A season that two weeks ago looked to be on the brink now looks a whole lot better for the Steelers, who for the first time in 66 years gave their fans a Happy Thanksgiving.
A 28-7 win over the beat up Indianapolis Colts was just what the doctor ordered on this holiday, as the Steelers offense scored on its first three possessions, and their defense did the rest, knocking the stuffing out of backup quarterback Scott Tolzien and the Colts for the win.
The victory puts the team at 6-5, and with five games left they will have 10 days off before they play host to the New York Giants on December 4th at 4:25pm at Heinz Field.
The offense paved the way after the Steelers D stopped the Colts on their first drive, as they quickly moved downfield and scored on a Le’Veon Bell touchdown.
Again the D was able to shut down the Colts, and on their second possession again the Steelers moved smartly downfield, this time with Antonio Brown catching a 25-yard touchdown pass from Ben Roethlisberger to make it 14-0 with a minute to play in the first quarter.
Indianapolis scored their only seven of the game on their next drive, helped out by a fake punt pass and catch that put them in a position to score.
Tolzien hit Donte Moncrief from five yards out to make it a 14-7 game, but again the Pittsburgh offense with Roethlisberger leading the way wouldn’t wait long to get the lead back up to 14.
It took the team just four minutes and Ben again hit Brown, this time from 33 yards out to give the black and gold a 21-7 lead.
That’s when the game took an odd turn, as the Colts went on two long drives, but both were stopped inside the Steelers five without any points.
The first one ended after going 10 plays and 65 yards late in the first half, and on fourth down Tolzien missed on a pass in the end zone to Chester Rogers to keep the Steelers lead at 14 at the half.
After the Steelers were unable to move with the ball in the third quarter, the Colts went on another long drive, this time 19 plays, moving 82 yards ion 11:22, but again were forced to go for it on fourth down, and Lawrence Timmons made a play to stop the drive breaking up a pass.
After a Steelers punt, the defense helped put the game away, as Mike Mitchell, who played a solid game with some big hits, picked off a Tolzien pass to stop the Colts last threat to make it a game.
Ben and the offense quickly went the other way, with a 35-yard pass play to Ladarius Green, and then hit Brown with his third score of the game from 22 yards out to make it 28-7.
Another pick made sure that there was no chance of any sort of Colts late comeback, and the team sealed their 6th win of the season against five losses, for now taking back first place in the AFC North.
The numbers were impressive on both sides, with Roethlisberger going 14-for-20 for 221 yards with three scores and a QB rating of 146.0. Bell had 23 carries for 120 yards and a score, and Brown had five grabs, three scores, and 91 yards.
On defense they held the Colts to 310 yards, and while Indy was able to covert 8-for-15 on third downs, the game all came down to not allowing the two scores when they got inside the Steelers five-yard line.
Timmons had a team high 10 total tackles, with Mitchell second on the team with seven. Javon Hargrave, James Harrison and Anthony Chickillo all had sacks for the Steelers.
Now is a time to enjoy a long weekend, and the team has the ability to continue to get healthy and watch the rest of the league as they can rest and get ready for the Giants a week from Sunday at home.
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