Colts Headed to Pittsburgh For Week 7
Marcus Gilbert OT; concussion, out
Ryan Shazier LB; knee, probable
Shamarko Thomas SS; hamstring, questionable
Reggie Wayne WR; elbow, out
Arthur Jones DE; ankle, probable (limited)
Darius Butler CB; ankle, probable
Jack Doyle TE; knee questionable
Trent Richardson RB; hamstring, questionable
The Indianapolis Colts will face one of the toughest tests of the season Sunday. The Pittsburgh Steelers have had a quality season so far; at 4-3 they sit in 2nd place in the AFC North division and are ready to take the lead. However the red hot Colts are ready to extend an incredible 5 game win streak to 6.
The Steelers are coming off 30-23 win of the Houston Texans; Big Ben leading them to victory again with 265 passing yards and 2 touchdowns. The Colts are coming off the best defensive performance all season by far; shutting the Bengals down. Not allowing a score and holding
Cinnci to 135 total yards of offense, overshadowing their 506 yard offensive performance.
This week things might get a little chippy; each team has a top 20 defense (Indy 7, Pitt 20), also they both have 2 QBs who are very hard to bring down. Andrew Luck should have yet another 300 yard game against this Steelers secondary who are 16th in the league I passing yards allowed and allow 23.1 points per game. I expect good ball movement downfield in the passing game, even without Reggie Wayne. Hakeem Nicks will need to step up more this game; for some reason he has not played a lot of recent but will have an opportunity to prove himself Sunday.
The Colts may succeed easily on offense but their defense will be challenged. The Steelers have a great balanced offensive attack. With Le’Veon Bell and LeGarrette Blount in the backfield running the football it will be tough to stop. They average 117.3 yards a game are effective in the ground-and-pound and speed run. Ben Roethlisberger has always been a threat against the Colts anytime they’ve played; he’s very difficult to bring down and has the best completion percentage in the league pressured.
Overall the Colts are better on both sides of the football. Indianapolis has the number one ranked defense on 3rd down. Only allowing 20 conversions on 3rd down, interestingly enough Pittsburgh is 15th in 3rd down conversions.
The Steelers and Colts both have great balanced attacks. Indy is first in the league in total yards with 3170, but Pittsburgh is not far behind with 2707 total yards. The winner of this game will be determined by who can make more crucial stops. The big thing for the Colts is taking advantage of scoring opportunities and turnovers. Last week they turned the ball over twice in a scoring opportunity or red-zone situation. If they want to win they’re going to have to take care of the football.
I predict the Colts will win in a close game, the scoring should be in the 20s, but Indy’s defense in the end will prevail. If Trent Richardson plays that should make things a little easier on Ahmad Bradshaw and Andrew Luck. T.Y. Hilton will be thrown the ball more due to Reggie Wayne’s elbow Injury; so expect a big game form him. Hakeem Nicks will have a breakout game Sunday and he will get a lot more targets, and solidify himself as the number 3 receiver. The Steelers should put up a solid fight and the number one worry I think is Le’Veon Bell, if he gets going there is no telling the damage he could do. I expect a good game.