Countdown to 2020: The Colts

Date: Dec. 27

Time: 1 p.m.

Venue: Heinz Field

All-Time Regular-Season Series: Steelers lead, 19-6. The Steelers also lead the postseason series, 5-0.


Last Meeting: It came down to a field goal to win it for Colts K Adam Vinatieri, but this time Vinatieri uncharacteristically didn't hit it and the Steelers survived, 26-24, on Nov. 3, 2019, at Heinz Field. QB Jacoby Brissett started but didn't finish for Indy due to an injury. Brian Hoyer came on in the second quarter and wound up completing 17 of 26 passes for 168 yards and three touchdowns. But Hoyer was also intercepted by FS Minkah Fitzpatrick, who turned the second-quarter turnover into a 96-yard pick-six. K Chris Boswell converted four of four field goal attempts for the Steelers, including one from 51 yards out and a 26-yard effort with 6:39 left in regulation that wound up standing as the eventual game-winning kick. RB Jaylen Samuels was targeted 13 times and finished with 13 receptions for 73 yards for the Steelers. RB Trey Edmunds led the Steelers' ground attack with 73 yards on 12 carries, including a 45-yard burst on his first carry of the game. Indy TE Eric Ebron caught two passes for 16 yards.

Game action photos from the Steelers' Week 8 game against the Indianapolis Colts at Heinz Field

Last Season: The Colts went 7-9 and finished third in the AFC South. Indianapolis ranked 25th in total offense (seventh rushing, 30th passing) and 16th in total defense (seventh rushing, 23rd passing).

Since Then: The Colts made high-profile acquisitions via a trade and in unrestricted free agency. QB Philip Rivers signed on in Indy after 16 seasons with the Chargers. And DT DeForest Buckner, the seventh-overall selection in the 2016 NFL Draft, was acquired from San Francisco for Indianapolis' first-round pick in 2020 (13th overall). The Colts turned two second-round picks in April into 6-foot-4, 223-pound USC WR Michael Pittman (34th overall) and Wisconsin RB Jonathan Taylor (41st overall), who rushed for 6,174 yards in three seasons with the Badgers.

247 rushes for 1,091 yards and 8 TDs Colts RB Marlon Mack's rushing stats in 2019

Headliners: Rivers is sixth on the NFL's all-time lists for passing yards (59,271) and touchdown passes (397). Buckner has 28.5 sacks in four NFL seasons, including a combined 19.5 over the last two (12 in 2018). OG Quenton Nelson (sixth overall in 2018) is a two-time First-Team All-Pro. OLB Darius Leonard was a First-Team All-Pro as a rookie in 2018 and had five interceptions (including a pick-six), seven passes defensed, five sacks and 121 tackles last season. RB Marlon Mack rushed for 1,091 yards and had a 4.4 average-per-carry in 2019.


Stat That Matters: Rivers is 5-6 all-time as a starter in the postseason and has reached the AFC Championship Game once in 16 seasons (a 21-12 loss on Jan. 20, 2008 at New England).

Memorable Meeting: A year after a heartbreaking loss to the Chargers in the AFC Championship Game, the Steelers rallied to take the lead late and then survived a last-play "Hail Mary" and punched their ticket to Super Bowl XXX with a 20-16 victory over the Colts on Jan. 14, 1996 at Three Rivers Stadium. The furious finish included CB Willie Williams stopping RB Lamont Warren for no gain on third-and-1 from the Colts' 31-yard line with Indianapolis trying to run out the clock, a 37-yard completion from QB Neil O'Donnell to WR Ernie Mills that set up RB Bam Morris' 1-yard, go-ahead touchdown run, and DB Randy Fuller making a play on QB Jim Harbaugh's last-gasp heave into the end zone for WR Aaron Bailey on third-and-1 from the Steelers' 29.


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