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Indianapolis Colts vs. Pittsburgh Steelers Pick & Prediction DEC 27TH 2020

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Indianapolis Colts vs. Pittsburgh Steelers Recap DEC 27TH 2020

Mason Rudolph passed for 191 yards and one touchdown and Chris Boswell's fourth field goal made the difference Sunday as the Pittsburgh Steelers edged the visiting Indianapolis Colts 26-24.

Boswell's deciding kick, a 26-yarder, came with 6:36 left in the fourth quarter. Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri shanked a 43-yarder with 1:11 left.

Rudolph threw a touchdown pass to Vance McDonald, and Minkah Fitzpatrick returned an interception 96 yards for a touchdown for Pittsburgh (4-4), which played without starting running back James Conner (shoulder).

Brian Hoyer, who stepped in when starting quarterback Jacoby Brissett left in the second quarter because of a knee injury, passed for 168 yards, with scoring passes to Jack Doyle, Zach Pascal and Chester Rogers for the Colts (5-3), who played without top receiver T.Y. Hilton (calf).

The teams traded field goals in the first quarter -- Vinatieri's 25-yarder for a 3-0 Indianapolis lead after Kenny Moore intercepted Rudolph; and Boswell's tying 21-yarder.

Brissett left the game with 12:41 left in the second quarter. On an incomplete pass play, Pittsburgh's Cam Heyward knocked Indianapolis lineman Quenton Nelson into the quarterback. Hoyer completed that drive with a 6-yard touchdown pass to Doyle for a 10-3 Colts' lead.

Fitzpatrick stepped in front of a Hoyer pass toward the end zone for Doyle and returned the pick 96 yards for a tying touchdown with 2:21 left in the half.

Hoyer threw a 14-yard scoring pass to Zach Pascal. Heyward blocked Vinatieri's extra point kick, leaving it 16-10.

The Steelers got a 51-yard field goal by Boswell as the first half expired to cut it to 16-13.

In the third quarter, Rudolph led an 11-play, 54-yard drive that concluded with his 7-yard touchdown pass to McDonald for a 20-16 lead.

Justin Houston sacked Rudolph in the end zone and knocked the ball loose. Alejandro Villanueva recovered it for the Steelers, giving Indianapolis a safety and making it 20-18.

The Colts turned the ball over on the free kick, leading to Boswell's 33-yard field goal on the first play of the fourth quarter, upping the lead to 23-18.

Hoyer hit Rogers for a 4-yard score at 8:43 of the third for a 24-23 lead. A two-point conversation pass failed.

Brissett was 4-of-5 passing for 59 yards before leaving.

--Field Level Media

The Pittsburgh Steelers and Indianapolis Colts have been moving in opposite directions lately yet will have plenty in common Sunday when they meet at Pittsburgh's Heinz Field.

The 11-3 Steelers have clinched a spot in the playoffs, due to their 11-0 start, but have lost three in a row and need one more victory to secure the AFC North title.


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The 10-4 Colts have won three consecutive and seven of their past nine, with their own spot in the playoffs pending a victory, coupled with a loss by Miami or Baltimore this weekend.

Pittsburgh was the last undefeated team by several weeks, but the three-game losing streak, all by fewer than 20 points, has brought with it a good deal of unrest.

Fingers have been pointing toward the offense, and specifically quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

Roethlisberger has heard the questions and the criticisms. He doesn't or can't throw downfield anymore; he gets rid of the ball too quickly; he doesn't see open receivers; at 38 he's nearing the end. TO that, he offered a succinct response.

"I don't blame them," he said. "When you play like poo, you should get talked about like that. I need to play better. If I'm not giving them a reason to talk good, then I'm giving them a reason to talk badly. That's all on me. I need to play better."

Roethlisberger gave barely a glancing measure of blame at the rest of the offense.

"We all need to perform better, and it starts with me," he said. "I have to complete passes, if that's the call. If it's run, then we have to get hats on hats, if you will. Once again ... if I had an answer to it, we wouldn't be having these issues. We can't fix anything until we get out there on Sunday, really."


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Roethlisberger revealed that the Steelers had a players meeting Wednesday that was heavy on the offensive side but insisted "it had nothing to do with the losses. It had everything to do with where we are, and where we're going. It wasn't a players-only panic meeting."

Defensive tackle Cam Heyward agreed that Pittsburgh isn't panicking.

"It's a three-game losing streak, but that's coming off an 11-game winning streak," Heyward said. "I'm looking forward to getting back on this horse."

