Steelers vs. Colts, 8:15 ET
Although these two teams come in with fairly similar records, I think they are headed in different directions. Neither has an answer at quarterback this year, and will probably turn to the draft for next year in or maybe free agency. Before we get to that point, though, we have this matchup between the two. I don’t think either has a realistic chance at the playoffs, but stranger things have happened.
The Steelers come into the game with a 3-7 record and off of a home loss to division rival Cincinnati. I have to give a bit of a hat tip to the Steelers as they competed with the Bengals and even had a lead at halftime. This was probably Najee Harris’s best game of the season as he racked up 90 yards and found the endzone twice. It could be that they turned the corner in the game… or it could just be that Mike Tomlin plays his divisional opponents well. Kenny Pickett was asked to throw the ball 42 times and he was able to get 265 yards and a score. He will have a challenge against the Colts, a team that is playing better defensively and certainly seem motivated with their new coach. On the road, it is always a challenge to win. This won’t be an easy victory, but they will need Pickett and Harris to play about the same if they are going to make noise in this one.
The Colts played well in their last two games – both under new coach Jeff Saturday, leader of men (I believe that’s part of his official title). After winning the game against the self-imploding Raiders, they took the Eagles to the wire causing fits for Jalen Hurts all game long. Their offense still isn’t anything spectacular. They’ve only scored over 21 points in two games this season and their high was 34 at home against Jacksonville. The problem is that everyone can sell out to stop the run because Matt Ryan, and anyone else under center has been terrible for the Colts. The Steelers defense is returning to form – yes, even after allowing 37 points last week. This won’t be an easy game for the Colts to win, but they do have the edge with being at home, and also probably a better defense.
I’m going to take the Colts to cover a small spread. At just -2.5, this is basically a home field advantage spread, but I think that’s enough for the Colts in this one. They’ve played better at home all season, and seem to be responding well to the coaching change. I’ll take ’em and hope their offense can muster enough to get the job done.