The Indianapolis Colts got a taste of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Heinz Field in 2014 as they watched Ben Roethlisberger throw six touchdown passes as the Steelers won the game 51-34 in Week 8. However, the Colts, under head coach Chuck Pagano, made it to the AFC Championship game last season before losing 45-7 to the eventual Super Bowl champions New England Patriots. The Colts are gearing up for an offseason in hopes of making the final step in the postseason and representing the AFC in Super Bowl 50.
2014: 11-5 (1st place AFC South), 6-0 within the AFC South, 9-3 within the AFC
2014 vs. the Steelers: 0-1 (lost 51-34 at Heinz Field)
Potential Free Agents: S Mike Adams, S Colt Anderson, RB Ahmad Bradshaw, S Sergio Brown, CB Darius Butler, CB Josh Gordy, QB Matthew Hasselbeck, DE Fili Moala, WR Hakeem Nicks, DE Cory Redding, OL Joe Reitz, LB Andy Studebaker, WR Reggie Wayne, LB Jerrell Freeman (RFA), S Delano Howell (RFA), LS Matt Overton (RFA), DT Jeris Pendleton (RFA), C A.Q. Shipley (RFA).
2015 NFL Draft: 29th Selection
The Indianapolis Colts were on the verge of being the AFC's representative in Super Bowl 49 against the Seattle Seahawks, but a porous defense continued to haunt the team as they were beaten handily by Tom Brady and the Patriots in the AFC Championship game.
So, the Colts now enter the 2015 season wondering what it will take for the team to take the next step in their maturation and make enough moves to help the team which possessed the best statistical passing offense in the NFL to get to the next level.
As consistent as the Colts were in 2014, they enter the offseason with several question marks. Veteran WR Reggie Wayne is a free agent and his future in the league is still up in the air. Ahmad Bradshaw has found himself in some turbulent waters off the field and the trade for RB Trent Richardson didn't exactly pan out the way they expected. All that led to the Colts having the 22nd ranked rushing offense in the NFL in 2014.
The defensive side of the ball was statistically better, but gave up a tremendous amount of points on more than one occasion. The defense is missing some play makers which they hope to address in free agency, as well as the upcoming draft.
The Colts will be the only opponent in 2015 outside of the AFC North who will be making back-to-back trips to Heinz Field in consecutive seasons. The 2014 trip didn't go too well as the Colts ran into the buzzsaw that was Roethlisberger and the first of his two consecutive games throwing 6 touchdown passes.
When these two teams match up against one another it is strength vs. strength and that matchup is the Colts' offense vs. the Steelers' offense. Neither team possesses a defense which strikes fear into opponents simply by showing up, but both teams' offensive units are more than capable of piling up the points at will.
There were nearly 100 points scored in the Week 8 matchup in 2014, and there is no doubt the same thing could happen in 2015.