NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers at Indianapolis Colts Preview
Welcome to the NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers at Indianapolis Colts Preview! This is your one-stop shop for everything you need to know about the Steelers and their upcoming opponent! Mike Drakulich of Pittsburgh SportsNation brings you inside the huddle for both teams, providing all fans with a Game Preview, the Steeler’s Keys to Victory, Score Prediction, a detailed breakdown of each team, Fantasy Football Impact, Game Information, Individual Stats, Team Stats, the latest Injury Report, down to the weather at kickoff. The only thing you’re missing is a game uniform!
All is well in Steeler Nation. The team is just about fully healthy as a team is ten weeks into an NFL season. The Steelers are 6-2 on the year and are control their destiny for the #1 Seed in the AFC. They face one of the easiest schedules they could ask for in the next eight games, five of which they will play in the comfy confines of Heinz Field. Oh…and JuJu Smith-Schuster not only found his stolen bike, he also passed his Driver’s Exam!
What else could you possibly ask for?
A motivated Martavis Bryant comes to mind. In this offense, the more the merrier when it comes to weapons for Ben Roethlisberger. The highly thought of offense hasn’t exactly hummed through its first eight games. If anything, it has underperformed for the amount of talent they possess. The problem hasn’t been moving the ball. That’s has been fairly good. It’s inside the Red Zone where the problems have hampered the team all year. With the way the defense is playing, if this team starts converting those field goals into touchdowns, they will be extremely difficult to defeat.
“He (Bryant) did a nice job of dealing with the suspension and working hard to get better at his craft,” Mike Tomlin said. “That being said, we’re moving forward. As in all cases, even with the injured guys, we’ll let preparation and what happens in that preparation be our guide. But I’m comfortable with the trajectory of where he is coming off the missed action.”
IF this team gets firing on all cylinders, they will be raising Lombardi Trophy #7 in February.
“The ultimate goal is just getting in, but if you can get a one or two seed to get the bye and get some rest and get healed if you need it, that’s an added bonus,” Ben Roethlisberger said. “We’ve seen what it means to go on the road and do it. It’s been a while since we’ve done it here at home. So I’d like to do that.”
Going into the week, the Steelers have a three-game advantage in the loss column over both Baltimore and Cincinnati. At this pace, Pittsburgh could have the AFC North wrapped up by December.
“It’s nice, but we still have a long way to go, obviously,” Roethlisberger said. “If we were having this conversation with two weeks to go, it would feel a lot nicer.”
Everyone, from the fans to the coaches, to the players, know how maddeningly frustrating the Steelers can be when they play lower echelon teams. The line will favor the Steelers to win every game remaining on the schedule. Anything less than 7-1 would be disappointing, but the mindset of the team needs to change in some of these games if they hope to not get caught sleeping in a game they should dominate.
“This is like a trap game for us,” right tackle Marcus Gilbert said. “There’s a lot of noise out there. People are expecting us to win. We have to go out and execute our game plan and not shoot ourself in the foot.”
“That’s been our problem this year, not playing up to the level of the games we are supposed to win.”
Roethlisberger likes that the schedule is home-heavy the rest of the way.
“It’s on us,” Roethlisberger said. “The other thing to me is it’s Week 9, and we’ve had three home games. That’s a big deal. … I like that, to be playing games in front of our fans down the stretch.”
So what’s the solution to avoiding any letdowns?
“We have to keep understanding that it’s one week at a time,” veteran wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey said. “You can’t think about what we’re doing in Minnesota for the Super Bowl. We’ve got the Colts.”
Another would be making the most of every opportunity, and finally cashing in on some splash plays on offense.
“Great teams seem like they have a flair for the dramatic,” Tomlin said. “They make those plays when given an opportunity. Yes, we’ve made some plays, and, yes, we’re in a good spot. But we want to be in a better spot. We’ve got to make more of those.”
Steelers Keys To Victory
- Ring the Bell! The Colts are dreadful against the run. Feed Le’Veon Bell!
- Be Creative in Red Zone! So many weapons to utilize. When Colts double Antonio Brown, make them pay!
- Make Jacoby Brissett’s Life Hell! Brissett has been on his back more than the Kardashians. The Steelers need to continue that trend.
- Watch Jack Doyle Underneath! Brissett loves his security blanket across the middle and in short-yardage situations.
