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Predicting the winner of Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Indianapolis Colts, Week 9

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Predicting the winner of Steelers vs. Colts in Week 9 at Heinz Field.

Baltimore Ravens v Pittsburgh Steelers Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers are back on the playing field after their Week 8 win over the Miami Dolphins on Monday Night Football, and a huge game awaits them in Week 9. The Steelers are hoping to improve their record to .500 with a win over the Indianapolis Colts at Heinz Field, the second of three straight home games for the black-and-gold.

Will this game be close, or will the Colts run away with it proving to be superior? Or will the Steelers rise up and prove the are indeed a force not just in the AFC North, but the AFC? Only time will tell, but there is an excitement surrounding this 3-4 Steelers heading into Week 9 at Heinz Field.

Unfortunately, a huge factor in this AFC showdown on Sunday has been injuries. The Colts will be without their best receiver in T.Y. Hilton, who is out with a calf injury, and the Steelers won’t have the services of James Conner due to a shoulder injury sustained in the fourth quarter of the Miami game.

Two key offensive players for both teams almost negate each other, but the return of Jaylen Samuels to the Steelers’ lineup couldn’t have come at a better time for the home team. Samuels had missed the previous games with a knee injury which required a minor procedure, and his return will have him being the bell cow for the Steelers’ running game.

While this is certainly a talking point leading into Week 9, this game will be decided between the Steelers’ defense and the Colts’ offense. Jacoby Brissett isn’t a runner, but is certainly athletic enough to frustrate teams who don’t keep him pinned in the pocket. Alex Mack is a very complete running back and their two tight ends, Doyle and Ebron, could be a nightmare for a team who has struggled defending the position under defensive coordinator Keith Butler.

Can the Steelers’ pass rush get to Brissett? Will their takeaway trend continue? These two facets of the game will have to go in the steelers’ favor if they want to leave Week 9 with a win, a win which would propel them to .500 for the first time since starting the year 0-3 and 1-4.

The loss of Hilton has moved the sports book needle in a million different directions. The Steelers opened as one point underdogs, then were one point favorites, then one point underdogs again only to have them favored again by a point, last I checked. Vegas knows this game will be close, and I see it following that trend too.

Not having the deep passing threat will only help an improving Steelers defense become even more aggressive than they usually are, and the Steelers’ offense should benefit from the second half they had against the Dolphins in Week 8.

I wouldn’t be stunned to see the Steelers struggle early, but gain their footing in the second half. When all is said and done a Steelers takeaway is the deciding factor and the Steelers pull out a victory to climb back to .500 after such a dismal start to the season.

My prediction:

Steelers - 24
Colts - 20

What is your prediction for the game? Let us know in the comment section below, and be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the black-and-gold leading up to kickoff.