With as many injuries to key players that the Pittsburgh Steelers have on their roster at the moment, every game has them in the position of underdog. That continued to be the case today as they welcomed the Indianapolis Colts to Heinz Field. Indianapolis has been a surprise this year with their starting quarterback, Andrew Luck, retiring a couple weeks before the season started. Jacoby Brissett has done a good job of filling the spot, but an injury would send him to the sidelines.
The first quarter saw both teams feeling each other out and field goals would be the only points put on the board. The first one came off the foot of Adam Vinatieri, as he booted a 25yd FG halfway through the quarter. Pittsburgh would answer with just under a minute left in the first with a 21yd FG by Chris Boswell to tie the game at three.
After Brissett injured his knee early in the second, Brian Hoyer would enter the game and throw an 11yd TD pass to Jack Doyle to put the Colts up by seven. Indianapolis was driving again, but a Hoyer pass was picked off by Minkah Fitzpatrick and returned 96yds for a touchdown. The game wouldn’t be tied for long as Hoyer found Zach Pascal down the middle for a 14yd TD pass. Boswell would boot a 51yd FG as time expired to put the Steelers down three at the half.
The Pittsburgh offense finally showed some signs of life in the third quarter. This is when Mason Rudolph would hit tight end Vance McDonald out in the flat for a 7yd TD pass. The Steelers would see their four-point lead cut in half when they recovered their own fumble in the endzone for a safety. With only one quarter left to go Pittsburgh led 20-18.
Boswell would come through for the third time early in the fourth quarter with a 33yd FG to put his team up by five. The Colts then regained the lead halfway through the fourth on a Hoyer pass to Chester Rogers for a 4yd TD. Their lead would only be one, as the two-point conversion attempt failed. Boswell would kick his fourth and final field goal, from 26 yards out, with just a little over 6 minutes left in the game. This 26-24 lead would hold up until the end, as a Vinatieri game winning field goal was wide left.
Defense and special teams won this game today for the Steelers. Boswell has really overcome his poor performance of a year ago and looks like the kicker from the 2017 season. The offense for Pittsburgh just doesn’t seem to have an identity, mostly because they don’t do anything all that well. They had two running backs out with injury and that was pretty obvious.
The game plan for Rudolph seems to be just to check it down to receiver’s underneath, and that doesn’t put much pressure on the defense to play deep. Up next will be a visit from the defending NFC Champion Los Angeles Rams. Game time is 4:25pm on FOX.