The Indianapolis Colts came up short in Pittsburgh against the Steelers on Sunday afternoon. The Colts were ravaged by injuries both before and during the game. The list of players that would not start consisted of defensive backs Pierre Desir and Quincy Wilson and star receiver TY Hilton. As the game progressed the Colts lost Center Ryan Kelly and starting quarterback Jacoby Brissett.
Brissett and the Colts showed some positives things before the injury. After an interception by defensive back Kenny Moore, the Colts were able to manage a field goal. Following a Pittsburgh field goal, the Colts continued to look good driving down the field until on the sixth play of the drive Brissett went down with an apparent knee injury that would take him out of the game. Into the game came veteran backup Brian Hoyer who would go on to throw a touchdown pass to tight end Jack Doyle from the 11-yard line.
The next drive for Pittsburgh was not fruitful as the Steelers would turn the ball over on downs. With a chance to bring the lead to double digits Hoyer drove down to the 20-yard line. Then, on a pass intended for Jack Doyle in the endzone corner, Minkah Fitzpatrick intercepted the ball and returned it the length of the field for a touchdown. The Colts would answer back in six plays with a touchdown connection to receiver Zach Pascal making the score 16-10.
Pittsburgh got handed a field goal to finish the half due to a 15-yard penalty for unnecessary roughness on the Colts’ defense that would put them in field goal range. Kicker Chris Boswell closed out the half with a 51-yard field goal to bring the Steelers within 3 points.
Taking the opening drive the Colts did exactly what they couldn’t do out of the locker room by fumbling the ball at midfield. The fumble would lead to a 54-yard drive resulting in a Vance McDonald touchdown.
The Colts ensuing drive would end in a punt that pinned the Steelers at their 1-yard line. After three plays the defense would have a strip-sack that was recovered by Pittsburgh in the endzone giving the Colts two points on safety.
Now with the score at 20-18 in the Steelers favor the Colts had a chance to take the lead back. On the punt style kickoff, a miscommunication on the return team led to a fumbled ball at the Indianapolis 18 yard line by receiver Chester Rodgers.
The Colts’ defense would hold strong, only allowing a field goal to give the Steelers a 5-point lead. A Colts punt followed by a Steelers fumble would give Indy the ball at the 30-yard line. Indy capitalized on this and Hoyer would throw his third touchdown pass of the game to Rodgers but the two-point conversion attempt would be no good making the score 24-23 Colts. Pittsburgh led a field goal-scoring drive consisting of 6 plays to give them the final lead of the game.
Both teams would go on the punt, and then the Colts would call upon kicker Adam Vinatieri to kick his second game winner in a row. However, a bad snap and lazy hold would leave Vinni to have to kick the laces of the ball dead on resulting in a hard shank to the left virtually ending the game and the Colts win streak.
The Colts fought through the adversity of injuries but came up short in the end by a score of 26-24. Brian Hoyer came in and threw 3 touchdowns and 1 interception on 17-26 passing. Running back Marlon Mack would run for 89 yards on 21 carries. The biggest positive for the Colts was Pascal who had a touchdown and 76 yards on only 5 catches.
Indy will have two home games coming up. The first will be against the 1-7 Miami Dolphins and then AFC South rival Jacksonville Jaguars. Indy is the favorite in both of those games and they are important as Indy will have to travel to Houston the following week to face the division-leading Texans.