The Pittsburgh Steelers defeated the Colts in Indianapolis, 23-20, on Sunday night in an unexpectedly close game. While the Steelers were favored by nine points entering this game, they needed quarterback Ben Roethlisberger to orchestrate a late drive in order to knock off the Colts, now 0-3. The Colts used some big defensive plays to stay in the game and nearly pulled off the upset.
Read my take on this game after the jump.
This game started off pretty much like the first two of the season did, with the Colts falling behind 10-0 early, and it looked like it would be another laugher. Indy was able to run the ball a bit, though, and the Colts’ defense was able to stack up the Steelers enough to buy some time for big plays, the first of which was delivered in the form of a Robert Mathis fumble returned for a TD by Jamaal Anderson late in the second quarter.
It was like the good old days for the Colts on defense, as Mathis and end-mate Dwight Freeney swarmed Big Ben for much of the night, combining to sack him three times and hit him five. For the first time this season, the Colts showed some control at the line of scrimmage, holding the Steelers to just 67 total yards rushing. On the offensive side, Joseph Addai and Delone Carter combined for 97 yards, with Addai delivering 86 of those on just 17 carries, including a late game-tying touchdown.
Colts quarterback Kerry Collins was under pressure all evening, eventually being knocked out of the game with a possible concussion. It’s not a comfortable feeling at all to have Curtis Painter re-installed as the starting QB, but he did finally show that he can run a two-minute drill, leading the Colts’ final 80-yard drive that culminated in Addai’s TD. If Collins is out for next Monday night’s game, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Colts kick the tires on some of the available options, but it may not be wort the effort.
Even with the stronger showing last night, this season is quickly getting out of hand, and it doesn’t make a lot of sense to pony up big bucks for yet another QB (like Brett Favre). Maybe letting Painter sink or swim while Collins is out will finally show the Colts that CP is not a real NFL quarterback, OR it might shut up the doubters like me.
In any case, there were encouraging signs in the game against the Steelers, but it’s getting “not early anymore” pretty fast.