- Key on T.Y. Hilton! Hilton is the Colt’s biggest downfield threat.
Here we are at one of those games. From the outside looking in, a massacre is on the horizon. However, those in Steeler Nation know how sometimes the team likes to play down to their opponents.
It’s the start of the 2nd half of the season, and Pittsburgh could dream of being in a better position. They control their destiny to securing the AFC #1 Seed for the playoffs. There is no place like home in the postseason. Other than a December 17th match-up against New England, the Steelers face a variety of wounded and bad teams. Indianapolis is one of them.
Look for Pittsburgh to come out guns a-blazing with a heavy dose of Le’Veon Bell against the worst defense in the NFL. There is plenty of love to go around, so Antonio Brown will get his work in, but Roethlisberger will need to spread the ball around to his other weapons such as JuJu Smith-Schuster, Martavis Bryant, Eli Rogers, Jesse James, and even Vance McDonald.
Steelers 34 Colts 13
NFL Week 10
Pittsburgh Steelers (6-2) at Indianapolis Colts (3-6)
Venue: Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, IN.
Game-time: Sunday, November 12th, 1:00 pm
TV: CBS (Local KDKA) | Announcers: Greg Gumbel (play-by-play) Trent Green (analyst) | Jamie Erdahl (sideline)
Local Radio: Pittsburgh- 102.5 WDVE-FM | Announcers: Bill Hillgrove (play-by-play) Tunch Ilkin (analyst) | Craig Wolfley (sideline)
National Radio: N/A | Announcers:
Weather at Kickoff: Dome
Vegas Line: Pittsburgh -11.5
- Series History: Series began in 1957.
- The Steelers are 17-6 in the overall Regular Season series against the Colts.
- Steelers are 6-4 playing at Indianapolis/Baltimore.
- Streak: Steelers won previous four meetings.
- Last Regular Season Meeting: Nov. 24, 2016, at Indianapolis – Pittsburgh 28 Indianapolis 7
- Steelers are 5-0 in the Post-Season vs the Colts.
- Last Post-Season Meeting: Jan. 15, 2017, at Indianapolis – Pittsburgh 21 Indianapolis 18
- Colts S Malik Hooker was born in New Castle, Pa.
- Ben Roethlisberger with a win, would improve to 5-2 vs. Indianapolis in the regular season as a starter and to 3-1 on the road at the Colts.
- Antonio Brown will surpass Marvin Harrison (563) for the most receptions in any five-year span in NFL history with 83 in 2017.
- Brown, with 100 catches in 2017, will become the first player in NFL history to record 100 or more receptions in five consecutive years.
- Le’Veon Bell needs one rushing score to tie Terry Bradshaw (32) for the fourth-most in franchise history.
- James Harrison is 2.5 sacks from 85 in his career with the Steelers.
- William Gay will break a tie with Rod Woodson to set the record for the most interceptions returned for touchdowns in team history with his next pick six of six.
- Ryan Shazier’s next interception will match his single-season best of three (2016).
A look at the Pittsburgh Steelers!
Overall Record: 6-2
Head Coach: Mike Tomlin (11th Season with Steelers)
Overall Regular Season Record: 109-59 (.647)
Playoff Record: 8-6 (Qualified for playoffs 7 times)
Last Game: Steelers 20 Lions 15 (Week 8)
Scouting the Steelers
Quarterback – Ben Roethlisberger leads a vastly underperforming offense that has the ability to beat you via the ground or the air. Big Ben has normally been outstanding at home but has struggled to put up the same numbers on the road the past few seasons.
Running Backs – Le’Veon Bell is one of the best all-around backs in the NFL, if not thee best. Bell can kill you on the ground with his speed and elusiveness. He is patient, often delaying a second to find the hole to burst through. Bell is also dangerous out of the backfield as a pass catcher. James Conner will spell Bell from time to time.
Wide Receivers – Antonio Brown is the best receiver in the game. You can count on five catches for at least 50 yards every week at a minimum. This wideout group is extremely deep and talented. Martavis Bryant is a deep threat on every play with his size and speed. Eli Rogers is excellent from the slot. Justin Hunter has superior speed and is also a deep threat. Rookie Juju Smith-Schuster is looking to make his mark in the NFL in his first season and is already becoming a reliable Roethlisberger target. Darrius Heyward-Bey is mainly used on special teams but is a dependable player when called upon in the passing game.
