Yesterday on Gameday on NFLN, Rich Eisen talked about how when the schedule came out this game was slotted for Sunday Night Football because it was thought to be a great matchup – two top five QB’s hashing it out. Certainly, in light of Peyton Manning’s injuries and Indy’s 0-2 record coming into this game, no one thought it would be anywhere near close. But in typical Steelers fashion, they played down to their opponent – and no one really accounted for Freeney and Mathis making that much of an impact on defense. But they did. They kept Ben on his toes and the backfield in chaos. They were also able to attack the Steelers injury prone O-line. Jonathan Scott, Marcus Gilbert and Doug Legursky all had injuries in last night’s game.
Yes, we need to find an O-line and fast.
Perhaps the woes on the O-line are the root of the stalled running game as well. The Steelers couldn’t run the ball against the Colts to save their lives. In total, there were 67 yards rushing vs 341 yards passing. Rashard had 18 carries for a whopping total of 37 yards. That’s an average of 2.1 yards a carry. Mewelde Moore and Isaac Redman were able to bust through (bust may be strong, but better than scamper!!) at key times and had 5 carries between them for a total of 15 yards. They just happened to be first down type yards and kept the Steelers alive.
The best play of the night, was the first touchdown (and the only offensive TD, I believe) which happened when Ben threw a great pass early in the game to speedster Mike Wallace. Wallace kept his streak of 100 yard games alive by catching 5 passes for a total of 144 yards. His average is 28.8 yards a catch. Not bad. Name an NFL player with a better average. You will be hard pressed to find one. Â Antonio Brown and Heath Miller also had a decent evening. Â AB had 4 receptions for 75 yards and Heath had 5 receptions for 71 yards.
Still, the Steelers don’t want to be a one-trick pony. Next game is in Houston against the Texans who have been giving teams trouble and improving significantly over the last couple years. Â A young team, they will cause the Steelers problems. A one-dimensional offense won’t get it done against good teams (no disrespect to Indy and the Seahawks).
The defense played ok except in plays where a certain safety found himself in the backfield which resulted in an Addai TD. Not that I blame Troy, he made the choice to go after the young QB, Painter, and either way it would have been tough. The Steelers allowed Addai to gain 86 yards on 17 carries. Overall, the Steelers gave up 97 yards from the Colts run game. Â Garcon led the Colts in receiving yards with 82 on 6 receptions last night. It just wasn’t pretty.Not at all.
Harrison once again led the defense with 6 tackles, 1 sack, 1 forced fumble (that said safety picked up and ran back for a TD – Go Troy!). Â But surprisingly, Will Gay also had a high of 5 tackles. Â I still am not impressed, but perhaps there’s hope with our corner situation. While Ike stays with his receivers (most of the time), he’s not known for interceptions, but he does make sure that his guy is covered and pretty much takes him out of the game. It’s the other side I am talking about, but you all knew that.
So, Texans, what do the Steelers need to do to win? And win, they must.