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Steelers vs. Colts, Week 16: Knee Jerk Reactions to the Steelers’ 28-24 win over the Colts

It looked terrible to start, but beautiful to finish!

NFL: Indianapolis Colts at Pittsburgh Steelers Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Week 16 of the NFL season and the Pittsburgh Steelers play the Indianapolis Colts at Heinz Field. The football being played by the Steelers of late has definitely been trending the wrong way. The Colts come in as winners of their last three, but two of those were one score games against the Texans. The Colts are without both their starting tackles, so the Steelers defense better be ready to get after the quarterback.

A simple reminder, a knee jerk reaction is an immediate and unthinking, emotional reaction. It’s basically shooting first and apologizing later (forget that, I apologize for none of my emotion I may not actually be from Pittsburgh, but grew up close enough to be a Yinzer). I can safely say that’s a true definition of yours truly and a good lot of Steelers’ Nation. Here’s my real-time (and possibly a little bit of my son Kyle’s) reactions during the Steelers’ effort to secure the AFC North title.

Quarter 1

  • Geeze whiz KDKA, the game hasn't even started yet and already they're advertising heart medicine.
  • Colts win the toss and defer to the second half. Steelers offense will start on the field.
  • First down Steelers go empty back field, Ben throws it to Diontae Johnson who manages to drop it, imagine that.
  • On 3rd and 10 we throw a 3-yard pass towards the Diontae Johnson, who drops it again. Steelers go three and out to start the game. This gives me great confidence in the offense.
  • First time Rivers goes to pass Watt manages to keep the sack streak alive.
  • Third long and the defense gives up a big play. Colts in Steelers territory.
  • Kyle: The Colts throw behind the line of scrimmage and their offensive line actually moves.
  • The Steelers defense is looking totally outmatched on this opening drive.
  • 3rd and goal from the 7, Rivers hands off and Jonathan Taylor basically walks into the end zone untouched. Steelers 0, Colt 7.
  • That is the first opening drive touchdown given up by the Steelers defense for the entire season. I am now not happy with what we saw from the offense nor the defense on each of the first times they took the field.
  • Everyone in the world knew the Steelers were going to run on that first down play. Who did the Steelers think they are that they could be fooling anyone.
  • Third down and one the Steelers telegraph what they're going to do by their personnel package. The Colts knew what was coming, we knew what was coming, and they handed to Benny Snell to lose two yards.
  • Second down and eight two Steelers miss tackles. The first guy for a loss and the second guy would have been for no game, but instead the defense gives up seven yards.
  • Mike Hilton makes a nice play to break up a long third down pass to T.Y. Hilton. Defense holds.
  • Well so much for BAD's prediction that Ben would not get sacked in this game.
  • The offense has another three and out. End of the first quarter Steelers 0, Colt 7.

Quarter 2

  • Watt with a strip sack! Hilton scoops it up and returns it inside the 5-yd line. No excuse for the offense here to not put it in the touchdown zone.
  • On third and goal Ben drew the defense offsides, so they will get another play. But Ebron should have caught the pass and it would have been a touchdown.
  • On third and goal Kyle was sitting here begging them not to run it, they ran it anyway but luckily Conner got in for the touchdown. Steeler 7, Colt 7.
  • I have determined that the officiating in the NFL refuses to call holding on a pass play. T.J. Watt was being held around the neck for 3 seconds and no flag was thrown.
  • Colts methodically move the ball down to get to a first and goal.
  • On second and goal Steelers head the running back for a loss but couldn't get him to the ground and he scores the touchdown. Steelers 7, Colts 14.
  • Ben stares down his receiver and almost throws an interception.
  • Was anyone fooled by the fact that the Steelers were going to run the football on second and 10 for zero yards?
  • Third down and nine and the Steelers throw the ball behind the line of scrimmage just to get it back to the line of scrimmage. It's time, Randyland needs to go.
  • Oh look at that, second play for the Colts, Rivers throws a tremendously long deep ball to the end zone and is caught for a touchdown. Steelers are going to lose this game big time. Steelers 7, Colts 21.
  • Two holds on the Steelers during the ensuing kickoff and the offense will start inside their own 10-yard line.
  • Third down and 10 and Ben's throw to Diontae Johnson is 7 yd short of even making it to him.
  • Steelers get lucky that there was an illegal block in the back otherwise the Colts would have been inside the 10-yard line after a long pass and run to Jonathan Taylor.
  • Not sure why on third and eighteen the Steelers allowed the Colts to run 40 seconds off the clock and not call a time out.
  • Ben is not anywhere close to accurate on throwing the ball deep.
  • Well the score is Steelers 7, Colts 21 going into halftime. I expect to see the Steelers make zero adjustments and come out in the second half doing the same things that weren't working in the first half.

