The Steelers defeated the Colts 20-17 in a game that was not supposed to be close. They were losing 17-9 going into the 4th quarter before tying the game and scoring the game winning field goal with time expiring. So why was it so hard? Do the Steelers play poorly after a bye week? Do they play down to the competition? Could it be that *gasp* the other team is trying too? Let’s look at the winners and losers.
Finally a good game from Martavis Bryant! He had 3 receptions for 42 yards on 5 targets and also caught the crucial 2 point conversion in the 4th quarter. it’s not a huge game and it wasn’t perfect, but he was a part of the offense for once so hopefully that’s the start of bigger contributions.
Someone tell JuJu Smith-Schuster rookie wide receivers aren’t supposed to have huge rookie seasons, because JuJu apparently didn’t get the memo. Today he had 5 receptions for 97 yards and a touchdown on 7 targets. He has caught a touchdown in 3 consecutive games now.
Ben Roethlisberger in the 2nd half
Ben Roethlisberger had a lousy first half, but made the throws when it counted in the 2nd half, including a 10 play, 70 yard drive to score the game winning field goal. Ben had 2 touchdowns in the 2nd half and completed a 2 point conversion.
In the Lions game, Coach Tomlin said the team needed to make more splash plays, and pointed at Ryan Shazier missing an interception at the end of the game. This time he made the interception and it was huge. Shazier’s interception at the Colts 10 yard line in the 4th quarter led to a Steelers touchdown.
Red Zone Offense
While not perfect, the Steelers scored 2 times out of 4 chances in the red zone. Considering the red zone percentage was around 30% in the first 8 games, we’ll take 50%.
What happened Chris? Boswell is usually automatic but missed a crucial field goal and got an extra point blocked. This probably is just a bad day because he has only missed 2 field goal attempts all season.
Ben Roethlisberger in the 1st half
Ben was 7 of 15 for 72 yards and 1 interception in the first half. He wasn’t the only one that was awful in the 1st half. The Steelers have historically played poorly after a bye week. Why is that? Apparently it’s not easy to get back into the swing of things after time off. But back to Ben – it’s been 9 games now and he hasn’t been great the whole season. I think the reality is that he’s old and is not at the level he was at his peak. He can still play great at times, but just not as often as previous years.
When the Steelers scored a touchdown in the 4th quarter to make it 17-15, they decided to go for a 2 point conversion. They had to call a timeout because they weren’t lined up correctly then still had a delay of game penalty. How could this happen? Is it the coaching? The players?