The Pittsburgh Steelers played one of the ugliest halves of football we have seen from them in quite a while. And when you consider what we have seen from them on the road, that is saying something. This was also a road game and as recent history has shown, Big Ben and his team mates have not been very good when traveling away from the friendly confines of Heinz Field. That was certainly the case during the first half. The Steelers offense would wake up a bit in the second half with help from their defense and would win the game with a game winning field goal by Chris Boswell. The final score, Pittsburgh 20 Colts 17.
Before the game started, the pregame shows were filled with talking heads stating that the Steelers were the only team in the AFC that could unseat the Patriots moving forward. All Ben Roethlisberger and his surrounding cast did on Sunday was go out and show the NFL just how shaky this team is.
Defensively they let a couple of big plays go in the passing game in the first half and early in the second. The Indy running game was effective enough in the first half to show some warts in the Pittsburgh run defense. During the second half, Pittsburgh’s defensive line shut everything down and other than that one big play, Indy was stuck in the mud.
The Pittsburgh offense would wake up after the Colts put the touchdown on the board early in the third quarter. The Steelers would use a heavy dose of Le’Veon Bell sandwiched around a 44 yard pass to Ben’s new favorite, JuJu Smith Shuster. The rookie receiver would then finish off the drive with a 7 yard TD catch.
After a botched extra point, the Steelers were now down 17-9. After both teams would go 3 and out a couple of times, the Pittsburgh defense would need to come up big. They would end up doing just that as they would get a big interception from Ryan Shazier at the Colts 10 yard line.
The Steelers would finally get into the end zone again with a pass to tight end Vance McDonald to draw Pittsburgh to within 2 points. The Steelers would then attempt to go for 2, and have to call a time out. That would be followed by a delay of game penalty by Ben and his offense, during which a shouting match occurred between he and his Offensive coordinator. You saw Ben shaking his head and the OC saying “Ben, Shut the _____ up!”
No one will talk about this at all.
— Colin Dunlap (@colin_dunlap) November 12, 2017
After the penalty, Ben would hook up with Martavis Bryant for the 7 yard 2-point conversion to tie the game.
The Steelers would officially have all the momentum and would force Indy into yet another 3 and out. The Steelers offense would take over and drive down the field to try and take their first lead of the game.
But that is when kicker Boswell would miss a field goal and the game would remain tied. It was a 34 yard field goal that hit the right upright.
Pittburgh’s defense would force another 3 and out having the Colts lose 13 yards during their possession.
Ben and the Steelers would then go back to work only this time in the no huddle which is Ben’s favorite offense. Pittsburgh would put together a 10 play 70 yard drive in the last 3 minutes of the game. That is when Chris Boswell would redeem himself with the game winning kick to lift the Steelers over the Colts.
Stats: Ben would finish the game going 19-31 for 236 yards, 2 touchdowns and 1 interception. Le’Veon Bell would finish with 26 carries on 80 yards. Bell only had 10 carries into halftime. Pittsburgh as a whole had no 3rd down conversions in the first half and only 72 total yards of offense. To say they were lethargic would be the understatement of the century.
The Steelers offense leaves a great deal to be desired thus far this season averaging about 20 points a game and showing no signs of achieving it’s potential.
As for the defense, they suffered two big injuries with Joe Hayden leaving the game and then Mike Mitchell. Although I contest the Mitchell loss would be not as big a loss if Hayden would not have gone down. Joe Hayden was seen on the sidelines on crutches with rumors running about as to how soon he will return. Three weeks is what some of the insiders are stating, though there has been no information released to back that.
The secondary as a whole was torched for a couple of big plays against a quarterback that is not exactly Tom Brady like. For those speculating that Pittsburgh is the most likely team to beat the Patriots this season, I think from what we have seen that is nothing but a farce. The secondary with or without the injuries still gets exposed by good quarterbacks and the offense, if not at home is not consistent enough to beat a really good team on the road.