Can Pittsburgh Steelers Maintain Momentum Against Indianapolis Colts?


If the thought beating the combo of Arian Foster and J.J. Watt was a challenge, a win on Sunday against the 5-2 Indianapolis Colts should seem impossible. The Colts are the second-highest ranked AFC team in the halfway-point power polls, behind Peyton Manning’s Broncos and way ahead of the Steelers.

It was around this time last season the Steelers began their surge. Winning these top battles for four quarters could pose the Pittsburgh Steelers as a real threat in the AFC.

Defense Top Match-Ups

The health of rookie linebacker Ryan Shazier’s knee will be determined quickly. Shazier will match-up against Colt tight end Dwayne Allen.  Future Hall of Famer Tony Gonzalez said Allen is an incredibly talented player who will be a star in this league. Steelers have allowed a free-for-all to opposing tight ends throughout the season (see: Cleveland Browns). With No Reggie Wayne, this is a match up the Steelers have to win.

The Colts and Steelers have similar offenses. Both running backs, Le’Veon Bell and Ahmad Bradshaw, are hard to get a good hit on in. They also are quarterbacks dream serving as receiving huge threats.

Andrew Luck is currently out-playing Ben Roethlisberger as the best combined big-armed and elusive quarterback in the league. He leads the NFL in overall yards (2331) – nearly 200 yards more than Manning.

His top receiver is the shifty 5-foot-9 T.Y. Hilton. Hilton has been on fire in the past two weeks. Hilton burnt Houston for 233 yards and 1 TD in Week 6 and last week he caught seven passes for 107 yards against the Bengals. He is fourth in the league in receptions, three catches behind the NFL’s top man, Antonio Brown (50).

Steelers cornerback Brice McCain gets Hilton in his second start of the season. The Steelers corner combo switch last week to starting former free agents, McCain and William Gay, looked promising. Hilton vs. McCain/ Gay is a well-matched battle that cornerback coach Carnell Lake has to be excited to watch. Luck likes the sling the ball and a turnover or two would greatly aid the Steelers defense.

Offense Top Match-Ups

Roethlisberger may have seen a few familiar schemes this week in film sessions. Head coach Chuck Pagano spent four years as the Baltimore Ravens’ defensive coordinator. Led by a ferocious pass rush that has already grabbed 20 sacks this season, his Colts are third in yards allowed. Former Raven Corey Redding is quietly having a great season as one of the best 3-4 nose tackles in the game. He and former Packer outside linebacker Eric Waldon have 3 sacks a piece. OLB Robert Mathis’ replacement, Bjorn Werner, leads the team in sacks with 4.

The Colts also have seven interceptions this season. Corners Greg Toler and Vontae Davis play tight coverage and ball-hawk making it dangerous to throw their way often.

It’s important for Ben Roethlisberger to have receiver options other than Antonio Brown and running back Le’Veon Bell, but it’s only important in that fantasy football owners to need a clear cut No. 2 wide receiver. Ben spread the ball around effectively against the Texans defense thanks in large part to the variety of receivers at his disposal.

Haley finally quit force-feeding Marcus Wheaton as the denoted second WR and it paid off. Martavis Bryant had 24 snaps, Lance Moore 23 snaps, and Darrius Heyward-Bey had 21. Moore and Bryant delivered on their resumes by also scoring touchdowns. Heyward-Bey saw some time in the slot and had a nice 17-yard first down when the Steelers were pinned deep.

With Marcus Gilbert doubtful (concussion), Heath Miller will need to stay in to help right tackle Mike Adams. Roethlisberger has the play-makers to defeat the Colts if he has enough time in the pocket to find them. Moving the ball and winning time of possession would really help the Steelers defense contain Luck and the Indy offense.


Call me a homer but this game is in Pittsburgh and the home crowd is a factor after finally waking up on Monday night. The Steelers have the players to stun the Colts. If Bell and Blount can wear down the Colts defense, Roethlisberger can continue to attack the Colts with a reinvigorated deep-ball threat. The Steelers have come alive just in time.