INDIANAPOLIS – The Pittsburgh Steelers still have the number of the Indianapolis Colts.
On Thursday night, squandered opportunities cost the Colts in trying to upset the Steelers.
The Colts (5-6) will have a much needed mini-bye before playing on Monday Night Football (Dec. 5) against the New York Jets (3-7).
Here are FIVE THINGS LEARNED.
MISSED CHANCES – On Thursday night, the Colts had nine drives on offense. Six of those crossed midfield, but five of them ended without any points. The Colts came into Thursday night No. 1 in the NFL in goal-to-go situations (producing touchdowns at an 89.8 percent clip). They were 1-for-3 in those chances on Thursday.
KILLER B’S – For a third straight year, the playmakers of the Pittsburgh Steelers were game wreckers against the Colts. Ben Roethlisberger (14-of-20 for 221 yards and 3 touchdowns), Le’Veon Bell (23 carries for 120 yards and 1 touchdown) and Antonio Brown (5 catches for 91 yards and 3 touchdowns) gave the Steelers a 21-0 lead. The three touchdowns on Pittsburgh’s first three drives proved to be too much for the Colts.
TOLZIEN GIVES HOPE – Scott Tolzien entered Thursday having thrown one NFL pass in the previous three seasons. He threw 36 against the Steelers and did his part in giving the Colts a chance. Drops, a lack of ground production and inconsistent pass protection limited the offensive output on the scoreboard Thursday.
HOUSTON WATCH – The Colts (5-6) are now a game and a half back of the Houston Texans (6-4) in the AFC South. Houston takes on San Diego this Sunday. The Colts need some major help from the Texans down the stretch. With five weeks remaining this season, the Colts will have to go probably at least 4-1 to have a chance at winning the division.
NEED THIS MINI-BYE – This might just be the most injured game of 2016 for the Colts. They lost five starters (T.Y. Hilton, Vontae Davis, Robert Mathis, Ryan Kelly and Denzelle Good) adding to Andrew Luck and Clayton Geathers already out. The Colts will welcome a 10-day break now before playing on Monday, Dec. 5 against the Jets.
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