Colts Opponent Scouting Report: Steelers Offense

DETROIT, MI - OCTOBER 29: Ben Roethlisberger
DETROIT, MI - OCTOBER 29: Ben Roethlisberger /

The Pittsburgh Steelers and the Killer B’s come to Indianapolis on Sunday. What can the Colts do to slow down Big Ben and the talented Steelers offense?

Pittsburgh (6-2) leads the AFC North and are now tied with the New England Patriots for the best record in the AFC. The Steelers pose perhaps the biggest challenge to the Colts’ defense since Week 1’s loss to the Los Angeles Rams.

Ben Roethlisberger will be under center for Pittsburgh on Sunday. With 10 touchdowns and 9 interceptions, this has been far from Roethlisberger’s best season. In fact, it’s one of his worst.

Big Ben always has the propensity to throw an untimely pick, but Roethlisberger is on pace to throw the most interceptions in his career since his disastrous campaign in 2006 when he threw 23. That season, the Steelers finished 8-8.

Roethlisberger, while arguably one of the top five players at his position, also has a tendency to hang on to the ball way too long. Sometimes that patience results in a big play downfield, however, it’s not uncommon for such reluctance to result in a turnover.

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For the Colts to have any hope on Sunday, Jabaal Sheard and Henry Anderson need to put pressure on Roethlisberger and force him into a turnover or two. Last week, Sheard had two strip-sacks against the Houston Texans, and a similar performance will be necessary against Pittsburgh.

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Antonio Brown has 57 receptions for 835 yards on the season. Brown has also pulled in 3 touchdowns.

Brown is perhaps the most skilled wide out in the NFL and the Indianapolis secondary must not allow Brown to beat them deep.

The x-factor this season for the Pittsburgh Steelers has been rookie wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster. The first-year player from USC has started the past 2 games and has 4 touchdowns so far this season.

Two weeks ago against the Detroit Lions, Smith-Schuster had 193 yards receiving, including a 97-yard touchdown reception. With Vontae Davis out again, Pierre Desir will be counted on to keep this talented rookie in check.

The straw that stirs the drink for the Pittsburgh offense is running back Le’Veon Bell. Playing under the franchise tag this season, Bell has 760 yards rushing with 5 touchdowns and is racking up almost 4 yards per carry.

Bell is also a weapon in the pass game. He is Ben Roethlisberger’s security blanket, and has 35 receptions for 219 yards as a receiver out of the backfield.

Bell is the most patient runner in the league. He allows the offensive linemen to set their blocks and will slither through the tiniest crease for a solid gain. It is rare for Bell to have any negative plays.

The Colts’ linebacking corps must stay sound in their gaps. If there’s a hole, Bell will find it. The Colts held Lamar Miller to 57 yards and Joe Mixon to 18. If Bell has a dominant performance, the Colts will be in trouble.

This game will be decided up front. The Colts need to put pressure on Ben Roethlisberger and they need to clog the running lanes. If the Colts’ front seven plays well, they’ll give their offense a chance to go win the game.

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