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Last second win improves Steelers to 7-2

Posted Nov 12, 2017

The Steelers came from behind to defeat the Colts, 20-17.

It wasn’t easy, but when you look at the win-loss column, that is the only thing that matters in the end. And the Steelers left Indianapolis with a 20-17 win, improving their record to 7-2 on the season.

Ben Roethlisberger engineered a game-winning, 10-play, 70-yard drive that culminated in a Chris Boswell 33-yard field goal with no time left on the clock. Roethlisberger finished the game completing 19 of 31 passes for 236 yards and two touchdown passes, while Le’Veon Bell rushed for 80 yards on 26 carries.

The Steelers had 17 unanswered points in the second half, thanks to a defense that settled down and hounded the Colts, and an offense that got on track.

“We were tested and tested in a lot of ways,” said Coach Mike Tomlin. “Game circumstances does that to you. The guys didn’t blink, they are to be given credit for that. We didn’t play great today, that is part of the reason we were in some of those circumstances. We have to be better on offense, we have to tackle better on defense. We are fortunate to win this game giving up those two long touchdown passes.

“There is a lot of negativity to talk about, but we will talk about that negativity with a win. That is my preference. Guys delivered in the critical moments and that is exciting.”

The Steelers got the ball to start the game, but couldn’t maintain possession for long. On the second offensive play of the game, Roethlisberger’s pass, intended for Martavis Bryant, was intercepted by Pierre Desir at the Colts 21-yard line.

The Steelers defense, however, did their thing and held the Colts, forcing a three-and-out and a punt. On third down Mike Hilton closed in on Colts quarterback Jacoby Brissett to stop him short of the first down.   

Things didn’t get a whole lot better for the offense as the first quarter played out though. After the first possession ending in a turnover, the next one was a three-and-out with a quick punt. On the team’s next offensive series, penalties haunted them, forcing Jordan Berry to punt three times. The first punt, a 51-yarder, was fair caught at the 10-yard line, but a holding penalty on Kameron Canaday forced a re-kick. Berry’s second punt, which traveled 46-yards, was returned to the 26-yard line, but Sean Davis was called for holding. The third kick gave the Colts the ball at the 32-yard line, giving the Colts 22 additional yards on the miscues.

After an uneventful first quarter for both teams, the Colts came out firing in the second quarter. Jacoby Brissett aired it out to Donte Moncrief, connecting with him for a 60-yard touchdown to get the Colts on the board first, with a 7-0 lead at the start of the quarter.

Another three-and-out by the Steelers’ offense gave the Colts a chance to extend their lead, and they did just that. Adam Vinatieri extended the lead, 10-0, on a 48-yard field goal.

The offense started to click on their final drive of the half. Roethlisberger hit Vance McDonald for nine yards and JuJu Smith Schuster for 15 yards. Martavis Bryant pulled in a 13-yard reception, and Brown got them to the 23-yard line with a 10-yard grab. Boswell closed the gap to 10-3 with a 41-yard field goal before halftime.

The offense managed just 100 yards of total offense in the first half, and Brown had just two receptions for 15 yards.

The Colts started the second half by going to the long ball once again. Brissett hit Chester Rogers for a 61-yard touchdown, giving the Colts a 17-3 lead.

This time, the Steelers answered. Bell got the drive going with carries of nine and three yards. Roethlisberger found Smith-Schuster on the sideline, who battled for the ball and held on for a 44-yard reception. It was then back to Bell for three carries for a total of 14 yards to the Colts eight-yard line. An offensive pass interference pushed the Steelers back, facing second-and-goal from the 18-yard line. A defensive pass interference call gave the Steelers a first down at the seven-yard line. Roethlisberger went back to Smith-Schuster, hitting him in the end zone for a touchdown. The Colts blocked the extra point, and Matthias Farley picked it up and was headed to the end zone, before Jesse James caught him, saving a two-point conversion.

When a huge play was needed, Ryan Shazier stepped to the plate. Shazier intercepted Brissett at the Colts 10-yard line, giving the Steelers excellent field position. And they cashed in. Roethlisberger hit McDonald, who was banged up earlier in the game but returned to action, for a seven-yard touchdown. They tied the game at 17-17 when Roethlisberger hit Bryant for the two-point conversion.

A swarming defense came at the Colts on their ensuing drive, moving them backwards. Vince Williams sacked Brissett for a four-yard loss, and Stephon Tuitt followed that up with a nine-yard sack, forcing a punt.

The Steelers looked poised to take the lead on their next drive, but Boswell’s 37-yard field goal attempt hit the right upright and they came away empty.

Boswell would make up for it, though. The Steelers got the ball with 3:10 left to play at their own 15-yard line. Roethlisberger hit Bryant, 19 yards, and Brown, 32 yards, to give the Steelers great field position at the Colts 18-yard line with 35 seconds to play. Boswell was called upon again, and this time answered with a game-winning 33-yard field goal.

NOTES: Cornerback Joe Haden suffered a broken fibula in the game. 

How they scored: A detailed look at today’s scoring.

Second Quarter: Steelers 0, Colts 7
Scoring Play: Jacoby Brissett 60-yard touchdown pass to Donte Moncrief.
Scoring Summary: 4-68-1:21

Second Quarter: Steelers 0, Colts 10
Scoring Play: Adam Vinatieri 48-yard field goal.
Scoring Summary: 13-63-7:13

Second Quarter: Steelers 3, Colts 10
Scoring Play: Chris Boswell 41-yard field goal.    
Scoring Summary: 8-39-1:09

Third Quarter: Steelers 3, Colts 17
Scoring Play: Jacoby Brissett 61-yard touchdown pass to Chester Rogers.  
Scoring Summary: 4-75-2:14

Third Quarter: Steelers 9, Colts 17
Scoring Play: Ben Roethlisberger seven-yard touchdown pass to JuJu Smith-Schuster. PAT is blocked.
Scoring Summary: 8-78-4:59

Fourth Quarter: Steelers 17, Colts 17
Scoring Play: Ben Roethlisberger seven-yard touchdown pass to Vance McDonald. Two-point conversion, Roethlisberger to Martavis Bryant.
Scoring Summary: 3-10-1:00

Fourth Quarter: Steelers 20, Colts 17
Scoring Play: Chris Boswell 33-yard field goal.   
Scoring Summary:  10-70-3:10