The Pittsburgh Steelers entered their Week 16 game vs. the Indianapolis Colts trending in the wrong direction. After losing their last three games, the most recent a 27-17 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday Night Football, the skid was real. The path didn’t get any easier with the 10-4 Colts coming to Heinz Field in hopes of clinching a playoff berth for themselves.
If the Steelers win, they clinch the AFC North, and after the Colts won the opening coin toss they deferred their possession to the second half. That meant it was Ben Roethlisberger and company taking the field for the opening drive of the game. The Steelers’ first quarter issues continued with a quick three-and-out.
The Colts’ first drive saw the Indianapolis offensive line impose their will on the Pittsburgh defense. Jonathan Taylor ran with ease as the Colts completed big third down conversions, eventually moving the ball into the red-zone. It was Taylor on third and goal who walked into the end zone for the first score of the game. After the point-after, the score was 7-0 with 9:48 left in the first quarter.
The Steelers’ response was nothing more than a field-flipping drive, and Jordan Berry was back on the field to send the ball back to Philip Rivers. A holding play on the punt return moved the ball back to the 5 yard line for the Colts’ second drive of the game. With just one first down, the Colts punted the ball away, giving the Pittsburgh offense their best field position of the game.
The Steelers’ drive went three and out after giving up a second down snap, and the first quarter ended with a 7-0 score in favor of the visiting Colts.