Home > Steeler Articles > Week 3 Steelers-Colts Recap

Week 3 Steelers-Colts Recap

The Steelers squeak out an ugly win against a pretty bad Manning-less Colts team. Almost feels like a loss.

QB – Ben finished with 364 yards passing but got progressively jittery in the pocket as the game went on. Ben had an uneven game, he was lucky not to have more INT’s and constantly looked downfield (as is the norm with Ben) even though Mathis and Freeney were getting some pressure on him, this pressure led to two fumbles, one that was returned for a Colts TD. It’s arguable, even with Ben’s yardage, that he hasn’t played a legitimately good game yet this year.

RB – Mendenhall had a poor game as he consistently hesitated and jitter bugged behind a mediocre line with runs up the middle, often resulting in no yardage when a straight ahead run would have at least gotten 2 or 3 yards. Redman, for some reason, was barely given any runs even with Mendy struggling. Moore came in late and somehow ripped off two runs for about 10 yards. Hmmmm….

WR/TE – The WR’s had good games overall. Wallace had a great deep TD catch but stupidly started showboating before he crossed the GL and almost got stopped by a Colts DB. Sanders had an early drop on a 3rd down that he has to come down with. Antonio Brown had a really strong game, as did Heath Miller who had 5 grabs for 71 yards. Ward chipped in on 3 grabs as did Mendenhall.

OL – The big news after this game will be the poor O-line play and the injuries, notably to LT Jonathan Scott. But the truth is, the O-line didn’t play THAT bad in pass protection. Ben had time for a good bit of the game but still got jittery as the game went on. They did allow some bad pressures on Ben but that was to be expected. A big problem is the Steelers offense throws a lot of time consuming passes downfield which naturally puts more pressure on the O-line. The run blocking was mediocre, but Mendenhall and his hesitatiton and pussy footing didn’t help things at all.

DL – The D-line had a fairly mediocre game. Colts RB Joseph Addai had over a 5 yard average running the ball and the D-line constantly was pushed back on run plays. It’s clear that Steeler great Aaron Smith should be getting less snaps per game. He just isn’t the same player he once was. Same goes for Kiesel.

LB – Woodely was once again MIA throughout the game. I don’t recall any pressure from Woodley on the Colts QB’s all game, which is a little unbelievable given his new contract and his primary strength which is rushing the QB. James Harrison, conversely, had probably the play of the game, as he pulled off a huge strip sack that was returned by Troy Polamalu for a TD in a tie game late in the game. Harrison also finished with the most tackles on the defense for the game. Timmons was very quiet as well, racking up only one solo tackle all game. Unbelievable. The LB’s did nothing of note the rest of the game.

CB/S – Gay was picked on with some passes here and there as he lagged a good bit behind his WR on a handful of plays. Taylor had a good coverage for most of the game but was burned badly late in the 2nd half but luckily Curtis Painter is a horrible QB or we might be looking at a different outcome in this game. On the play, Taylor bit up and was burned as the Colts WR flew right by him. The only player back was FS Ryan Clark who is so slow that he probably wouldn’t have made the tackle on the play. Troy had his best game in a looonnng time. He had a number of plays at the LOS where he disrupted what the Colts were doing offensively. Clark made a couple decent plays in pass coverage but was fairly invisible as always. Most of his tackles were the “RB-trucking-Clark-for-a-few-extra-yards” variety.

ST – Suisham somehow missed a 36 yard FG in a dome but connected on the rest of his FG’s. Antonio Brown had another strong showing in the return game.

Arians – Arians called pretty much the same exact gameplan as he does in every game. There was less 2 TE sets which was nice I guess. But once again, Arians was completely oblivious to what the other team was doing defensively or what that teams strengths are, etc. On most 3rd down plays there was literally no help for the tackles against pass rushers Robert Mathis and Dwight Freeney. Made absolutely no sense. And it was good to see the Steelers offense continue the tradition of not going back to a play that works but continuing to call plays that don’t work (Mendenhall up the middle over and over and over again, never worked!). In a game like this, with the Steelers inexperienced or mediocre tackles against two potent outside pass rushers, the gameplan should’ve been more dump offs to RB’s and TE’s. But that was hardly ever seen until the end of the game (once again). The offense scored a grand total of 16 points. 16. With the talent on this team, inexcusable.

Lebeau – Lebeau had a fairly easy assignment on his hands in this game but still had his defense allow a 4th quarter meltdown, as CURTIS PAINTER led the Colts on a 10 play 80 yard TD drive with 5 minutes left in the game. That’s pretty inexcusable with a defense with this much talent and facing a team with their 3rd string QB in the game. The rest of the game the defense played fairly well, but mostly just let the Colts QB’s throw bad passes on 3rd down plays. Even so, the Colts offense still converted on almost 50% of their 3rd down plays (7/16). Lebeau needs to do a better job mixing up schemes as the season goes on.

Tomlin – For about the 50th time under Tomlin, the Steelers looked fairly unprepared for their opponent and showed up flat for the most of the game. But luckily, the overall talent on the team once again came through with another close win against a clearly  inferior team (especially without Peyton Manning in the lineup). Tomlin could’ve challenged a few plays in this game but apparently he’s become “red flag shy” since he’s made so many dumb challenges over the past few years. Another baffling recurring theme recently is the use of early TO’s on the first couple drives of games. This time the defense called a TO on the Colts opening offensive series. Why? This just points to further questions on how well Tomlin and this coaching staff is preparing this team for their opponents each week. Those TO’s could be crucial later in the half.

Overall, it’s a win but it almost doesn’t feel like it. Still a lot of concerns and question marks with this team. One can only wonder what the outcome tonight would’ve been if Peyton Manning was the QB in this game. The Steelers will have to play much better obviously if they are going to go into Houston next week and beat the Texans.

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