While the Indianapolis Colts are locked in for hosting a Wildcard playoff game in two weeks, who they will be facing is still up in the air. The Colts know they will be going up against the 2nd place team in the AFC North, but at this point, that has yet to be fully determined.
Oct 26, 2014; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) passes against the Indianapolis Colts during the second quarter at Heinz Field. Roethlisberger became the first quarterback in NFL history with two 500 yard passing games. The Steelers won 51-34. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
With the Cincinnati Bengals upsetting the Denver Broncos on this week’s Monday Night Football, this year’s AFC North Champion will be determined by the outcome of next week’s Sunday Night Football game between rivals in the Cincinnati Bengals and the Pittsburgh Steelers. The loser travels to Indianapolis, while the winner hosts presumably the San Diego Chargers the following week.
Given the Indianapolis Colts regular season results against both opponents, it’s easy to see why Colts fans will be waving their “Terrible Towels” come Sunday night. The Pittsburgh Steelers Ben Roethlisberger and the dreaded “bunch formation” decimated the Colts defense for 522 passing yards and 6 touchdowns en route to a 51-34 Colts’ loss. Meanwhile, the Colts defense suffocated Andy Dalton and the Bengals’ offense for 126 passing yards and 0 touchdowns, as part of a 27-0 shutout win in Week 7.
It was night and day playing the two respective offenses. The Steelers’ Big Ben had one of the NFL’s all-time great passing performances, while the Colts got the franchise’s 1st shutout since 2008 playing against the Bengals.
The Colts have struggled against elite quarterbacks and offenses all season, which is why playing Cincinnati poses a much more favorable matchup than going up against the Pittsburgh Steelers and their prolific passing offense. In Roethlisberger, the Steelers boast an elite NFL quarterback and remain one of the NFL’s best scoring offenses at 27.3 ppg, which ranks 7th best overall. In contrast, the Bengals’ offense despite an efficient running game, features the volatile Andy Dalton at quarterback and averages 23.2 ppg, 15th best overall.
Given the choice between the two, and rooting for the Steelers is the easy decision if for one night only.