Welcome to the Pittsburgh Steelers at Indianapolis Colts Preview! This is your one-stop shop for everything you need to know about the Steelers and their upcoming opponent! Mike Drakulich of Pittsburgh SportsNation brings you inside the huddle for both teams, provides a game outlook, score prediction, individual stats, team stats, Fantasy Football impact, the most up-to-date injury report, and even the weather at kickoff! The only thing you’re missing is a game uniform!
A look at the Pittsburgh Steelers!
Overall Record: 5-5
Head Coach: Mike Tomlin (10th Season with Steelers)
Overall Regular Season Record: 97-57 (.630)
Playoff Record: 6-5 (Qualified for playoffs six times)
Last Week: Pittsburgh 24 Cleveland 9
Breakdown of the Steelers: Ben Roethlisberger is hoping to get the high powered Steelers offense up and running again on Thanksgiving night. After a no touchdown effort in windy conditions last week against the Browns, Roethlisberger should be able to flourish in dome conditions at Lucas Oil Stadium.
Injuries to Darrius Heyward-Bey and Markus Wheaton haven’t helped. Sammie Coates has been the team’s deep threat but has been regulated to special teams the past few games do to broken fingers. Coates is hoping to get reintegrated back into the rotation this week.
Antonio Brown has been carrying the load with all of the injuries piling up. For the year, Brown has 77 catches for 907 yards and seven scores. Eli Rogers has been excellent in the slot and is 3rd on the team with 20 receptions. Cobi Hamilton has held his own in getting playing time with Heyward-Bey and Wheaton out.
Pittsburgh is hoping to tight end Ladarius Green starts to live up to his billing after being signed to a big contract in the offseason. Green did not catch a pass last week. Jesse James will be involved in short yardage and Red Zone situations, as he has all season.
Le’Veon Bell will have to shoulder much of the load in the ground game, as he has the past few games with De’Angelo Williams out. Bell is having a superb season with 579 yards rushing to go with 53 catches for another 415 yards. Bell has three touchdowns on the year.
The defense was swarming and attacking all game against Cleveland. Pittsburgh had eight sacks on the day and held the Browns to just 209 yards. With Scott Tolzien in for the Colts and a bad offensive line in front of him, expect to see the Steelers coming after Tolzien all game and making him as uncomfortable as possible in his first start since 2013.
A look at the Indianapolis Colts!
Overall Record: 5-5
Head Coach: Chuck Pagano (5th Season with Colts)
Overall Regular Season Record: 46-28 (.621)
Playoff Record: 3-3 (Qualified for playoffs three times)
Last Week: Indianapolis 24 Tennessee 17
Breakdown of the Colts: Scott Tolzien will step in for the injured Andrew Luck, who suffered a concussion is last weeks game against the Titans. Tolzien hadn’t taken a relevant snap in the NFL since 2013 when he was a back-up to Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay. Tolzien may be running for his life often, as the Colts offensive line has given up 35 sacks on the season.
The Colts have two excellent receivers in T.Y. Hilton and Donte Moncrief. Phillip Dorsett is also a threat but hasn’t put up the numbers that were expected of him. Jack Doyle and Dwayne Allen present dual threats out of the tight end position. Doyle is 2nd on the team with 37 receptions and has hauled in four touchdowns.
Frank Gore isn’t revered as one of the NFL’s premier backs, but all he does is produce year in and year out. Gore has 642 yards rushing with four touchdowns to go along with 28 catches and 201 yards receiving. Three of those receptions have gone for scores.
Defensively, the Colts are a mess in all areas. They were repeatedly gashed in the run game early this season and had watched the secondary get burned time and time again over the past month.
Game Preview: The Steelers couldn’t ask for a better opportunity to get the season turned around and headed in a positive direction. Andrew Luck is out, and they face a back-up who hasn’t completed a pass since 2013. This one will be played inside a dome, so the Steeler offense should be able to have its way with a horrible Colts defensive unit.
The defense needs to attack Scott Tolzien the same way they were unleashed last week in Cleveland. Cody Kessler was knocked out of the game, and Josh McCown was nearly decapitated by a Stephon Tuitt hit.
Colts head coach Chuck Pagano has faith in his back-up.
“We’ve got a guy that comes to work every single day and prepares like a starter ever since he’s been in this building,” Indianapolis coach Chuck Pagano said. “He understands and knows this offense, and if that’s the case, he’ll go out and play winning football.”
