NFL

Pittsburgh Steelers vs Indianapolis Colts Preview

Pittsburgh Steelers vs Indianapolis Colts Preview

Welcome to the most comprehensive Pittsburgh Steelers Game Day Preview on the internet! NGSC Sports is where you come to find everything you need to know about the Steelers and their upcoming opponent! Mike Drakulich (@SportsNationPGH) brings you inside the huddle for both teams, providing all fans with a game story, Steelers Path to Success, score prediction, game information, a detailed breakdown of each team, individual stats, team stats, and team injury reports. Heck, you’ll even know the weather at kickoff! The only thing you’re missing is a game uniform!

STEELERS FACE HILTON-LESS COLTS IN MUST WIN GAME

The Pittsburgh Steelers have always owned the Colts, sporting a 24-6 record all-time, including 15-2 at home.

It would behoove the Steelers (3-4) to continue those winning ways, as the team desperately needs to stack wins to get back into the AFC playoffs race.

Now the task may have gotten a little easier as Indianapolis (5-2) will come to Pittsburgh minus star receiver T.Y. Hilton in the line-up, who will be out with a calf injury.

The Steelers will be fighting the injury bug, too, as James Conner is doubtful to play, and both RB Benny Snell and guard Ramon Foster are out.

Jaylen Samuels, who is finally back into the line-up after having minor knee surgery, is ready for the challenge.

“I know (Conner) is trying to get better and get back as quick as he possibly can,” Samuels said. “If he doesn’t go, then I’ll have to be the man.”

Another player ready to go is the emerging wide-out Diontae Johnson, who nabbed up five catches for 84 yards and a score last week vs Miami, and would’ve been even more if it weren’t for an awful call by the referees for a bogus offensive interference call.

“It’s what you do with your opportunities,” Johnson said. “My number was called, and I stepped up and did what I do best. I took advantage of it and excelled ever since.”

Offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner loves what he has been seeing from his young rookie.

“I like his progress,” Fichtner said. “The challenge will be to continue to grow each week. I think we’re finding out things he can do really well and some things where we need areas of improvement. It’s a nice problem to have early.

“I think back to Antonio. He didn’t play early and did some special teams things, then kept growing. Diontae, maybe by circumstances, has been put into a role a little quicker, but he’s done a nice job.”

Johnson says he owes a lot of his success having a great receiver opposite of him in Juju Smith-Schuster.

“It helped me a lot,” Smith-Schuster said. “Having a guy on the other side making plays, doing their job creates more opportunities for me.”

 

Steelers Path to Success

  1. Find your stride, Mason! Started off slow last week, but that was expected. Needs to be confident and step into his throws. Can’t float passes in this league.
  2. Utilize Jaylen Samuel’s talents! With Conner out, get Samuels into space where he can make plays, both running and catching the ball.
  3. Get to Jakobi Brissett? Need a challenge defense? Brissett has been sacked just six times.

Prediction

It seems many experts in the sports media just don’t see much out of the Steelers. Maybe they just look at the record and go from there. Maybe like certain radio personalities, they can’t imagine this team being successful without the services of future HOF QB Ben Roethlisberger.

One says over and over each daily broadcast, “No Ben, no chance.”

Well, that’s their opinion.

The team, whom this writer has covered since training camp, has plenty of talent, even minus Big Ben. Who the hell wouldn’t want Ben under center? He makes plays and throws few can.

But, it is what it is. Roethlisberger is out until next season. Mason Rudolph is the guy now, and this is his opportunity to state his case for taking the keys to the franchise once Ben does retire.

So far, Rudolph has been pretty good, given what he has been allowed to do with the playbook. The kid has talent. You don’t throw for that many yards at Oklahoma State and not have pedigree.

Slowly but surely, he is getting better each start. He started off slowly last week, and who wouldn’t after not seeing game action for over three weeks?

Once he found his game, he started making plays, and that is what counts. Now Rudolph needs to take the next step and prove to his coaches he can handle the responsibilities. He had happy feet in the pocket early last week vs Miami. Then he started stepping up into the pocket and making his throws.

That’s the key to Rudolph’s game. Being confident and stepping into his passes. You won’t get away with floating many passes in this league.

Sunday is a game where the Steelers defense will be coming to play. They are the backbone of this team until the offense finds a way to flourish under Rudolph. The defense is swarming and aggressive. They get to the quarterback and they cause chaos, and that type of play creates turnovers, which gives their team’s offense extra shots at putting points up on the board.