Tight Ends – Jesse James is the starter and becoming one of Roethlisberger’s favorite targets around the end zone. Vance McDonald is a big target that can make splash plays for Roethlisberger across the middle and inside the red zone. Xavier Grimble is also a nice option for Ben inside the 10-yard line.
Defense – The Steelers defense is prime for an awakening in 2017. On the 3-4 defensive line, it’s Cam Heyward, Javon Hargrave, and Stephon Tuitt. Daniel McCullers will rotate with Hargrave. Should Tuitt or Heyward go down, Tyson Alualu or L.T. Walton would step in.
At linebacker, rookie TJ Watt starts at OLB, with Ryan Shazier and Vince Williams in the middle. Bud Dupree stands opposite of Watt. Both can get at the quarterback and disrupt the opposing team’s passing game. Shazier is a stud in the middle and his speed makes him a nightmare for any QB who makes a mistake across the middle. Don’t count out James Harrison, who will rotate in to spell Watt or Dupree. Anthony Chickillo will also step in for injuries to Watt or Dupree on the outside and is making a name for himself every time he steps on the field.
The Steelers have revamped the secondary with the addition of Joe Haden at corner. He won’t have to guard the opposing team’s #1 wide receiver on every down, as that job falls to Artie Burns. Mike Mitchell lines up at free safety, with JJ Wilcox backing him up if injured. Sean Davis is getting better by the game at strong safety. Mike Hilton and Will Gay will be in at slot corner positions when called upon.
Ben Roethlisberger (2,062 yards passing | 10 TD passes | 9 interceptions | 10 sacks)
Le’Veon Bell (760 yards rushing | 5 rushing TD’s | 35 receptions | 219 yards receiving | 0 receiving TD’s)
James Conner (89 yards rushing | 0 rushing TD’s | 0 receptions | 0 yards receiving | 0 receiving TD’s)
Antonio Brown (57 receptions | 835 receiving yards | 3 receiving TD’s)
Juju Smith-Schuster (24 receptions | 424 receiving yards | 4 receiving TD’s)
Martavis Bryant (18 receptions | 234 receiving yards | 1 receiving TD’s)
Eli Rogers (7 receptions | 64 receiving yards | 0 receiving TD’s)
Justin Hunter (3 receptions | 18 receiving yards | 0 receiving TD’s)
Darrius Heyward-Bey (1 receptions | 44 receiving yards | 0 receiving TD’s)
Jesse James (20 receptions | 193 receiving yards | 2 receiving TD’s)
Vance McDonald (3 receptions | 63 receiving yards | 0 receiving TD’s)
Xavier Grimble (1 receptions | 12 receiving yards | 0 receiving TD’s)
Chris Boswell (Extra Point: 15-15 | FG: 18-20 | 0-19: 0-0 | 20-29: 7-7 | 30-39: 6-7 | 40-49: 5-6 | 50+: 0-0 | Long: 49)
A look at the Indianapolis Colts!
Overall Record: 3-6
Head Coach: Chuck Pagano (6th Season with Colts)
Overall Regular Season Record: 52-37 (.584) | 52-37 (.584) with Colts
Playoff Record: 3-3 (Qualified for playoffs 3 times)
Last Week: Colts 20 Texans 14
Scouting the Colts
Quarterback – Jacoby Brissett is a good athlete. Nice arm and can run the ball. Needs more experience before he has a chance to become a good NFL QB.
Running Backs – Frank Gore may be old, but he still produces. Marlon Mack is the future and is a nice dual threat. The Colts need to let him take over the running duties.
Wide Receivers – T.Y. Hilton is the Colts best playmaker. Donte Moncrief is a classic underachiever.
Tight Ends – Jack Doyle is Brissett’s favorite target. His biggest knock is staying healthy.
Defense – Thee absolute worst in football. This is a defense that the Steeler offense should shred to bits.
