PITTSBURGH – The Colts three-game winning streak ended on Sunday night in a game where they were beat in all three phases.
After taking a 10-6 lead in the second quarter, the Colts (6-6) fell victim to 39 unanswered points by the Steelers (6-6).
The Colts (6-6) will head to Jacksonville (4-8) in Week 14 for a critical divisional matchup to start the final quarter of the season.
Here are FIVE THINGS LEARNED.
MISSED OPPORTUNITES EARLY – A pair of early turnovers created by the Colts led to just three points, something they would greatly regret later. The Colts had five six drives reach the red zone on Sunday night but came away with just 10 total points. On the road, against such an explosive offense, the Colts had to take advantage of those early chances.
LACK OF PRESSURE – For the second straight year, the Colts were unable to create any pressure on Ben Roethlisberger. The Colts did not sack or hit Big Ben in 39 pass attempts. In his last two meetings with the Colts, Big Ben has completed 73 percent of his passes for 886 yards, 10 touchdowns and zero interceptions (no sacks and no hits).
HASSELBECK’S INJURY WATCH – Suffering neck and shoulder injuries on Sunday night, Matt Hasselbeck will be the injury to watch in the coming week. Hasselbeck played through the injuries on Sunday before the Colts pulled their current starting quarterback in the fourth quarter. Charlie Whitehurst played the final two series (4-of-8 for 51 yards, sacked three times). Hasselbeck received X-rays after the game and isn’t sure of his availability for Week 14.
NO HILTON, MONCRIEF – T.Y. Hilton and Donte Moncrief combined for six targets and just four catches on Sunday night. Moncrief, coming off a 100-yard game in the week prior, didn’t see a ball come his way until late in the fourth quarter. There’s no question the pressure on the quarterback Sunday night kept the Colts from finding their biggest playmakers.
NO MARGIN FOR ERROR – With Houston (6-6) and Indianapolis (6-6) both losing road game on Sunday, there was no blood drawn in the AFC South (the Colts still hold the early tiebreaker). While the Colts will head to Jacksonville in Week 14, Houston will host New England on Sunday Night Football. No matter what happens next week, the Week 15 meeting between the Colts/Texans is likely going to decide who captures the AFC South in 2015.
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