Pittsburgh knows it much improve its play inside the Red Zone, where it failed to convert several times against Cleveland.
“We have to clean some things up from a detail standpoint when we get into the red zone,” running back LeVeon Bell said. “We got away with it (against Cleveland) but other games we may not. We’ll watch the film and see what we have to clean up. The details have to be better.”
Out of all the three Thanksgiving games, this may be the one where the game gets out of hand early. The Steelers have been notorious for laying eggs against inferior opponents in the Tomlin Era, so there is always the possibility Pittsburgh keeps this contest closer than it should be. This game is in Prime Time, however, and I expect the Steelers offense to put up some big numbers and set themselves up for the stretch run in capturing the AFC North Division Title.
Prediction: Steelers 34 Colts 13
Fantasy Football Impact
Start: QB Ben Roethlisberger, WR Antonio Brown, RB Le’Veon Bell
Sit: TE Ladarius Green
Sleeper: WR Eli Rogers
Pittsburgh’s offense should be able to produce against a bad Colts defense. Until Ladarius Green wakes up, it’s not safe to place him in your starting line-up. There are plenty of better options out there.
Start: RB Frank Gore, WR T.Y. Hilton, WR Donte Moncrief
Sit: Everyone Else
Sleeper: TE Jack Doyle
It’s hard to sit your trusted starters but do so with caution with Scott Tolzien in at quarterback. Hilton and Moncrief may get some nice numbers as they should be playing from behind all game.
NFL Week 12
Pittsburgh Steelers (5-5) at Indianapolis Colts (5-5)
Venue: Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, IN.
Game-time: Thanksgiving, November 24th, 8:30 pm
TV: NBC | Announcers: Mike Tirico (play-by-play) Cris Collinsworth (analyst) | Michele Tafoya (sideline)
Local Radio: Pittsburgh- 102.5 WDVE-FM | Announcers: Bill Hillgrove (play-by-play) Tunch Ilkin (analyst) | Craig Wolfley (sideline)
National Radio: Westwood One | Announcers: Kevin Kugler (play-by-play) Tony Boselli (analyst) | Laura Okmin (sideline)
Weather at Kickoff: Dome
Vegas Line: Pittsburgh -8
- Series History: Series began in 1957
- The Steelers are 16-6 in the overall Regular Season series against the Colts.
- Steelers are 5-4 against the Colts on the road.
- Streak: Steelers won previous three meetings.
- Last Regular Season Meeting: Dec. 6, 2015, in Pittsburgh- Pittsburgh 45 Indianapolis 10
- Steelers are 5-0 in the Post-Season vs. the Colts.
- Last Post-Season Meeting: Jan. 15, 2006, in Indianapolis- Pittsburgh 21 Indianapolis 18 – AFC Divisional
- Indianapolis P Pat McAfee is from Plum, Pa.
- Indianapolis WR Devin Street played collegiately at the University of Pittsburgh.
- Ben Roethlisberger with a win, would improve to 4-2 vs. Indianapolis in the regular season and to 2-1 on the road at the Colts.
- Roethlisberger is three touchdown passes from reaching 295 in his NFL career, and eight from tying John Elway for the ninth most in NFL history (300).
- Antonio Brown is 93 receiving yards from joining Hines Ward (2001-04) as only the second player in franchise history to register 1,000 receiving yards in four consecutive years.
- Brown with 125 receptions in 2016, would become the first player in NFL history to record three consecutive seasons of 125 catches or more.
- Le’Veon Bell‘s needs six scrimmage yards to record 1,000 in 2016 to mark his third season with at least 1,000.
- James Harrison is 2.5 sacks from 80.0 in his career with the Steelers.