Jacoby Brissett (1,950 yards passing | 7 TD passes | 4 interceptions | 32 sacks | 147 yards rushing | 3 TD’s)
Frank Gore (455 yards rushing | 2 rushing TD’s | 17 receptions | 145 yards receiving | 0 receiving TD’s)
Marlon Mack (212 yards rushing | 2 rushing TD’s | 10 receptions | 110 yards receiving | 1 receiving TD’s)
T.Y. Hilton (34 receptions | 702 receiving yards | 3 receiving TD’s)
Donte Moncrief (19 receptions | 278 receiving yards | 1 receiving TD’s)
Kamar Aiken (14 receptions | 131 receiving yards | 0 receiving TD’s)
Jack Doyle (50 receptions | 441 receiving yards | 2 receiving TD’s)
Adam Vinatieri (Extra Point: 13-15 | FG: 17-18 | 0-19: 0-0 | 20-29: 7-7 | 30-39: 4-5 | 40-49: 2-2 | 50+: 4-4 | Long: 53)
Fantasy Football Impact
Start: QB Ben Roethlisberger, WR Antonio Brown, RB Le’Veon Bell, Steelers D
Sleeper: JuJu Smith-Schuster
Brown and Bell are always going to be in your starting line-up if you are lucky enough to have them. I like Roethlisberger in this match-up. It’s a Dome and a fast track for all of his weapons to thrive upon. Steelers Defense should have a field day.
Start: TE Jack Doyle, WR T.Y. Hilton
Sit: The rest of the Colts
The Steelers should get a nice lead in this one. That should allow Doyle and Hilton some garbage time yards.
Steelers-Colts: Offensive vs Defensive Comparison
Steelers Offense: Steelers average 372.1 | Colts allow 393.6 YPG
Rushing: Steelers average 108.9 YPG | Colts allow 113.9 YPG
Passing: Steelers average 263.3 YPG | Colts allow 297.7 YPG
Scoring: Steelers average 21 PPG | Colts allow 28.9 PPG
Steelers Defense: Steelers allow 286.6 YPG | Colts average 329.6 YPG
Rushing: Steelers allow 106.6 YPG | Colts average 98.7 YPG
Passing: Steelers allow 180 YPG | Colts average 230.9 YPG
Scoring: Steelers allow 16.4 PPG | Colts average 18 PPG
Injury Report (11/10/2017)
Out: LB James Harrison (Back)
Pittsburgh Steelers 2017 Schedule
Friday, Aug. 11 @ New York Giants W, 20-12 (KDKA)
Sunday, Aug. 20 ATLANTA W, 17-13 (KDKA)
Saturday, Aug. 26 INDIANAPOLIS L, 19-15 (KDKA)
Thursday, Aug. 31 @ Carolina W, 17-14 (KDKA)
REGULAR SEASON (6-2)
Sunday, Sept. 10 @ Cleveland 1 p.m. (CBS), W – 21-18
Sunday, Sept. 17 MINNESOTA 1 p.m. (FOX), W – 26-9
Sunday, Sept. 24 @ Chicago 1 p.m. (CBS), L – 17-23
Sunday, Oct. 1 @ Baltimore 1 p.m. (CBS), W – 26-9
Sunday, Oct. 8 JACKSONVILLE 1 p.m. (CBS), L – 9-30
Sunday, Oct. 15 @ Kansas City 4:25 p.m. (CBS), W – 19-13
Sunday, Oct. 22 CINCINNATI 4:25 p.m. (CBS), W – 29-14
Sunday, Oct. 29 @ Detroit* 8:30 p.m. (NBC), W – 20-15
Sunday, Nov. 5 BYE WEEK
Sunday, Nov. 12 @ Indianapolis* 1 p.m. (CBS)
Thursday, Nov. 16 TENNESSEE 8:25 p.m. (NBC/ NFL Network/Amazon)
Sunday, Nov. 26 GREEN BAY* 8:30 p.m. (NBC)
Monday, Dec. 4 @ Cincinnati 8:30 p.m. (ESPN)
Sunday, Dec. 10 BALTIMORE* 8:30 p.m. (NBC)
Sunday, Dec. 17 NEW ENGLAND* 4:25 p.m. (CBS)
Monday, Dec. 25 @ Houston 4:30 p.m. (NBC/ NFL Network/Amazon)
Sunday, Dec. 31 CLEVELAND* 1 p.m. (CBS)
* – Times may change due to ﬂexible scheduling
Sat.-Sun., Jan. 6-7 Wild Card Weekend
Sat.-Sun., Jan. 13-14 Divisional Playoﬀ Games
Sunday, Jan. 21 Conference Championships
Sunday, Jan. 28 Pro Bowl (Orlando, Fla.)
Sunday, Feb. 4 Super Bowl LII (Minneapolis, Minn.)