There will be no apologies made by the Pittsburgh Steelers today. Despite the fact they should grant mea culpas to every single fan of the Black and Gold that paid to watch them today in Indianapolis, they will gladly take their 20-17 win and they’ll grin ear-to-ear too as they head home to Pittsburgh at 7-2.
The only lead the Steelers held today was the one off the foot of Chris Boswell as time expired. For much of the game it looked as though Pittsburgh would never get close let alone lead. Tomlin’s teams have lost three straight games following their bye weeks and this one had the look of a fourth.
From the opening series of the game, the Steelers looked rusty. They looked uninspired and unmotivated. They looked like a team that was playing a lesser opponent and figured they could just show up and win. Someone forgot to tell the Colts. Behind decent running and sound passing by Jacoby Brissett, the Colts would take advantage of sloppy tackling and missed assignments for a 17-3 lead in the third quarter.
Pittsburgh finally got things going and scored touchdowns on passes to JuJu Smith-Schuster and Vance McDonald. Chris Boswell’s first PAT attempt was blocked but the hustling Jesse James stopped the return from going for two points the other way. The Steelers would get the two-point conversion on their next TD on a throw to Martavis Bryant to tie the game at 17. Boswell would also clang a field goal attempt off the right upright with about four minutes to go before nailing the game-winner.
Unfortunately this game also featured injuries to Mike Mitchell and Joe Haden. At this time, Haden has a fractured fibula and his immediate future is uncertain. Mitchell came in battling an Achilles’ injury and that seemed to be the culprit again. At this time I would think the Steelers will activate Cam Sutton and get him ready while Coty Sensabaugh mans Haden’s position until then.
Despite the fact the Steelers scored twice from the red zone, the offense looked horrible for a good portion of the game. As the Steelers set up for the tying two-point conversion, they were forced to take a timeout. Following that, they took a five-yard delay of game penalty that allegedly also saw Todd Haley screaming at Ben Roethlisberger to “Shut the f_ _ _ up!” Stay tuned on that.
What has to be understood here is that a win is a win. But it’s hard not to look at the bigger picture. Beating New England will not happen if the offense stays like this. In fact, beating a lot of good teams will be a struggle if the Steelers’ offense can’t get it’s act together. If there’s such a thing as an unsteady 7-2 record then this is it.
Photo courtesy: heavy.com