steelers in a difficult position.

The Steelers blitzed on the play and didn’t get home while Philip Rivers launched the ball downfield for an easy touchdown to Zach Pascal. 21-7 Colts.

A relevant update for the Steelers… The Cleveland Browns are down 13-3 to the New York Jets.

Ray-Ray McCloud with a nice return on the kickoff to about the 32 yard line, but a flag marker is down. A block in the back and a holding both on the Steelers. Decent starting position now turns into terrible position starting at the nine yard line.

On 1st, Ben to Diontae Johnson for 5 yards. Juju Smith-Schuster picked up the first the next play with a nice stiff arm finish to the reception.

Back to Juju the next play for a difficult catch in traffic to pick up 8 yards. James Conner slipped off the line of scrimmage for the reception and took it about 10 yards for the first down and then some.

Ben Roethlisberger’s pass tipped at the line of scrimmage on first. On 2nd, he was off target to Juju Smith-Schuster who probably could have picked up the first down.

Ben Roethlisberger threw to the right sideline, but was well short of Diontae Johnson. It must have been a miscommunication because it was nowhere close. Another punt for the Steelers as the half winds down to a close.

The Steelers being outgained 206-56 in the first half, and that gap will likely widen here in the final couple minutes. A screen play on first for 68 yards to Nyheim Hines, but there was a block in the back to bring it back to 14 yard line. Tegray Scales in on the tackle on 2nd down.

The Steelers had three timeouts and could have killed the clock to give themselves a minute at the end of the half, but opted not to. The Colts handed the ball off on 3rd and long to bring the clock to 00:22. The Colts will regain the ball after the half.

A deep shot by Ben with no time left, but it was off target. Diontae drifted inside as Ben tried to throw to the outside shoulder. Ben to Juju for the 1st down, but there are two seconds left in the half. Too far from field goal range. The Colts are lined up in contain. A strike to Juju Smith-Schuster, but he fumbled to Diontae Johnson who got tackled to end the half.

END OF HALF — 21-7 Colts.

Join us for the second half here.

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