The game matches Roethlisberger and a fellow veteran in Indianapolis quarterback Philip Rivers.

"The similarities are they've both been incredibly durable. They've both been incredibly productive," Colts coach Frank Reich said. "They've been incredibly effective in the pocket."

That's just one story line.

"These are the games you dream about -- going to Pittsburgh in December with something on the line," Rivers said.

It doesn't matter to Indianapolis what each team has done lately.


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"When you go on the road this late in the season and in this meaningful of a game, it's going to take a complete team effort," Reich said.

Steelers linebacker Vince Williams was reinstated from the Reserve/COVID-19 list Wednesday, which could give a boost to a position that has been in flux in terms of personnel availability.

In addition, running back James Conner (quadriceps) practiced Wednesday after missing a game. However, tight end Eric Ebron (back), defensive end Stephon Tuitt (back) and linebackers Marcus Allen (stinger), Ulysees Gilbert III (ankle), and Ola Adeniyi (shoulder) didn't practice.

For Indianapolis, defensive tackle DeForest Buckner (ankle) didn't practice Wednesday, but that was considered precautionary after he returned from that injury last weekend.

Also sitting out practice were tackle Anthony Castonzo (knee) and receiver Marcus Johnson (quadriceps), along with Rivers, who simply is following his regular routine, Reich said.

--Field Level Media

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Indianapolis Colts

Pittsburgh Steelers

Player Position Lineup
Denico Autry primary: Defensive End Starter
Jack Doyle primary: Tight End Starter
Mark Glowinski primary: Right Guard Starter
T.Y. Hilton primary: Wide Receiver Starter
Justin Houston primary: Defensive End Starter
Ryan Kelly primary: Center Starter
Darius Leonard primary: Weak Linebacker Starter
Kenny Moore II primary: Cornerback Starter
Quenton Nelson primary: Left Guard Starter
Zach Pascal primary: Wide Receiver Starter
Grover Stewart primary: Nose Tackle Starter
Anthony Walker primary: Middle Linebacker Starter
Khari Willis primary: Strong Safety Starter
Rock Ya-Sin primary: Cornerback Starter
DeForest Buckner primary: Defensive Tackle Starter
Philip Rivers primary: Quarterback Starter
Xavier Rhodes primary: Cornerback Starter
Michael Pittman Jr. primary: Wide Receiver Starter
Jonathan Taylor primary: Runningback Starter
Julian Blackmon primary: Free Safety Starter
Chaz Green primary: Left Tackle Starter
Will Holden primary: Right Tackle Starter
Matthew Adams primary: Linebacker Substitution
Mo Alie-Cox primary: Tight End Substitution
Ben Banogu primary: Defensive End Substitution
Jacoby Brissett primary: Quarterback Substitution
Ashton Dulin primary: Wide Receiver Substitution
Jake Eldrenkamp primary: Guard Substitution
Zaire Franklin primary: Linebacker Substitution
Nyheim Hines primary: Runningback Substitution
Tyquan Lewis primary: Defensive Tackle Substitution
Al-Quadin Muhammad primary: Defensive End Substitution
George Odum primary: Safety Substitution
Bobby Okereke primary: Linebacker Substitution
Luke Rhodes primary: Long Snapper Substitution
Rigoberto Sanchez primary: Punter Substitution
E.J. Speed primary: Linebacker Substitution
Kemoko Turay primary: Defensive End Substitution
Jordan Wilkins primary: Runningback Substitution
T.J. Carrie primary: Cornerback Substitution
Trey Burton primary: Tight End Substitution
Danny Pinter primary: Guard Substitution
Rodrigo Blankenship primary: Kicker Substitution
DeMichael Harris primary: Wide Receiver Substitution
Taylor Stallworth primary: Defensive Tackle Substitution
Tavon Wilson primary: Safety Substitution
Tremon Smith primary: Cornerback Substitution
J'Marcus Webb primary: Offensive Tackle Substitution
Anthony Castonzo primary: Offensive Tackle Not active
Marcus Johnson primary: Wide Receiver Not active
Jacob Eason primary: Quarterback Not active
Isaiah Rodgers primary: Cornerback Not active
Dezmon Patmon primary: Wide Receiver Not active
Player Position Lineup
Tyson Alualu primary: Nose Tackle Starter
David DeCastro primary: Right Guard Starter
Minkah Fitzpatrick primary: Free Safety Starter
Joe Haden primary: Left Cornerback Starter
Cameron Heyward primary: Defensive Tackle Starter
Diontae Johnson primary: Wide Receiver Starter
Vance McDonald primary: Tight End Starter
Steven Nelson primary: Right Cornerback Starter
Chukwuma Okorafor primary: Right Tackle Starter
Maurkice Pouncey primary: Center Starter
Ben Roethlisberger primary: Quarterback Starter
Jaylen Samuels primary: Runningback Starter
JuJu Smith-Schuster primary: Wide Receiver Starter
Cameron Sutton primary: Strong Safety Starter
Stephon Tuitt primary: Defensive End Starter
Alejandro Villanueva primary: Left Tackle Starter
T.J. Watt primary: Left Outside Linebacker Starter
Vince Williams primary: Right Inside Linebacker Starter
Chase Claypool primary: Wide Receiver Starter
Alex Highsmith primary: Right Outside Linebacker Starter
Kevin Dotson primary: Left Guard Starter
Avery Williamson primary: Left Inside Linebacker Starter
Kameron Canaday primary: Long Snapper Substitution
James Conner primary: Runningback Substitution
Terrell Edmunds primary: Safety Substitution
J.C. Hassenauer primary: Center Substitution
Mike Hilton primary: Cornerback Substitution
Justin Layne primary: Cornerback Substitution
Benny Snell Jr. primary: Runningback Substitution
James Washington primary: Wide Receiver Substitution
Henry Mondeaux primary: Defensive Tackle Substitution
Jordan Dangerfield primary: Safety Substitution
Derek Watt primary: Fullback Substitution
Chris Wormley primary: Nose Tackle Substitution
Eric Ebron primary: Tight End Substitution
Carlos Davis primary: Defensive Tackle Substitution
James Pierre primary: Cornerback Substitution
Ray-Ray McCloud primary: Wide Receiver Substitution
Sean Davis primary: Safety Substitution
Jayrone Elliott primary: Linebacker Substitution
Jerald Hawkins primary: Offensive Tackle Substitution
Jordan Berry primary: Punter Substitution
Tegray Scales primary: Linebacker Substitution
Matthew Wright primary: Kicker Substitution
Cassius Marsh Sr. primary: Defensive End Substitution
Olasunkanmi Adeniyi primary: Linebacker Not active
Marcus Allen primary: Linebacker Not active
Chris Boswell primary: Kicker Not active
Isaiah Buggs primary: Defensive End Not active
Mason Rudolph primary: Quarterback Did not play
Anthony McFarland Jr. primary: Runningback Not active
Antoine Brooks Jr. primary: Defensive Back Did not play
Joshua Dobbs primary: Quarterback Not active
Danny Isidora primary: Offensive Linesman Did not play

