When the game was over, the scoreboard showed a win. But just barely.
The Steelers defeated the Indianapolis Colts by a score of 23-20, in a game that wasn’t supposed to be that close.
The Colts were without their superstar quarterback Peyton Manning. That alone, put them at a significant disadvantage coming into the game. No other team relies on one player the way the Colts depend on Manning. Without him, the Colts’ season was supposed to be a hopeless cause.
Not only was Manning out, but the Colts were without several other starters as well. Moreover, the Colts were forced to bring in 90 year old quarterback Kerry Collins to replace Manning right before the start of the season. Nobody expected Collins to even come close to being able to carry the team in Manning’s absence.
And then, to make a hopeless situation seem even more futile, Collins had to leave the game with a concussion, and somebody named Curtis Painter (who?) had to play quarterback for the Colts.
Had this scenario been described to most fans prior to the game, they would have likely predicted a 54-0 win by the Steelers. But that’s not what happened.
Despite being short-handed, the Colts hung with the Steelers to the very end. In fact, they led the Steelers 13-10 at the beginning of the 4th quarter.
Somebody forgot to tell the Colts’ defense that they had no hope of winning the game. They pressured Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger all night. They sacked him, intercepted his passes, and forced him to fumble the ball.
More importantly, the Colts’ defensive line beat up the Steelers’ offensive line the way Ike Turner beat Tina Turner. Dwight Freeney made Jonathan Scott look like an abuse victim. He beat him more ways than I thought were possible. At times, I thought Scott was wearing a pair of roller skates. Freeney had him moving backwards so fast, Scott had to be on wheels. In fact, Scott was moving backwards so fast at times that I’m certain it defied the laws of physics.
Rashard Mendenhall also got completely humbled in the game. The futility that he experienced running the ball was probably partially due to the ineffectiveness of the offensive line. Nevertheless, it would have been nice to see Mendenhall run for more than one yard on most of his carries.
Mewelde Moore seemed to be much more effective running the ball when he came into the game. And he was running behind the same offensive line that Mendenhall did. In fact, by the time they started using Moore, the O-line was already depleted. So Mewelde’s performance seems even more impressive as compared to Mendenhall’s.
Despite their struggles, the Steelers were able to squeeze out a win. Kicker Shaun Suisham booted a field goal with 8 seconds left in the game to give the Steelers a 3 point victory.
The Steelers are now 2-1. On paper, that sounds good. But anyone who watched that game knows that the Steelers just barely won, and things are far from good.
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