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5 reasons the Steelers will beat the Indianapolis Colts in Week 8

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The Colts are one of the better teams in the NFL, but the Steelers present unique matchup issues, and a few may be enough to even this one out.

Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports
He's not a machine! He's a man!

Just like Ivan Drago, as soon as Rocky Balboa landed a vicious right hook, opening a cut under his eye, he became mortal. The Steelers got good pressure against Houston quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, and even though Fitzpatrick cannot possibly be confused for Colts QB Andrew Luck, the concept is the same. Get pressure, and they can make plays. Outside linebacker Jason Worilds made a similar leap to the world of outstanding play last year around this time, and judging by his performance last week, perhaps he's beginning a similar streak. Facing Colts right tackle Gosder Cherilus, he has his most favorable matchup to date.

The Black-and-Gold Zone

The Steelers busted out of a tough stretch of red-zone ineffectiveness last week and accomplished two things by scoring twice inside the 20 - they got touchdowns which ultimately made the difference in the win, and they scored off of takeaways, things they haven't usually done. For as good as the Colts offense is, it isn't immune to turnovers. The Steelers should have confidence in their ability to finish off drives with touchdowns and keep pace with the Colts' offense.

Silverback

Steelers' outside linebacker James Harrison has been relatively quiet since returning to the team after Week 3, but he's actually played fairly well during that time, considering the lack of game work he had leading into his comeback. He has another tough matchup in Colts left tackle Anthony Castonzo, but that's nothing new. Harrison can make his comeback complete with a big game, providing back-side pressure and choking out the Colts' running game. He can be the difference in a matchup tilted in the Colts' favor.

Return of Shazier

The added boost of athleticism the Steelers will get when rookie linebacker Ryan Shazier returns to the field will be a big help, but even if he hasn't been on the field since Week 3, he has been in film sessions and meetings, and he has been watching the games during his absence. In terms of mental preparation, he will be an improved player upon his return. Along with that, Shazier's addition will help the Steelers stay in their base defense more often, a strategy specifically designed to counter the no-huddle attack of offenses like Indianapolis. He could be a wild card in this game and one that gives the Steelers an advantage.

Don't LeForget LeBeau

The stat is perhaps a bit slanted, but there's a reason the Steelers don't lose often to quarterbacks who haven't played against the Steelers previously. Many excellent quarterbacks have struggled facing this defense for the first time. While it appears Luck is anything but a normal quarterback, one mistake at the wrong time can shift momentum in favor of the home team. The Steelers' defense played markedly better last week and could be finding the level of confidence needed to get over a recent slump.