Jaylen Samuels shined last year when he was called upon to be the feature back. He is a play-maker wherever he lines up with his agility and elusiveness. Both Juju Smith-Schuster and Dionae Johnson made their presences felt last week and must continue that trend this week. The Colt’s defense is very solid and they don’t make many mistakes.

It will be a tough battle deep into the 4th quarter, but with the home field crowd behind them, the Steelers will prove all the doubters wrong and set up a season turning game next week against the Los Angeles Rams.

Steelers 24 Colts 17

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Game Information

NFL Week 9

Pittsburgh Steelers vs Indianapolis Colts

Venue: Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, PA.

Field: Natural grass

Game-time: Sunday, November 3rd, at 1:00pm ET

TV: CBD (Local on KDKA-TV)

  • Announcers: Ian Eagle (play-by-play) Dan Fouts (analyst) Evan Washburn (reporter)

Local Radio: Pittsburgh- 102.5 WDVE & WBGG 970 AM

  • Announcers: Bill Hillgrove (play-by-play) Tunch Ilkin (analyst) Craig Wolfley (sideline) Missi Matthews (sideline)

Internet Broadcast: Steelers Nation Radio (SNR) on Steelers.com

Weather at Kickoff: Partly Cloudy. 43 with winds 10 mph WSW.

Vegas Line: Indianapolis -1.5

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Pittsburgh Steelers vs Indianapolis Colts History

Series History: Began in 1950

Steelers are 24-6 overall vs Colts

  • At Home: 15-2
  • On Road: 9-4
  • Post-Season: 4-1
  • Streak: Steelers won the last six meetings.
  • Last Regular Season Meeting: Steelers Win, 20-17 (Nov. 12, 2017)
  • Last Post-Season Meeting: Steelers Win, 21-18 (Jan. 15, 2006)

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Scouting the Pittsburgh Steelers

Overall Record: 3-4

Head Coach: Mike Tomlin (13th Season with Steelers)

  • Overall Regular Season Record: 128-70-1 (.641)
  • Playoff Record: 8-7 (Qualified for playoffs 8 times)

2019 Pittsburgh Steelers Team Roster

Steelers Team Statistics

Pittsburgh Steelers 2019 Schedule 

Last Game: Steelers 27 Dolphins 14

 

OFFENSE

Quarterbacks

Mason Rudolph*

The 2nd year gunslinger out of Oklahoma State takes over for the injured Ben Roethlisberger. Is slowly but surely improving and gaining confidence by the week.

Passing Yards: 897

  • TD Passes: 9
  • Interceptions: 3
  • Sacks: 5

Yards Rushing: 19

  • Rushing TD’s: 0

Devlin Hodges

The former Samford quarterback showed no fear when he was forced into action vs the Ravens. Did well in first NFL start vs Chargers.

Passing Yards: 200

  • TD Passes: 1
  • Interceptions: 1
  • Sacks: 0

Yards Rushing: 28

  • Rushing TD’s: 0

Ben Roethlisberger (Injured)

Out for the season with an elbow injury.

Passing Yards: 351

  • TD Passes: 0
  • Interceptions: 1
  • Sacks: 2

Yards Rushing: 7

  • Rushing TD’s: 0

 

Running Backs

James Conner (Injured)

Conner has picked it up big time the past two games, but may be out with a shoulder injury.

Yards Rushing: 380

  • Rushing TD’s: 4

Receptions: 29

  • Yards Receiving: 236
  • Receiving TD’s: 2

Jaylen Samuels*

Dynamic player who can play several positions. Dangerous as a pass-catcher out of the backfield. Takes the keys to the offense with Conner likely out.

Yards Rushing: 50

  • Rushing TD’s: 1

Receptions: 13

  • Yards Receiving: 83
  • Receiving TD’s: 0

Benny Snell, Jr. (Injured)

Yards Rushing: 118

  • Rushing TD’s: 0

Receptions: 1

  • Yards Receiving: 14
  • Receiving TD’s: 0

Trey Edmunds

Edmunds will serve as Samuel’s back-up if Conner can’t suit up.

