Here are three pivotal moments of the Colts’ heartbreaking loss to Pittsburgh on Sunday.
The Indianapolis Colts’ first half performance against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday seemed to communicate to the country that they should be taken seriously in the AFC playoff picture.
As bad as Pittsburgh had performed in recent weeks — and they had some awful games — they looked as though they didn’t even belong on the same field as Indy in the first half, and that simply wasn’t the case in their previous contests.
Following the halftime intermission, however, the script completely flipped. The contagious confidence the Colts were oozing — look no further than their lively end zone celebration when they jumped out to 7-0 lead in the first quarter — disappeared and landed in the Steelers’ laps.
A few lapses of concentration in the secondary and a couple of questionable pass interference calls late in the third quarter later, and Indianapolis ultimately succumbed to a 28-24 defeat. A team that was built to sustain big leads tallied just three points in the second half and conceded a whopping 261 yards (and 21 points) over the final two quarters.
Fans in Indianapolis are no doubt still trying to wrap their minds around this potentially season-crushing loss, so let’s try to navigate through this pain together and highlight three moments during the game that proved it wasn’t the Colts’ day.
3. Mark Glowinski Penalty
A holding penalty on Colts guard Mark Glowinski negated a huge offensive play.
After forcing a Steelers punt late in the second quarter, Indianapolis took over with manageable field position that provided them with the opportunity to build on their lead before the halftime break.
On second down, they called a screen pass to Nyheim Hines that caught Pittsburgh drastically off guard. After a few nifty juke moves, the third-year pro scooted up field and, thanks to a couple of thunderous blocks by his teammates, wasn’t caught until he was knocked out of bounds at the eight-yard line…68 yards later.
However, right guard Mark Glowinski was penalized for an illegal block (albeit a tacky one) on a defender whose momentum was already taking him to the turf, negating the play entirely. In many ways, this questionable call foreshadowed what was to come in the second half and the Colts, instead of having first and goal inside the 10, were pushed back to 2nd and 15 deep inside their own territory.
After Indy seemed poised to establish a three-touchdown lead, they settled for zero points after punting just a few plays later. This play didn’t seem critical when it transpired given that Indy already had a sizable lead, but considering the outcome, going up by 21 points really could have neutralized Pittsburgh’s comeback effort before it even began.