Steelers end 3-game skid, lock up AFC North with comeback win vs. Colts
Pittsburgh secured the AFC North title on Sunday, causing a three-game loss and an anemic crime that ultimately dashed the Steelers' hopes for the conference's top playoffs.
After the Steelers struggled again in the first half, they returned to a 28:24 win over the Indianapolis Colts at Heinz Field. A Cleveland Browns defeat and win would have sparked a showdown for the north in week 17.
The Steelers were 21-7 behind, and the only score came from a defensive rebound with the Steelers 10 feet from the end zone. It still took four tries to get it across.
The second half was a very different story when the offense came to life. After revenue to Downs during his first ownership in the third quarter, Pittsburgh scored touchdowns for the following three properties and took his first lead in 10 quarters at 28-24.
It was the biggest comeback in the second half of coach Mike Tomlin's tenure. The defense has suspended Colts quarterback Philip Rivers attempt to win the game and the Steelers (12-3) appear to be back in playoff mode, at least temporarily.
The Colts (10-5) are fighting for a place in the playoffs and needed a win to strengthen their cause. You're looking for the AFC South title with the Tennessee Titans playing against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday night and a wildcard spot with the Baltimore Ravens.
The Chiefs (14-1) grabbed first place in the AFC with a win on Sunday.
Diontae Johnson and JuJu Smith-Schuster score touchdowns again for the Steelers. (Joe Sargent / Getty Images)
Ugly start: Sputtering Steelers keep fighting
The first half was an ugly show from Pittsburgh with only 93 yards attack and a touchdown set up by the defense in the second quarter. The Steelers dragged their way into the locker room, making their 11-0 start look like a long-lost fantasy.
The Steelers started the game with a quick three and fell 7-0. It was their sixth game in a row with zero points in the first quarter, which was made even worse by the 2 meter offensive.
After three combined punts, T.J. Watt fired Rivers with an 8-yard loss, forcing the fumble Mike Hilton regained on the Colts 3-yard line. James Conner finally made a third hit in the end zone.
It was the only bright spot for Pittsburgh in the first half. His longest run was 41 yards in three games when he got the ball halfway through with 14 seconds. The Steelers failed to hit the ground and collected four yards on seven stretches.
Rivers was 9-for-12 for 153 yards and a touchdown 42-yard pass for Zach Pascal. The Colts had 77 rushing yards for 20 stretches
Sales on Downs ignites Steeler's offense
Goal-line turnover initially seemed like the final note in the Steelers' ugly late-season collapse. They had five attempts within 5 meters of the end zone and still couldn't hit it. Ben Roethlisberger had four incomplete passports that T.J. Carrie's tip.
Instead of lowering the Steelers' spirits, the game seemed to have the opposite effect. The defense immediately forced a punt and Roethlisberger came out to beat Diontae Johnson for a 39-yard touchdown pass.
Another three-and-off, another Steelers touchdown. They walked 74 yards in five games and ate 1:51 from the clock when Eric Ebron spun across the line on a 5 yard touchdown pass. JuJu Smith-Schuster later caught a 25-yard touchdown pass to take the lead and Hilton intercepted a deep pass in the middle of Rivers to seal the win.
Pittsburgh had 260 yards of attack in the second half to finish at 353 while defense held the Colts at 148 yards in the second half. You fired Philips five times, which is a loss of 32 meters.
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