Steelers’ record: 2-1
One year ago: 3-0
Series record (including playoffs): Steelers lead, 20-6
Allow Coach Mike Tomlin to provide the perspective. “Any time you play an AFC team, particularly on the road, it’s a significant game. We all understand how these divisional races are slotted and handled, and how playoff positions are determined and so forth, so you have to acknowledge that AFC road games are significant ones.”
With all of the issues facing the Colts secondary, it figured that their primary method of dealing with the Steelers passing attack would be the sack/strip by DEs Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis. The Colts got exactly that on consecutive possessions, and the Steelers’ two-score lead evaporated into a tie game.
STAT THAT STANDS OUT
WHAT WENT RIGHT
* It was the Colts’ first possession, a third-and-7, when the Steelers rushed only three players but
* It was a third-and-1 for the Colts near midfield on their second possession. Kerry Collins lined up in an empty set and tried to get a quick pass off to TE Dallas Clark.
* It only took three catches for Mike Wallace to extend his franchise record streak of 100-yard receiving games in the regular season to six in a row. The pass that put him over the top was an 81-yard touchdown from Ben Roethlisberger that gave the Steelers a 10-0 lead with 3:29 left in the first quarter.
* The 81-yard pass to Wallace was the third-longest in Roethlisberger’s career and the longest since he hooked up with Santonio Holmes on an 83-yard play on Dec. 20, 2007 in St. Louis against the Rams.
* It was a third-and-4 with 11 minutes left in the fourth quarter, and Curtis Painter had replaced Kerry Collins at quarterback. Pierre Garcon ran past
* In the fourth quarter,
* It took almost three full games for the Steelers to come up with their first takeaway, but it was a significant one at a critical time.
WHAT WENT WRONG
* It wasn’t technically a red zone failure for the offense, but it was a failure nonetheless. On a third-and-8 from the Colts 30-yard line on the game’s opening possession, Ben Roethlisberger threw a perfect strike to
* On a second-and-10 from near midfield early in the second quarter, Colts DE Robert Mathis ran around RT
* Apparently, the lesson wasn’t learned after the first sack/strip, because on the Steelers’ next possession, Dwight Freeney beat
* The Steelers offense wasn’t finished helping the Colts, even after Anderson’s touchdown. On the first play after the kickoff, Roethlisberger overthrew Emmanuel Sanders down the middle, and the ball was intercepted by CB Joe Lefeged near midfield. Instead of touching Lefeged down, Sanders simply jumped over the prone Colts player, who then got up and returned the ball 25 yards. Then, a penalty for a low block on Antonio Brown added another 15 yards to the play, and the Colts ended up with another short field goal from Vinatieri to take a 13-10 lead at halftime.
* On a third-and-6 from the Colts’ 20-yard line with the Steelers trailing, 13-10, Roethlisberger threw a quick pass to rookie TE
* On the possession following the defensive touchdown that gave the Steelers a 20-13 lead, the Colts offense marched 80 yards in 10 plays in three minutes and 10 seconds of game time for the touchdown that tied the game, 20-20, with 2:09 left in the fourth quarter.
The Steelers had only one player inactive for the game because of an injury.
Kemoeatu was back at his starting left guard spot, but McFadden was inactive for the second straight week.
During the game, the Steelers lost three offensive linemen. Marcus Gilbert was the first to be stricken, and he left with a shoulder injury. He was replaced by