The Pittsburgh Steelers came off their bye week and managed to pick up another win against a depleted Indianapolis Colts side. The home team made this game more difficult than most neutrals would have expected but in the end, the Steelers overall quality came through to secure the win and place them on top of the AFC for now. The Colts stay at the bottom of the AFC South in what has been another torried season for them.
The Colts defense gives their team an early push
For the entirety of the first half, the Colts defense won the battle between themselves and the Steelers vaunted offense. Not only did they restrict the Steelers to just a Chris Boswell field goal during the first half, but they also limited Le'Veon Bell and Antonio Brown throughout the first 30 minutes. Corner Pierre Desir also picked up the Colts' only turnover of the game as he pounced on a deep ball towards Martavis Bryant and give his offense great field position.
Jacoby Brissett, filling in at quarterback for Andrew Luck who has been ruled out for the season, used that opportunity to find wide receiver Donte Moncrief on a 60-yard touchdown pass and put the Colts ahead. Adam Vinatieri added an extra three points in the second quarter and the Colts went into half time leading the Steelers by 10 points to three. Brissett continued to work the Steelers secondary in the third quarter, finding Chester Rogers with a 61-yard touchdown pass and it seemed at that point, that the Colts had enough to pull off an improbable win.
Smith-Schuster jump starts the Steelers offense
Still in his rookie season, Juju Smith-Schuster has provided the kind of slot receiver that the Steelers have not had since the days of Hines Ward. The first year receiver is having a great start to his National Football League and he was once again Ben Roethlisberger's go to receiver after the Colts had succeeded in shutting down Brown and Bell. During the Steelers opening third quarter drive, Smith-Schuster picked up a 38 yard catch before scoring the first touchdown for the Steelers with a 7-yard catch. The rookie was once again the target on a third and long play that helped the Steelers win the game as he hung on to pick up a 40 yard catch. Smith-Schuster ended the day with 97 yards and one touchdown, continuing his rise in the NFL with another standout day.
The fourth quarter started off all wrong for the Colts as a tipped ball near their own goal line allowed linebacker Ryan Shazier to get his third INT of the year. The Steelers defense may have not had a good three quarters but their fourth quarter play was reminiscent of that that had gotten their team to a 6-2 record before the bye week. Roethlisberger, with plenty of time in the pocket, then capitalized on the turnover with a seven yard touchdown pass to tight end Vance McDonald. Roethlisberger then found Bryant on the two point conversion and the Steelers were tied with just over 11 minutes to go. Brown and Bryant then helped the Steelers down the field to allow Boswell to kick the game winning field goal with less than two minutes left in the game.