At times, a Steelers’ 28–7 win over a Colts on Thanksgiving night felt like a microcosm of what has so distant been a frustratingly disproportionate deteriorate for a group that still has visions of a Super Bowl run. They start off looking as nonetheless nobody has a possibility during ever interlude them, with 3 loyal touchdown drives. Then, they’re forced to punt twice in a quarrel to start a second half and their invulnerability allows their competition to hang around, a diversion feeling closer than it should be. And then, things pitch back, and they resolutely retrieve control, their invulnerability creation some large plays and their offense putting a diversion distant out of reach.
Thursday night was a latest adult in a deteriorate of ups and downs for a Steelers. But will they be means to equivocate holding another decrease as their deteriorate heads into a homestretch?
That’s a good unknown. The flaws are there, even if they’re sheltered by what was a flattering happy holiday for a Steelers and their fans. They kick a Colts by 21 points in Indianapolis. They put adult 369 yards of sum offense and a quarterback and receiver tandem that they are positively utterly beholden for, Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown, connected for 3 touchdowns. They softened their record to 6–5 and as a outcome leapfrogged over a Ravens and into initial place in a AFC North. And yet, it’s during times formidable to demeanour during a Steelers and see a loyal Super Bowl contender.
Their invulnerability leaves a lot to be desired, even on a night when it forced dual considerable and essential idea line stands that finished adult being a disproportion makers (two deficient passes). The Colts backup quarterback, Scott Tolzien, personification in service of a concussed Andrew Luck, played ideally fine, if not well, via many of a game. He finished 22/36 for 205 yards and a touchdown, and those numbers would have been a lot aloft if not for mixed inexcusable drops from his receivers.
The Colts finished with 310 yards, usually 59 fewer than a Steelers, and won a conflict of time of possession, 31:45 to Pittsburgh’s 28:15. Of course, nothing of that matters when Indy usually managed to measure 7 points, though a indicate stays that permitting a Tolzien-led offense to sojourn in a game—and don’t be fooled by a final box score, a Colts were in it via many of a third quarter—is not going to cut it if this group expects to make a low playoff run.
But afterwards again, when that offense clicks—when Roethlisberger is 14/20 for 221 and Brown has 3 touchdowns and Le’Veon Bell runs for 120 yards—and when Ladarius Green and Eli Rogers are contributing with large plays of their own—it’s formidable to demeanour during Pittsburgh and not see a outrageous hazard in a postseason, should they get there. Such is a maze of a 2016 Steelers: They are concurrently too injured to be truly great, though too gifted to be truly crippled by those flaws.
That said, it’s not too tough to demeanour unstoppable opposite a Colts’ awful defense. They are a 30th ranked section in a league, and it showed tonight. Indy can’t censure this one on Tolzien, who, notwithstanding throwing a integrate of picks, kept them in a diversion to a best of his abilities. But a quarterback has never been a problem for a Colts. They had a shot to benefit belligerent on a Texans in a AFC South, though instead delivered missed event after missed opportunity. In a conflict between dual earnest AFC teams that have unhappy via a 2016 season, a Steelers were a ones who demeanour like they’ll still be personification come January.
Next week, Pittsburgh will play a Giants, and that conflict with a playoff-caliber group will be illuminating, as Eli Manning and Odell Beckham Jr. have a intensity to keep adult with a Steelers’ possess bomb offense. We’ve already seen Pittsburgh broach in a stirring detriment to a Cowboys a integrate of weeks back. If a invulnerability can build on those large idea line stands from this Thanksgiving win, and consistently yield a correct support to a offense, afterwards this group will start looking like a offset group with a intensity to go as distant as many insincere it would during a commencement of a season. And that’s bad news for a rest of a league.