This is the Steel City Blitz Three-Point Stance. Your quick-hitting reference guide to everything you need to know about the Indianapolis Colts and Pittsburgh Steelers in this week nine matchup. The TPS is sponsored by @EyeoftheStormZ.
What: Indianapolis Colts 5-2 at Pittsburgh Steelers 3-4
Where: Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, PA
When: 1pm ET Sunday November 3rd 2019
Weather: 41 degrees and partly cloudy at kickoff.
Line: Colts -1 O/U 42.5
Last Week: The Colts needed a 52 yard Adam Vinatieri field goal to defeat Denver 15-13. The Steelers rallied from 14-0 down to defeat Miami 27-14.
TV: CBS Ian Eagle and Dan Fouts
TV Coverage in Your Area: Check out the coverage map from the506.com.
Radio: Steelers Nation Radio/WDVE Bill Hillgrove, Tunch Ilkin and Craig Wolfley and Missi Matthews on the sidelines.
Head Official: Brad Allen
Key Injuries/Game Status (courtesy steelers.com) PIT: RB James Conner (Shoulder) – Doubtful, RB Benny Snell Jr. (Knee) – Out, FB Roosevelt Nix (Knee) – Questionable, OL Ramon Foster (Concussion) – Out IND: WR T.Y Hilton (Calf) – Out, CB Pierre Desir (Hamstring) – Doubtful, DE Justin Houston (Calf) – Questionable, S Malik Hooker (Knee) – Questionable
Current 2019 NFL Ranks:
Total Offense: PIT 29th IND 23rd Passing Offense: PIT 26th IND 22nd Rushing Offense: PIT 24th IND 11th
Total Defense: PIT 10th IND 15th Passing Defense: PIT 13th IND 15th Rushing Defense: PIT 10th IND 15th
AFC North Rankings: Baltimore 5-2, Pittsburgh 3-4, Cleveland 2-5, Cincinnati 0-8
This Week in the AFC North: New England at Baltimore, Cleveland at Denver, Cincinnati BYE
What You Need to Know: The Steelers are 14-2 all-time at home against the Colts… James Conner is not expected to play today and may miss next week as well… The last time the Colts defeated Pittsburgh was November of 2008 in a 24-20 win at Heinz Field… The Steelers are 5-0 all-time against the Colts in the postseason.
Indianapolis Colts Names to Know: LB Darius Leonard, FS Malik Hooker, RB Marlon Mack, TE Eric Ebron, G Quinton Nelson, QB Jacoby Brissett
What’s at Stake: For Indy, they will look to maintain their lead in the AFC South while the Steelers can get back to .500 for the first time in the 2019 season.
All-Time Series: Steelers Lead 24-6.
Last Meeting: Nov 12th 2017 in Indianapolis. Steelers 20 Colts 17
Three Things We Need to See for a Steelers’ Victory:
Balance, Balance, Balance. The Colts do not have a “great” defense but it is good and fast. The best thing you can do in a case like this is establish balance between the run and the pass. Keeping the Colts guessing on early downs is crucial to the Steelers’ offensive success. Randy Fichtner, knowing he’s unlikely to have James Conner, should get creative as he did earlier this season against the Bengals. Lots of jet motion and counter run plays could establish early running success and set up play action. If Mason Rudolph has to throw a lot that doesn’t bode well. Get balanced early and find success.
Pressure From the Inside. Jacoby Brissett is a big man and he moves well. With the loss of Stephon Tuitt, Keith Butler has to find ways to get internal push against a really good Colts’ offensive line. I won’t be surprised at all to see a return of the Fire X Blitz I’m an effort to force Brissett to the outside where T.J. Watt and Bud Dupree should be waiting. If Brissett is allowed to sit in the pocket and roll out when he pleases then it will be a long day for the Steelers’ defense.
Special Teams Time. At some point Danny Smith’s units have to come up with a play or two that swings momentum in a game. This week would be a great time for that. The return game has been average and I don’t see that getting much better with the current personal. Therefore we may need to see something special in terms of a fake or blocked kick which we know these units are capable of doing. Don’t get me wrong – the units to this point have been stable – but there are always times each season when you need something big from Special Teams and this would be a great week for it.
Predictions: Something has to give this week. Either the Steelers continue to lose to teams with good records or they finally knock off a team with a good record. Last week’s slow start for Mason Rudolph I believe was a great test for the young man. I think it carries over on Sunday and combines with a strong defensive performance against a well-coached Frank Reich offense.
Steelers 23 Colts 17
Season Prediction Record: 6-1