Steelers show character and move to .500

Courtesy Pittsburgh Steelers

“The Steelers just beat a 5-2 Colts team with their second-string quarterback, their second-string running back while dealing with two absolutely awful officiating calls in the last four minutes of the game. This team has heart and Tomlin is coaching better than people think.”

That tweet after the game yesterday from Nicolas Richard (@nicholasrfike) succinctly and accurately summed up the Steelers victory.

To overcome adversity is how to the measure a team’s character and this Steelers team is one the Nation can be proud of.

After exchanging field goals in the first quarter, the Colts went ahead in the second with Jack Doyle’s touchdown catch of 11 yards. Playing positive football, the Steelers failed on a fourth down to give the Colts an opportunity to increase their lead.

Minkah Fitzpatrick showed why the Steelers invested a first-round draft pick in the safety when he superbly read the pass intended for Doyle who was waiting in the end zone. With his 96-yard interception return, Fitzpatrick turned a Colts score into a Steelers touchdown.   

As these two teams slogged it out, the Steelers were never in front until deep into the third quarter. After Bud Dupree forced a fumble from Brian Hoyer that Dupree recovered, Mason Rudolph led his team 56 yards and finished the drive with a 7-yard touchdown pass to Vance McDonald.

Despite giving up a safety on their next possession, the resilience of this Steelers team came to the fore when the Colts fumbled the ensuing kickoff return which Johnny Horton recovered. The turnover finished with Chris Boswell kicking a 33-yard field goal increasing the Steelers lead to 23-18.

The Colts replied with a touchdown of their own, but the Steelers edged ahead on their next series with another Boswell filed goal, this one from 26 yards. The Steelers held a slender 26-24 advantage.

The Colts were handed a lifeline on their final possession when a pass interference penalty against Steve Nelson was upheld to extend the drive. Justice prevailed when Adam Vinatieri missed his 43-yard field goal attempt and the Steelers improved to 4-4.

Fitzpatrick was my Player of the Game for his 7 tackles and the touchdown that swung 12 points in the Steelers favour. Bud Dupree was the Digest Player of the Week.