1. Philip Rivers’ Interception
Philip Rivers failed to come through in crunch time and it cost the Colts dearly.
We’re still trying to comprehend how inept the Colts’ offense looked in the second half. Perhaps Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin deserves credit for making adjustments after Indianapolis seemingly did whatever it wanted in the opening two quarters. On the other side of the spectrum, Frank Reich should probably face the music for failing to adjust to his chess move.
To his credit, the 59-year-old HC did try to eat clock in the second half. However, after facing several stacked boxes on plays that were meant to be runs, Philip Rivers had no other choice but to audible to a passing design. Unfortunately for the Colts, these changes at the line of scrimmage did not work in their favor.
After Rivers went 9-of-12 (75%) for 153 yards and a touchdown in the first half, he finished 13-of-27 (48.1%) for 117 yards, which equates to just 4.3 yards per attempt, and an interception.
Speaking of that INT, it really couldn’t have come at a worse time for Indy. Down four and needing a touchdown to take the lead, the offense picked up a first down on two plays on their drive that started with 7:34 remaining in the fourth quarter. On the following play, Rivers inexplicably went for it all and grossly overthrew intended receiver Michael Pittman Jr. and the pigskin landed in the welcoming arms of Steelers corner Mike Hilton.
The Colts would get the ball back, but at that point — just over two minutes remaining with zero timeouts — it was desperation mode, and they could only muster 52 yards on 11 plays before turning the ball over on downs to seal their fate.
Make no bones about it, folks: these three crucial moments during the game played huge roles in Indianapolis’ second half collapse. All we can hope for is that the loss doesn’t come back to haunt their playoff aspirations.