Yards Rushing: 0

  • Rushing TD’s: 0

Receptions: 0

  • Yards Receiving: 0
  • Receiving TD’s: 0

Roosevelt Nix (Fullback) 

Yards Rushing: 0

  • Rushing TD’s: 0

Receptions: 2

  • Yards Receiving: 4
  • Receiving TD’s: 0

 

Wide Receivers

Juju Smith-Schuster*

Smith-Schuster is set to prove he is a true No.1 receiver for the Steelers, but now has two fumbles that have cost the team two probable wins.

Receptions: 30

  • Receiving Yards: 443
  • Receiving TD’s: 3

Diontae Johnson*

Talented rookie who makes the most of every reception. Blessed with wicked moves in open space.

Receptions: 25

  • Receiving Yards: 296
  • Receiving TD’s: 3

James Washington 

He was ready to have a breakout season and establish himself as a big-time playmaker in the NFL. So far, not going anywhere as expected.

Receptions: 10

  • Receiving Yards: 161
  • Receiving TD’s: 0

Donte Moncrief

He was expected to be the #2 receiver but had five drops in the first two games.

Receptions: 4

  • Receiving Yards: 18
  • Receiving TD’s: 0

Ryan Switzer

Sparingly used with Big Ben out. Will return punts and kicks.

Receptions: 8

  • Receiving Yards: 27
  • Receiving TD’s: 0

Johnny Holton

Steelers deep threat, but has yet to record a catch.

Receptions: 0

  • Receiving Yards: 0
  • Receiving TD’s: 0

 

Tight Ends

Vance McDonald*

The Vanimal, when unleashed, is a sight to see. He could be a major part of offense if utilized correctly and if he stays healthy.

Receptions: 17

  • Receiving Yards: 146
  • Receiving TD’s: 2

Nate Vannett

The Ohio State product was acquired from the Seahawks earlier this season.

Receptions: 4

  • Receiving Yards: 48
  • Receiving TD’s: 0

*Denotes Starter

 

OFFENSIVE LINE

Left Tackle: Alejandro Villanueva

Left Guard: B.J. Finney/Ramon Foster

Center: Maurkice Pouncey

Right Guard: David DeCastro

Right Tackle: Matt Feiler

 

DEFENSE (Base 3-4)

Defensive End: Cam Heyward

Defensive Tackle: Javon Hargrave/Dan McCullers

Defensive End: Tyson Alualu

Left OLB: T.J. Watt

Left MLB: Devin Bush/Mark Baron

Right MLB: Vince Willams

Right OLB: Bud Dupree

Cornerback: Joe Haden

Strong Safety: Terrell Edmunds

Free Safety: Minkah Fitzpatrick

Cornerback: Steven Nelson/Artie Burns

Nickle: Mike Hilton/Cameron Sutton

 

SPECIAL TEAMS

Placekicker

Chris Boswell

Extra Points: 15-15

FG: 13-14

  • 0-19: 1-1 / 20-29:  4-4 / 30-39: 2-2 / 40-49:  6-6 / 50+:  0-1
  • Long: 49

 

Punter

Jordan Berry

Yards per Punt: 47.1

 

Kickoff Returners

Ryan Switzer

Yards per Kickoff Return: 17.7

  • Return TD’s: 0

Johnny Holton

Yards per Kickoff Return: 18.3

  • Return TD’s: 0

 

Punt Returner

Ryan Switzer

Yards per Kickoff Return: 5.0

  • Return TD’s: 0

 

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Scouting the Indianapolis Colts

Overall Record: 5-2

Head Coach: Frank Reich (2nd Season with Colts)

  • Overall Regular Season Record: 15-8 / 15-8 with Colts
  • Playoff Record: 1-1 (Qualified for playoffs 1 times)

2019 Indianapolis Colts Team Roster

Indianapolis Team Statistics

Last Game: Colts 15 Broncos 13

OFFENSE

Quarterbacks

Jacoby Brisett*

Brissett has stepped up superbly with Andrew Luck retiring. Likes quick, accurate passes. Doesn’t take many sacks.

Passing Yards: 1,590

  • TD Passes: 14
  • Interceptions: 3
  • Sacks: 6

Yards Rushing: 32

  • Rushing TD’s: 1

 

Running Backs

Marlon Mack*

Talented runner that pounds out tough yardage. May become the bell cow and counted upon heavily with Hilton out of action.

