Colts routed on Sunday Night Football by Steelers, 45-10
The Indianapolis Colts win streak came to an end against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday Night Football.
After leading the Colts through four wins as a starter, Matt Hasselbeck just didn’t have enough to keep up with the Steelers. After a brief lead in the second quarter, the Colts defense came completely unglued as the Steelers scored 39 unanswered points en route to a 45-10 victory for Pittsburgh.
Hasselbeck struggled to see the field all night long and paid dearly for his lack of awareness. He completed 16-of-26 attempts for 169 yards and one touchdown. The Steelers managed to force two interceptions and a sack resulting in a fumble.
The Colts had some good runs early from Frank Gore, but the score dictated style of play as they were forced to abandon the run. Gore finished with 15 carries for 45 yards. He also had three receptions for 49 yards and a touchdown, leading the team in receiving.
Despite facing a weak secondary, Donte Moncrief and T.Y. Hilton struggled to get open all night. Hilton had three receptions for 36 yards and Moncrief wasn’t even targeted once by Hasselbeck.
While many will point to the Colts defense failing to stop the Steelers, they repeatedly set the offense up in a position to succeed in the first half but were rarely rewarded for their efforts. The Colts had four red zone trips Sunday, but they resulted in just 10 points and a pair of turnovers. The Colts had previously ranked 6th in the NFL in red zone efficiency.
It was more than likely that the Colts would end up in a shootout with a very talented Steelers offense. The question was always going to be if the Colts could keep up on the scoreboard and they failed to do so.
Ben Roethlisberger didn’t repeat his 2014 performance against the Colts, but he did pick apart the secondary. He completed 24-of-39 attempts for 364 yards and four touchdowns. Roethlisberger was the beneficiary of a clean pocket, and while he was hit five times, he didn’t take a sack (the Colts lone sack was wiped out by holding in the secondary).
Up next the Colts will be on the road again for a divisional matchup with the Jacksonville Jaguars.