Steelers vs. Colts : Pittsburgh rallies from 17 points down to win the AFC North crown

Dec 27, 2020; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Indianapolis Colts running back Nyheim Hines (21) runs the ball against Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end Cameron Heyward (97) during the first quarter at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Two-thirds of the path into Sunday’s game, it created the impression that the Steelers’ descending twisting was going to last in any event one more week. In any case, exactly when it created the impression that a fourth continuous misfortune was inescapable, the Steelers ascended and made the plays that they had neglected to make lately.

Down all day, every day, three Ben Roethlisberger score passes in under 11 minutes moved the Steelers to a dig out from a deficit, 28-24 win over the Indianapolis Colts. With the success, the Steelers finished a three-game losing streak while securing their first AFC North division title since 2017. The Colts, who came to Pittsburgh with a three-game series of wins, are 10-5 entering the last seven day stretch of the ordinary season. Indianapolis’ season finisher likelihood has plunged from 85% to 76%, as indicated by SportsLine date researcher Stephen Oh.

Two Jonathan Taylor score runs, alongside Phillip Rivers’ 42-yard score pass to Zach Pascal, had given the Colts a 21-7 halftime lead. However, in the wake of falling behind day in and day out, Big Ben and the Steelers’ offense woke up, as Roethlisberger hit Diontae Johnson (39 yards), Eric Ebron (five yards) and JuJu Smith-Schuster (25 yards) to take an important lead with 7:38 to play. Waterways, who tossed a block attempt on the Colts’ resulting ownership, figured out how to get Indianapolis to the Steelers’ 33-yard-line on their last belonging prior to terminating three straight inadequate passes.

Why the Steelers won

Without precedent for longer than a month, the Steelers played integral football. The Steelers’ first score was set up by T.J. Watt’s constrained bungle of Rivers in the main quarter. After the Steelers’ offense began to take off, Pittsburgh’s protection thought of three back to back punts and a block attempt by Mike Hilton. Hilton additionally gathered up Watt’s constrained bobble that set up James Conner’s first-quarter score run.

The Steelers got solid guarded exhibitions by Watt, Hilton, and freshman external linebacker Alex Highsmith, whose weight of Rivers prompted his interference after the Steelers had started to lead the pack late in the final quarter. The Steelers should keep on getting comparative endeavors from Highsmith, who is supplanting harmed starter Bud Dupree in the beginning arrangement.

Pittsburgh would not have dominated this match notwithstanding Roethlisberger and his beneficiaries, who figured out how to concoct significant gets subsequent to attempting to do as such during the initial three weeks of December. Smith-Schuster drove the path with 96 yards and a score on nine gatherings, while Johnson got eight passes that incorporated his 39-yard score that began the Steelers’ rebound.

Why the Colts lost

Everything the Colts did directly in building their day in and day out lead, they neglected to do during the game’s last 20 minutes. After the Steelers began cutting into their lead, the Colts disappeared from Taylor, whose two early scores caused them assemble their noteworthy lead. Rather than running on first down, the Colts began tossing, which prompted dreadfully numerous second and third-and-long circumstances.

The Colts’ under-monitored hostile line — which played without beginning hostile handles Anthony Castonzo and Braden Smith — couldn’t appropriately ensure Rivers down the stretch. The Colts’ protection didn’t improve the situation either, as they couldn’t hinder Roethlisberger and the Steelers’ offense once Pittsburgh began to discover its musicality. The Colts’ auxiliary likewise dedicated four punishments in the second a large portion of that added to the Steelers’ three unanswered scores.

Waterways, tragically, made some NFL history on Sunday, as his score pass to Pascal put him in bind with Dan Marino for fifth unsurpassed in vocation score passes. Waterways has heaved 420 scores during his 17-year profession.

Turning point

The Colts had an all day, every day lead and the entirety of the force after T.J. Carrie separated Big Ben’s pass proposed for James Washington on fourth and objective with 5:01 left in the second from last quarter. Yet, after the Colts’ objective line stop, Pittsburgh’s guard constrained its first of three back to back Indianapolis punts. On their first play after the Colts’ punt, Roethlisberger hurled a 39-yard bomb to Johnson, who clutched the ball while touching off the Steelers’ rebound.

Play of the game

Smith-Schuster, whose logo moving got weighty analysis in the days paving the way to Sunday’s down, gave Pittsburgh the lead for good when he clung to Roethlisberger’s 25-yard hit with 7:38 left. While he is as yet sitting tight for his initial 100-yard round of the period, Smith-Schuster recorded a season-best 96 yards on Sunday. He additionally went over the 90-get mark for the second time in his four-year profession.


“Victory is sweet. It’s been a month or so for us. We’ve been through some adversity, but there’s growth in the midst of that. Hopefully, these negative experiences can galvanize us and strengthen us as we move forward. We’ve got some big battles that lie ahead, but today, we’re humbled and honored to be AFC North champs.” — Steelers mentor Mike Tomlin, who won his eighth division title in his fourteenth season in Pittsburgh

“We missed on some opportunities in the first half. I don’t know if it was that dramatic. It’s a fine line between drinking fine wine and squashing grapes as we say in this business … We didn’t change drastically in terms of our approach … We just acknowledged that we had some opportunities that we didn’t make, and we needed to make more plays in the second half in all three phases. And that’s the mentality that we took the field with.” — Tomlin on what changed with his team after halftime

What’s next

The Steelers will make a trip to Cleveland to confront the 10-5 Browns, who will doubtlessly be in vengeance mode in the wake of getting extinguished by Pittsburgh back in Week 6. The Colts will have the one-win Jaguars, who secured the No. 1 generally pick in the 2021 draft subsequent to tumbling to the Bears on Sunday.

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