  • Yards Rushing: 590
  • Rushing TD’s: 3

Receptions: 11

  • Yards Receiving: 68
  • Receiving TD’s: 0

Jordan Wilkins

Yards Rushing: 169

  • Rushing TD’s: 0

Receptions: 3

  • Yards Receiving: 21
  • Receiving TD’s: 0

Nyheim Hines

Yards Rushing: 45

  • Rushing TD’s: 0

Receptions: 22

  • Yards Receiving: 167
  • Receiving TD’s: 0

 

Wide Receivers

T.Y. Hilton* (Injured)

Colts best weapon, but is out with an injury.

Receptions: 32

  • Receiving Yards: 360
  • Receiving TD’s: 5

Zach Pacal*

Has had one great game. Will have to be the man without Hilton playing.

Receptions: 14

  • Receiving Yards: 245
  • Receiving TD’s: 3

Chester Rogers

Receptions: 9

  • Receiving Yards: 103
  • Receiving TD’s: 1

Parris Campbell

Receptions: 10

  • Receiving Yards: 162
  • Receiving TD’s: 1

Deon Cain

  • Receptions: 4
  • Receiving Yards: 52
  • Receiving TD’s: 0

 

Tight Ends

Eric Ebron*

Will be much more involved with T.Y. Hilton out.

Receptions: 16

  • Receiving Yards: 132
  • Receiving TD’s: 3

Jack Doyle

Like Ebron, Doyle will see an increase in looks with T.Y. Hilton injured.

Receptions: 21

  • Receiving Yards: 21
  • Receiving TD’s: 1

*Denotes Starter

 

DEFENSE (Base 4-3)

Very solid defensive unit that makes plays. Giving up just over 349 total yards a game to opposing teams. Nine take-a-ways on the year and have 19 sacks to their credit.

SPECIAL TEAMS

Placekicker

Adam Vinatieri

Extra Points: 13-17

FG: 11-15

  • 0-19: 0-0 / 20-29: 3-4 / 30-39: 3-3 / 40-49: 3-5 / 50+: 2-3
  • Long: 55

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Injury Report (11/1/19)

Pittsburgh

  • Out: RB Benny Snell Jr. (Knee), OL Ramon Foster (Concussion)
  • Doubtful: RB James Conner (Shoulder)
  • Questionable: FB Roosevelt Nix (Knee)

Indianapolis

  • Out: WR T.Y. Hilton, CB Pierre Desir (Hamstring)
  • Doubtful: None
  • Questionable: 

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Offensive Stats

Total yards per game 

  • Pittsburgh: 300
  • Indianapolis: 355.6

Passing yards per game

  • Pittsburgh: 211.9
  • Indianapolis: 227.1

Rushing yards per game

  • Pittsburgh: 88.1
  • Indianapolis: 128.4

Points per game

  • Pittsburgh: 21.4
  • Indianapolis: 22.6

 

Defensive Stats

Total Yards per game allowed

  • Pittsburgh: 336.3
  • Indianapolis: 349.4

Passing Yards per game allowed

  • Pittsburgh: 233.6
  • Indianapolis: 238.1

Rushing Yards per game allowed

  • Pittsburgh: 103
  • Indianapolis: 111.3

Points Allowed

  • Pittsburgh: 20.7
  • Indianapolis: 21.6

Sacks

  • Pittsburgh: 24
  • Indianapolis: 19

Interceptions

  • Pittsburgh: 10
  • Indianapolis: 4

Fumbles Recovered

  • Pittsburgh: 7
  • Indianapolis: 5

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Mike DrakulichYour source for Pittsburgh sports!
From Midland, "The Basketball Capital of Pennsylvania", located 35 miles NW of Pittsburgh along the Ohio River. This former steel town was home to storied athletes such as Dave Alston, Norm Van Lier, Simmie Hill, and the legendary 1965 Midland High School Basketball Team.

There's nowhere on earth that is more dedicated to its sports teams like Western Pennsylvania and the city of Pittsburgh. The passion and pride of Pittsburgh's fan base is second to no one. From the NFL, NHL, MLB, NCAA football and basketball, to W.P.I.A.L. high school sports, "The City of Champions" has it all!

As Editor of Pittsburgh SportsNation, Mike Drakulich provides top notch opinions and coverage of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Pittsburgh Pirates, Pitt Panthers football & basketball, Robert Morris Colonials basketball, and Duquesne Dukes basketball, as well as all sports teams that represent Western Pennsylvania, including WPIAL High School Football.

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