INDIANAPOLIS – Behind a career-day from Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, the Colts did not have the ammo to complete a historic comeback.
The 51-34 defeat for the Colts was a stark contrast from the blueprint they executed the week prior against the Bengals.
The Colts (5-3) will now travel to New York for a Monday night meeting with the Giants (3-4).
Here are FIVE THINGS LEARNED.
ABSENT PASS RUSH– The collective pass rush from the Colts defense that has piled up 20 sacks the last few weeks, couldn’t muster that same disruptive nature on Sunday. The Colts hit Roethlisberger just once in 49 pass attempts and the Steelers quarterback used that ample time to turn in a career afternoon.
THIRD DOWN STRUGGLES – Coming into Sunday, the Colts had allowed a staggering four third-down conversions in their last 41 attempts. It was a number that is rarely seen in the NFL. On Sunday though, Steelers were able to convert 8-of-13 third-down attempts and staying ahead of schedule was key in Pittsburgh chewing up nearly 40 minutes of possession.
INJURIES MOUNTING – The injury report for the Colts will be monitored closely this week after Vontae Davis (knee) and Erik Walden (hip) both left Sunday’s game and did not return. Neither Reggie Wayne nor Trent Richardson saw any game action Sunday. That’s four key starters dealing with injuries as the Colts have an extra day of rest this week.
MONCRIEF EMERGES – Rookie Donte Moncrief was certainly a bright spot on Sunday. Moncrief had seven catches for 113 yards and his first NFL touchdown highlighted the best game of his young career. The 21-year old receiver showed a little bit of everything on Sunday, from his elite open field speed, to having the necessary size to make a difficult touchdown grab.
PROTECTING LUCK – Luck was sacked just twice in 45 pass attempts but took too many hits against the Steelers. At times, the Colts had to keep Dwayne Allen and Ahmad Bradshaw in for blocking purposes, thus negating two of the team’s receiving weapons.
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