Indianapolis Colts

Pittsburgh Steelers

  • Match Start
  • Period 1
  • MIN 9
    • scoring-play
    • Touchdown
    • Rush
    • 6 Yards
    • Conv Kicker: Rodrigo Blankenship
    • Rusher: Jonathan Taylor
  • Period 2
  • MIN 4
    • scoring-play
    • Touchdown
    • Pass
    • 42 Yards
    • Pass Receiver: Zach Pascal
    • Conv Kicker: Rodrigo Blankenship
    • Passer: Philip Rivers
  • MIN 6
    • scoring-play
    • Touchdown
    • Rush
    • 1 Yards
    • Rusher: Jonathan Taylor
    • Conv Kicker: Rodrigo Blankenship
  • MIN 13
    • scoring-play
    • Touchdown
    • Rush
    • 1 Yards
    • Rusher: James Conner
    • Conv Kicker: Matthew Wright
  • Period 3
  • MIN 3
    • scoring-play
    • Touchdown
    • Pass
    • 39 Yards
    • Pass Receiver: Diontae Johnson
    • Conv Kicker: Matthew Wright
    • Passer: Ben Roethlisberger
  • MIN 9
    • scoring-play
    • Field Goal
    • 28 Yards
    • FG Kicker: Rodrigo Blankenship
  • Period 4
  • MIN 7
    • scoring-play
    • Touchdown
    • Pass
    • 25 Yards
    • Pass Receiver: JuJu Smith-Schuster
    • Conv Kicker: Matthew Wright
    • Passer: Ben Roethlisberger
  • MIN 14
    • scoring-play
    • Touchdown
    • Pass
    • 5 Yards
    • Passer: Ben Roethlisberger
    • Pass Receiver: Eric Ebron
    • Conv Kicker: Matthew Wright
  • Match End

