The Steelers revamped their defensive line with kids who had not played and made changes in their secondary and the result was an outstanding performance by the defense that led to a 30-23 victory over the Houston Texans.
Now they must face one of the hottest teams in football, the Indianapolis Colts, 5-2.
If the Steelers can pull off victories over the Colts and Baltimore Ravens the following week they will have put themselves back in the driver’s seat in the playoff race with a 6-3 record.
Next to Peyton Manning, Andrew Luck has been the best quarterback in football as he has led the Colts to five straight victories on their way to a 6-2 record.
Luck was 27 of 42 for 319 yards and two touchdowns as he led the Colts to a 27-0 shocker of the Cincinnati Bengals. If the Steelers offense don’t step up the same may be in store for trhem.
For the season he’s completed 199 of 302 for 2331 yards and 19 touchdowns.
The Steelers secondary will have their hands full once again with T. Y. Hilton 47 catches for 711 yards and Reggie Wayne 38 catches for 434 yards. The young kids must once again put pressure on the quarterback to give the secondary some help. But they will not be able to rattle Luck as easily as they did Ryan Fitzpatrick.
The Colts running game is just enough to keep the defense honest with Ahmad Bradshaw, 336 yards on 50 carries, and Trent Richardson, 356 yards on 101 carries.
So the young guys will have to continue to mature on defense because the Colts have one of the best offenses in the NFL.
On the other side of the ball the Steelers offense wasn’t that impressive against the Texans, having to have the defense set them up in the red zone and then having to use trick plays to get the ball into the end zone.
Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell continue to look great but the rest of the cast needs to step their game up. And even though Ben Roethlisberger is still being sacked because he holds onto the ball too long, the offensive line appears to be getting better as the season progresses.
Brown and Bell are among the league leaders in receiving and rushing. Brown has 50 catches for 719 yards, on his way to another 100 plus reception season, and Bell has 599 rushing yards on 117 carries plus 339 yards on 36 receptions putting him among the league leaders in total yardage.
If the Steelers are going to move among the elite teams in the NFL they must get more help for Brown and Bell and better decision making by Ben Roethlisberger. He almost cost the Steelers the game when he chose to pass the ball with seconds left instead of running the clock out. It almost back fired on the team.
This weekend’s NFC North predictions: Steelers over the Colts, the Cleveland Browns will bounce back with a victory over the lowly Oakland Raiders, and the Bengals will upset the Ravens, thus opening the door for the Steelers.
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