Mandatory Credit: Photo by AJ Mast/AP/Shutterstock (13641388ex) Pittsburgh Steelers running back Benny Snell Jr. (24) celebrates a touchdown run during the second half of an NFL football game against the Indianapolis Colts, in Indianapolis Steelers Colts Football, Indianapolis, United States – 28 Nov 2022
Monday Night Football Recap: Steelers hang on for 24-17 win at turnover-prone Indianapolis
Steelers 24, Colts 17
The Indianapolis Colts welcomed the Pittsburgh Steelers – and massive swathes of Pittsburgh’s traveling fans – to Lucas Oil Stadium for Monday night’s matchup of teams desperate for a win. Indianapolis was also trying to break its 14-year drought since last defeating the Steelers, a streak that spanned seven matchups reaching back into Jeff Saturday’s playing days. In a game that figured to be low-scoring, the visiting Steelers got on the board first with a field goal on their opening drive.
Indianapolis’ first drive was a disaster, immediately turning the ball back over to Pittsburgh in their own territory on a Matt Ryan interception – but after the Steelers could do nothing with the opportunity, they would punt the ball away. Pittsburgh would eventually add a second field goal early in the second quarter, leading 6-0 as their defense continued to stifle the Colts. Najee Harris punched in the game’s first touchdown with just under eight minutes to go in the first half; a physical 6-yard run to extend the lead to 13-0. Indianapolis would finally start to get its run game going on the ensuing drive, and it paid off in a field goal to pull the Colts back within three.
Pittsburgh put together another promising drive in the half’s final minutes, moving the football all the way down inside the Colts’ 10-yard line before settling for a third Matthew Wright field goal. Trailing 16-3, Indianapolis took back over at its own 40 with less than a minute to play before halftime. The Colts barely succeeded in moving the ball beyond midfield, setting up an incredibly long field goal attempt for Chase McLaughlin. The kick was blocked, putting a bow on an ugly half of football for Indianapolis. The Colts went into halftime with just 71 total yards of offense and four first downs, while quarterback Matt Ryan completed just 5-of-13 pass attempts.
The Colts’ special teams unit opened the second half with a potentially momentum-shifting play, as kick returner Dallis Flowers ran the kickoff back 89 yards inside the Steelers’ 20-yard line before being brought down. Indianapolis would score its first touchdown just four plays later on Jonathan Taylor’s short run, making it 16-10 just two minutes into the third quarter. Indy’s defense picked up a much-needed stop to help keep its momentum building, and the offense quickly drove deep into Steelers’ territory once again. This time, Jonathan Taylor fumbled away the ball – and the Colts’ momentum – to sabotage the scoring opportunity at the 1-yard line.
After the Indianapolis defense continued to hold Pittsburgh in place on the ensuing drive, its offense got yet another opportunity nearing the end of the third quarter. This time, Matt Ryan found Michael Pittman Jr. for a 6-yard touchdown catch and a 17-16 lead heading into the fourth. The Steelers’ offense went without a completed pass in the third quarter and was searching for answers as they suddenly found themselves trailing.
Pittsburgh finally put together the drive it needed in the fourth quarter, going 75 yards in 11 plays en route to Benny Snell’s touchdown run and George Pickens’ two-point conversion catch to make it 24-17 Steelers. After each defense picked up another stop, Indianapolis got the ball back with just under four minutes to play, with a final chance to make a comeback.
Despite having three timeouts available, the Colts didn’t use one until there were only 30 seconds to play before a fourth down play from the Steelers’ 26-yard line. Indy’s questionable clock management would lead to Pittsburgh easily running the clock out after the Colts failed to convert, completing a 24-17 road win for the Steelers. Indianapolis falls to 4-7-1 with the loss after turning the ball over twice more for a league-worst 21 giveaways this season.
Next Week: Pittsburgh: at Atlanta, Indianapolis: at Dallas