GAMES

Last 10

W 60% L 40%
6 4
  • @Buffalo L 24 - 27
  • Jacksonville W 14 - 28
  • @Pittsburgh L 24 - 28
  • Houston W 20 - 27
  • @Las Vegas W 44 - 27
  • @Houston W 26 - 20
  • Tennessee L 45 - 26
  • Green Bay W 31 - 34
  • @Tennessee W 34 - 17
  • Baltimore L 24 - 10
W 50% L 50%
5 5
  • Cleveland L 48 - 37
  • @Cleveland L 22 - 24
  • Indianapolis W 24 - 28
  • @Cincinnati L 17 - 27
  • @Buffalo L 15 - 26
  • Washington L 23 - 17
  • Baltimore W 14 - 19
  • @Jacksonville W 27 - 3
  • Cincinnati W 10 - 36
  • @Dallas W 24 - 19

Last Meetings

  • Colts @ Steelers 24-28
  • Colts @ Steelers 24-26
  • Steelers @ Colts 20-17
  • Colts @ Steelers 19-15
  • Steelers @ Colts 28-7
  • Colts @ Steelers 10-45
  • Colts @ Steelers 34-51
  • Colts @ Steelers 24-26
  • Steelers @ Colts 23-20
  • Colts @ Steelers 24-20

American Football Conference

AFC EastWL DPRCGBHOMEAWAYPAST L10
Buffalo Bills133 0.8130.00.00.0 7-16-29-0-1
Miami Dolphins106 0.6253.00.00.0 5-35-37-0-3
New England Patriots79 0.4386.00.00.0 5-32-65-0-5
New York Jets214 0.12511.00.00.0 1-71-72-0-8
AFC NorthWL DPRCGBHOMEAWAYPAST L10
Pittsburgh Steelers124 0.7500.00.00.0 7-15-36-0-4
Baltimore Ravens115 0.6881.00.00.0 5-36-26-0-4
Cleveland Browns115 0.6881.00.00.0 6-25-37-0-3
Cincinnati Bengals411 1.2677.50.00.0 3-51-63-1-7
AFC SouthWL DPRCGBHOMEAWAYPAST L10
Indianapolis Colts115 0.6880.00.00.0 6-25-37-0-3
Tennessee Titans115 0.6880.00.00.0 5-36-26-0-4
Houston Texans412 0.2507.00.00.0 2-62-63-0-7
Jacksonville Jaguars115 0.06310.00.00.0 1-70-81-0-10
AFC WestWL DPRCGBHOMEAWAYPAST L10
Kansas City Chiefs142 0.8750.00.00.0 6-28-09-0-1
Las Vegas Raiders88 0.5006.00.00.0 2-66-25-0-5
Los Angeles Chargers79 0.4387.00.00.0 4-43-55-0-5
Denver Broncos511 0.3139.00.00.0 2-63-53-0-7

National Football Conference

NFC EastWL DPRCGBHOMEAWAYPAST L10
Washington Football Team79 0.4380.00.00.0 3-54-46-0-4
Dallas Cowboys610 0.3751.00.00.0 4-42-64-0-6
New York Giants610 0.3751.00.00.0 3-53-55-0-5
Philadelphia Eagles411 1.2672.50.00.0 3-41-73-1-7
NFC NorthWL DPRCGBHOMEAWAYPAST L10
Green Bay Packers133 0.8130.00.00.0 7-16-28-0-2
Chicago Bears88 0.5005.00.00.0 3-55-33-0-7
Minnesota Vikings79 0.4386.00.00.0 3-54-46-0-4
Detroit Lions511 0.3138.00.00.0 1-74-42-0-8
NFC SouthWL DPRCGBHOMEAWAYPAST L10
New Orleans Saints124 0.7500.00.00.0 6-26-28-0-2
Tampa Bay Buccaneers115 0.6881.00.00.0 5-36-27-0-3
Carolina Panthers511 0.3137.00.00.0 2-63-52-0-8
Atlanta Falcons412 0.2508.00.00.0 2-62-63-0-7
NFC WestWL DPRCGBHOMEAWAYPAST L10
Seattle Seahawks124 0.7500.00.00.0 7-15-37-0-3
Los Angeles Rams106 0.6252.00.00.0 6-24-46-0-4
Arizona Cardinals88 0.5004.00.00.0 4-44-44-0-6
San Francisco 49ers610 0.3756.00.00.0 1-75-33-0-7

Last Injuries