2022 Week 12 Steelers Vs Colts – What To Watch For

I would be curious to see what the results of a fan poll would look like right now. If you could choose between the Pittsburgh Steelers winning all seven of their final games and reaching the postseason, or losing all of them and securing a top-10 draft pick, which would you prefer? I have a feeling the latter might prevail at this point.

Those rooting for draft capital may well end up coming closer to getting their wish than the former group, although they are certainly not going to lose out. Their remaining schedule isn’t even challenging enough for that. And today’s game is certainly a winnable one.

This is a game about the trenches and the run game. Can the Steelers outrun the Indianapolis Colts? Both of them have been driving their running backs lately, Pittsburgh with Najee Harris and Indy with Jonathan Taylor. Both teams have solid run defenses. Which shows up today?

The quarterback battle is a spectrum. The Colts’ Matt Ryan is near the end of his career and has already been benched this year. The Steelers’ Kenny Pickett is a rookie who was put in over a benched veteran who was having struggles similar to Ryan.

While Pickett has shown that he has talent, he needs the finishing touch, and we can say that literally if we’re talking about the touch of a pass that finishes off drives with touchdowns. His struggles in the red zone have been the Steelers’ biggest issue on offense since his insertion into the lineup, but they have moved the ball better between the 20s.

One area of focus for me is the slot receiver position. It’s been a dead spot since they traded away Chase Claypool, as Alex Kozora pointed out. Part of the reason is simply because the slot receivers, Steven Sims and Gunner Olszewski, are not getting targeted.

The Steelers also must hope for much better out of their cornerbacks than they got last week, including Cameron Sutton, who had been their most reliable player at the position up to that point. Ryan can still throw it, and they have guys like Michael Pittman capable of making plays.

Can T.J. Watt make a difference? He had an interception last week, of course, but overall, the eye test over the past two weeks hasn’t called for screams of DPOY encore. Only recently returned from a significant pectoral injury and getting his legs back under him, perhaps he will be more polished this time around.

The matchup will give them more opportunities, should they choose to take it, to utilize Damontae Kazee as a third safety, something they had been talking about back in training camp but which due to injuries they haven’t been able to run. How they approach that is something I’ll be looking out for as well.

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