Quarter 3

  • Colts are marching the ball right down the field to open the second half.
  • The defense is continuing to get gashed by the run.
  • Defense holds the Colts to a field goal. Steelers 7, Colts 24.
  • Back-to-back first downs is the most spark we've seen out of the Steelers offense all day.
  • Steelers get it first and goal on the one. I look at the formation and turn to Kyle and say they're going to hand it off inside to Benny Snell. Guess what, they handed it off inside to Benny Snell and he got stuffed at the line of scrimmage.
  • The Steelers have their best looking drive in weeks. Get it to first and goal on the 1-yard line and end the drive with 0 points after missing a 4th down play. This is absolutely pathetic.
  • Talk about something that should be absolutely deflating for the defense, it would be watching your offense get to within one yard but not be able to score a touchdown to close the gap in the game. Now they are depending on the defense to hold the game close, which it's already out of hand.
  • The defense does its job three and out.
  • One play Ben hits Diontae Johnson on a deep throw believe it or not. Steelers 14, Colts 24.
  • Williamson with a sack on Philip Rivers.
  • The defense holds on 3rd and 18. Steelers get the ball back. If the offense could do something here we could have ourselves a ballgame again.
  • Claypool catches a ball for four yards, backs up six, and then gains four for a net of two. A little bit confusing.
  • End of the third. Steelers 14, Colts 24.

Quarter 4

  • Eric Ebron scores the touchdown. We might have ourselves a ballgame again. Steelers 21, Colts 24.
  • The Colts have a third and five near midfield. If there was a time to hold on third down it's right here.
  • Cam Heyward with the sack!!!
  • Steelers get the ball back with a chance to tie or take the lead.
  • Steelers moving the ball until Eric Ebron has a fall start. Now Steelers have a second and 15.
  • They get it to 3rd and 5, and throw a quick flare out to Conner out of the backfield to pick up the first down. Nicely done.
  • After two incompletions Steelers now faced with a third and ten. Okay, nevermind. Illegal contact penalty on the Colts gets the Steelers 5 yards in the first down.
  • Juju with the touchdown!!! Steelers are actually taking the lead. Steelers 28, Colts 24.
  • Alex Highsmith with the pressure on Rivers, Mike Hilton with the interception.
  • Steelers are picked up a couple of first downs, but our face with a third and two around their own 40-yard line. A first down here would basically end the game.
  • The Steelers run two predictable of a short play, Diontae Johnson catches the ball but ends up being pushed out of bounds. Not only do the Steelers not pick up the first down, the Colts will get the ball back before it reaches the two minute warning.
  • The Colts have the ball on their own 15, with 2 minutes and 18 seconds left to play. No timeouts.
  • The Steelers give up 12 yards and let the running back get out of bounds. If the Steelers are going to let them move the ball, they need to keep them in bounds at the clock runs.
  • Out of bounds again for the Colts.
  • Colts lost the yard on that play, it goes to the 2-minute warning. It's Minkah time in my opinion.
  • I really wish the offense would have finished this game out. I need some of that heart medicine I saw at that commercial right before the game started.
  • Yes the pass was incomplete, but how do they not call that guy holding Highsmith.
  • 4th down and 6, need a play here. An interception but I saw a flag come out. I bet the Colts are going to get another chance.
  • Minkah breaks up the pass on second and six.
  • After another first down, the Colts now have a third and seven. My hands have gotten really sweaty.
  • Incomplete and the Colts now have a fourth and seven. I don't know if I can watch.
  • Incomplete pass. The Steelers are going to take over and line up in my favorite formation, victory formation.
  • Three, two, one, WIN!!! AFC North champs!!! Did it ourselves, didn't back into it. Finally get to breathe in that sweet smell of victory again!

Once again, I just fired off what was going through my head at the time. All reactions were in real time. Basically, it is the equivalent of watching the game with me (and Kyle), you just don’t have to go to another room because I am screaming at the television (sometimes Kyle has to leave). Now time to process it, some quick analyzing for the Scho Bro Show, and then put it behind me as we are prepare for a next weeks season finale with the Browns. Make sure you get your voice heard in the comments below.