The Steelers fought back after trailing at halftime, but it wasn't enough as they suffered their first loss of the preseason, falling to the Colts 19-15.
The Steelers came out strong in the second half, with Landry Jones driving the offense down the field on an eight play, 63-yard drive that culminated in a 10-yard touchdown pass to Xavier Grimble.
After stopping the Colts, the offense went back to work and Jones hit Terrell Watson, the Steelers Digest Player of the Week, for 15 yards and JuJu Smith-Schuster for 15 yards, both on third down. The offense couldn't get in the end zone this time, but took their first lead of the game, 15-13, on Chris Boswell's 37-yard field goal.
The Colts went back on top, 19-15, after Josh Ferguson's one-yard touchdown run.
Jones and company went back to work looking to regain the lead. Jones hit Grimble for eight yards, and Watson took it up the middle for five yards. JuJu Smith-Schuster pulled in an eight yard grab, and Watson pulled in a 22-yard catch and run before being pushed out of bounds. A pass interference call gave the Steelers the ball at the one-yard line, where Jones was intercepted by Chris Milton for the touchback, and that would be it for the scoring.
Jones finished the game completing 21 of 31 passes for 163 yards, with a touchdown and an interception.
"I thought he did a solid job in a lot of areas, particularly for a guy who is getting his first action, not only his first preseason action, but he has missed a lot of practice time," said Coach Mike Tomlin. "It is not Landry's first rodeo. He is a veteran player. We will continue to push forward, but a solid start."
The Colts jumped out to an early 7-0 first quarter lead, taking advantage of a miscue by the Steelers offense when Ben Roethlisberger was sacked and fumbled, and the Colts Hassan Ridgeway recovered.
Scott Tolzien went to the air and hit Donte Moncrief, who broke free for a 55-yard gain to the Steelers eight yard line. Frank Gore capped it off when he took it in from the one-yard line for the 7-0 lead.
Roethlisberger went back out with the offense for the second series, moving the ball down the field with completions to Antonio Brown, Eli Rogers and Martavis Bryant. Two incompletions to Jesse James forced the Steelers to bring on Chris Boswell for a 36-yard field goal to cut the lead to 7-3.
A pair of Adam Vinatieri field goals gave the Colts a 13-3 lead.
Jones, who entered the game at the start of the second quarter, moved the offense down the field. He completed a 10-yard pass to Rogers, and hit James for a 12-yard gain. After a four-yard completion to Darrius Heyward-Bey, Jones hit Rogers again for 14 yards. The Steelers weren't able to get it into the end zone, and once again went to Boswell for a 41-yard field goal, to cut the lead to 13-6 at halftime.
Picked off:** Ryan Shazier had one of the Steelers biggest plays on defense when he intercepted Tolzien at the start of the second quarter, killing a Colts drive. Shazier intercepted Tolzien's pass that was intended for Jack Doyle, at the Steelers 20-yard line and returned it 12 yards to the 32-yard line.
Getting started: Ben Roethlisberger saw his first action of the preseason, playing along with the starting offense for the first two series. Roethlisberger finished the game completing six of nine passes for 73 yards.
Roethlisberger had said earlier in the week the main goal was for the offense to move the ball, pick up first downs, and hopefully get in the end zone. While the first-team offense did pick up several first downs with completions to Antonio Brown for 13 and 15 yards, and Eli Rogers for 12 and 15 yards, they were kept out of the end zone.
The first drive ended when Roethlisberger fumbled on a strip sack, and the second drive ended after Matthias Farley broke up a pass to Jesse James and the Steelers had to settle for a Chris Boswell field goal.
"Largely the first offense, it was first opportunity to work with Ben, and Antonio (Brown) and company," said Tomlin. "I liked some of the things we were able to do
"They were moving the ball fluidl. I saw enough of those guys. I decided to get an extended look at Landry. He is the guy that missed a lot of work. Ben hasn't played a lot in games, but he has worked just about every day. I wanted to move onto to Landry and give him an opportunity to show what he is capable of."
Game action photos from the Pittsburgh Steelers' Preseason Week 3 game against the Indianapolis Colts.
On the run:** Knile Davis started for the Steelers at running back, and got going right off the bat. On the opening drive Davis had two carries for 21 yards, and also had a nine-yard gain on a screen pass. The drive ended though when Roethlisberger got hit, and fumbled on the strip sack and the Colts recovered.
- Cameron Sutton saw his first action of the preseason, and the rookie finished with three tackles and a pass defense.
- Fitzgerald Toussaint left the game with a left leg injury and didn't return.
- Vince Williams led the team in tackles with eight. Williams and William Gay were credited with a half sack each of Stephen Morris to stuff a third quarter Colts drive.
- Antonio Brown finished with two receptions for 28 yards in his first game of the preseason.
- Fifteen different players had a recption, let by Bryant and Rogers with five each.
- Attendance was 50,039.
How they scored: A detailed look at tonight's scoring.
First Quarter: Steelers 0, Colts 7
Scoring Play: Frank Gore one-yard run.
Scoring Drive: 4 plays, 63 yards, 2:08
First Quarter: Steelers 3, Colts 7
Scoring Play: Chris Boswell 36-yard field goal.
Scoring Drive: 11 plays, 57 yards, 5:50
Second Quarter: Steelers 3, Colts 10
Scoring Play: Adam Vinatieri 45-yard field goal.
Scoring Drive: 6 plays, 60 yards, 2:34
Second Quarter: Steelers 3, Colts 13
Scoring Play: Adam Vinatieri 31-yard field goal.
Scoring Drive: 9 plays, 51 yards, 4:16
Second Quarter: Steelers 6, Colts 13
Scoring Play: Chris Boswell 41-yard field goal.
Scoring Drive: 14 plays, 63 yards, 3:18
Third Quarter: Steelers 12, Colts 13
Scoring Play: Landry Jones 10-yard touchdown pass to Xavier Grimble. Missed extra point.
Scoring Drive: 8 plays, 63 yards, 4:22
Third Quarter: Steelers 15, Colts 13
Scoring Play: Chris Boswell 37-yard field goal.
Scoring Drive: 12 plays, 52 yards, 4:50
Fourth Quarter: Steelers 15, Colts 19
Scoring Play: Josh Ferguson one-yard touchdown run. Missed extra point.
Scoring Drive: 14 plays, 86 yards, 6:46