The Pittsburgh Steelers travel to face the Indianapolis Colts for Monday Night Football from Lucas Oil Stadium. Both teams have underperformed and hope to somehow secure a playoff position with seven weeks left in the season.
Steelers Seek Eighth Straight Win vs. Colts
The Kenny Pickett era resumes as Pittsburgh brings its 3-7 record to Indianapolis, hoping to move into a tie for third in the AFC North with the Cleveland Browns with a win. The Steelers had their highest scoring output of the season in their 37-30 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals last week and have been slowly improving on offense with the rookie Pickett at the helm. He has made progress in each start but needs to be more consistent in closing out games.
Pittsburgh has historically relied on its defense and putting pressure on the quarterback. They had been without last year’s Defensive Player of the Year, T.J. Watt for eight straight games until he made his return against Cincinnati last week.
The Steelers have performed well against the run, where they rank seventh in the league. However, on offense, they have struggled and are ranked 28th overall in scoring, with 17 points per game.
Pickett had a career-high 265 yards against the Bengals and had no interceptions for the second straight game. However, the Steelers again couldn’t generate much offense in the second half.
They gained a total of 52 yards on their first six possessions after halftime and were outscored by Cincinnati 20-10 after leading by three points at the break. Pittsburgh is looking for its first win on the road since beating the Bengals 23-20 in the season opener.
Colts Have Playoff Aspirations
Indianapolis is 4-6-1 on the season and second in the AFC South. They’re currently tenth in the AFC playoff race, just behind the Los Angeles Chargers and New England Patriots, who have 6-5 records. Interim head coach Jeff Saturday won his coaching debut against the Las Vegas Raiders 25-20 two weeks ago and then came up short against the Philadelphia Eagles at home 17-16 last Sunday. They are in a must-win situation in tonight’s game if they still hope to make the postseason, with games against the Cowboys and Vikings coming up next on the schedule.
Matt Ryan has been placed as the starting quarterback again as coach Saturday looked to stabilize his offense. He then focused on the running game by giving Jonathan Taylor 22 carries in two straight games, where he rushed for 147 against the Raiders and 82 against Philadelphia last week. Indy was up 13-3 against the Eagles but gave up two touchdowns in the fourth quarter, with Jalen Hurts rushing for the final score for the Eagles with time running out to get the victory.
Just like the Steelers, Indianapolis must do something to get its offense going. They’re 31st in the league in scoring offense at 15.7 points per game and average 98.7 rushing yards per game, which is 26th overall. However, they rank 11th as a team in scoring defense and are sixth in the league against the pass. After holding Jalen Hurts to under 200 yards through the air last week, expect the Colts to have even more success against the Steelers’ rookie QB tonight.
The Colts get the win to keep their playoff hopes alive.