QB- Ben Roethlisberger (2,524 yards passing | 20 TD passes | 7 interceptions | 14 sacks)
RB- Le’Veon Bell (579 yards rushing | two rushing TD’s | 53 receptions | 415 yards receiving | one receiving TD’s)
WR- Antonio Brown (77 receptions | 907 receiving yards | seven receiving TD’s)
WR- Eli Rogers (27 receptions | 300 receiving yards | two receiving TD’s)
WR- Sammie Coates (20 receptions | 425 receiving yards | two receiving TD’s)
WR- Cobi Hamilton (8 receptions | 122 receiving yards | one receiving TD’s)
TE- Jesse James (29 receptions | 236 receiving yards | three receiving TD’s)
TE- Ladarius Green (3 receptions | 30 receiving yards | 0 receiving TD’s)
K- Chris Boswell (Extra Point: 22-22 | FG: 12-16 | 0-19: 0-0 | 20-29: 2-2 | 30-39: 4-5 | 40-49: 6-7 | 50+: 0-2 | Long: 49
QB- Andrew Luck (2,827 yards passing | 19 TD passes | eight interceptions | 35 sacks)
QB- Scott Tolzien (0 yards passing | 0 TD passes | 0 interceptions | 0 sacks)
RB- Frank Gore (642 yards rushing | four rushing TD’s | 28 receptions | 201 yards receiving | three receiving TD’s)
WR- T.Y. Hilton (57 receptions | 888 receiving yards | five receiving TD’s)
WR- Phillip Dorsett (21 receptions | 364 receiving yards | one receiving TD’s)
WR- Donte Moncrief (18 receptions | 206 receiving yards | four receiving TD’s)
TE- Jack Doyle (37 receptions | 386 receiving yards | four receiving TD’s)
TE- Dwayne Allen (19 receptions | 207 receiving yards | two receiving TD’s)
K- Adam Vinatieri (Extra Point: 27-27 | FG: 20-21 | 0-19: 0-0 | 20-29: 3-3| 30-39: 5-5 | 40-49: 7-8 | 50+: 5-5 | Long: 54
Team Rankings through Week 12
Total Offense: Steelers average 364.4 YPG | Colts average 356.6 YPG
Rushing: Steelers average 96.2 YPG | Colts average 95.8 YPG
Passing: Steelers average 268.2 YPG | Colts average 260.8 YPG
Scoring: Steelers average 23.8 PPG | Colts average 26.3 PPG
Total Defense: Steelers allow 363.6 YPG | Colts allow 397.6 YPG
Rushing: Steelers allow 95.7 YPG | Colts allow 113.1 YPG
Passing: Steelers allow 267.9 YPG | Colts allow 209.6 YPG
Scoring: Steelers allow 21.5 PPG | Colts allow 27.3 PPG
Injury Report (11/22/2016)
Questionable: S Jordan Dangerfield (Groin)
Out: QB Andrew Luck (Concussion)
Pittsburgh Steelers 2016 Schedule
Friday, Aug. 12 DETROIT L, 30-17
Thursday, Aug. 18 PHILADELPHIA L, 17-0
Friday, Aug. 26 @ New Orleans W, 27-14
Thursday, Sept. 1 @ Carolina L, 18-6
Regular Season (5-5)
Monday, Sept. 12 @ Washington W, 38-16
Sunday, Sept. 18 CINCINNATI W, 24-16
Sunday, Sept. 25 @ Philadelphia L, 34-3
Sunday, Oct. 2 KANSAS CITY W, 43-14
Sunday, Oct. 9 NEW YORK JETS* W, 31-13
Sunday, Oct. 16 @ Miami* 1 p.m. L, 30-15
Sunday, Oct. 23 NEW ENGLAND* L, 16-27
Sunday, Oct. 30 BYE WEEK
Sunday, Nov. 6 @ Baltimore* L, 14-21
Sunday, Nov. 13 DALLAS* L, 30-35
Sunday, Nov. 20 @ Cleveland* W, 24-9
Thursday, Nov. 24 @ Indianapolis 8:30 p.m. (NBC)
Sunday, Dec. 4 NEW YORK GIANTS* 4:25 p.m. (FOX)
Sunday, Dec. 11 @ Buffalo* 1 p.m. (CBS)
Sunday, Dec. 18 @ Cincinnati* 8:30 p.m. (NBC)
Sunday, Dec. 25 BALTIMORE 4:30 p.m. (NFL Network)
Sunday, Jan. 1 CLEVELAND* 1 p.m. (CBS)
Sat.-Sun., Jan. 7-8 Wild Card Weekend
Sat.-Sun., Jan. 14-15 Divisional Playoff Games
Sunday, Jan. 22 Conference Championships
Sunday, Jan. 29 Pro Bowl (Orlando, Fla.)
Sunday, Feb. 5 Super Bowl LI (Houston, Texas)