Xtra Points

Steelers defeat Colts, 26-24

The Steelers held on to defeat the Indianapolis Colts, 26-24, to improve their record to 4-4 and the midway point of the season.

Adam Vinatieri missed a field goal late in the game, allowing the Steelers to hold on at the end.

A 40-yard completion from quarterback Mason Rudolph to wide receiver James Washington and a 24-yard penalty for pass interference on cornerback Marvell Tell III positioned the Steelers for a first-and-goal from the Indianapolis 7-yard line with 7:30 left in the fourth quarter. The Colts challenged the call for defensive P.I. but the call stood.

Following two incompletions sandwiched around a 1-yard loss by running back Jaylen Samuels, Chris Boswell kicked a 26-yard field goal for a 26-24 Steelers’ lead with 6:36 left in regulation.

A fumble by Samuels early in the fourth gave the Colts possession at the Steelers’ 30. Indianapolis responded with a seven-play, 30-yard drive that was finished off by a touchdown pass from backup quarterback quarterback Brian Hoyer to wide receiver Chester Rogers on fourth-and-2 from the Steelers’ 4. The Colts failed on an attempt for a two-point conversion but still led, 24-23, with 8:43 left in the fourth.

The Steelers took their first lead on a 7-yard touchdown pass from Rudolph to tight end Vance McDonald that capped an 11-play, 54-yard drive in 5:15. The march was aided by a 15-yard unnecessary roughness penalty against Colts linebacker Darius Leonard after a short completion to wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster that gave the Steelers a first down at the Indianapolis 19. Boswell’s extra point gave the Steelers a 20-16 advantage with 5:25 left in the third quarter.

The Colts responded with a safety (offensive tackle Alejandro Villanuava recovered Rudolph’s fumble in the end zone after a sack and strip by defensive end Justin Huston) but fumbled the ensuing free kick (wide receiver Johnny Holton recovered).

The Steelers managed a 33-yard field goal by Boswell that upped their lead to 23-18 three seconds into the fourth quarter.

A Colts’ mistake on what should have been the final play of the first half gave the Steelers an untimed down that they used to trim a six-point Indianapolis advantage in half.

Leonard was called for unnecessary roughness for the first time on the afternoon on a short completion to tMcDonald as the clock ran out in the second quarter. The 15-yard infraction moved the ball to the Indianapolis 33. Boswell booted a 51-yard field goal from there to pull the Steelers to within three, at 16-13.

Hoyer’s second touchdown pass in three series had given the Colts their third lead as the quarter wound down.

Hoyer capped a six-play, 75-yard drive in 1:39 with a 14-yard strike wide receiver Zach Pascal with 42 seconds left before halftime. Kicker Adam Vinatieri’s extra point attempt was blocked by defensive tackle Cam Heyward, so the lead stayed at 16-10 Indianapolis.

The Steelers had tied it at 10-10 in spectacular fashion on Indianapolis’ previous possession.

This time, Hoyer’s throw toward the end zone for tight end Jack Doyle was intercepted by free safety Minkah Fitzpatrick and returned 96 yards for a touchdown.

The Colts lost starting quarterback Jacoby Brissett but regained the lead early in the second quarter.

Brissett went down and stayed down momentarily after throwing incomplete for running back Jordan Wilkins on first-and-goal from the Steelers’ 12-yard line. Brissett eventually got up and headed for the sideline with a knee injury and Hoyer came into the game.

Hoyer changed the game on his second snap and his first pass when he found Doyle for an 11-yard touchdown on third-and-goal from the Steelers’ 11. Vinatieri’s extra point gave Indianapolis a 10-3 lead with 11:57 left in the quarter.

The Colts turned a turnover into the game’s first score.

Quarterback Mason Rudolph’s pass for wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster on third-and-13 from the Indianapolis 49 bounced off Smith-Schuster’s hands and was intercepted by cornerback Kenny Moore, who returned it 35 yards to the Steelers’ 35. The Colts eventually achieved a first-and-goal at the Steelers’ 7 but ultimately settled for 25-yard Vinatieri field goal and a 3-0 lead with 7:09 left in the first.

The Steelers made it all the way to the Colts’ 1 on the next possession, thanks in part to a 45-yard burst by running back Trey Edmunds. But Edmunds lost 2 yards on second-and-goal from the 1 and Rudolph threw incomplete on third down. Boswell converted from 21 yards out to make it 3-3 with 58 seconds left in the first.

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

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