Last Sunday's game in Cincinnati did not go as planned for the Indianapolis Colts. However, the team needs to focus on the upcoming match against the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Colts haven't beaten the Steelers since 2008, and the Steelers currently lead the series with a record of 27 wins and 6 losses, so yeah they own us.
When It Rains, It Pours
The game in Cincinnati last Sunday was a disaster for the Colts. They didn't expect the Bengals offense to be so fierce and the Colts' offensive line looked terrible, while the defense was even worse. The team looked like a Pop Warner team with their arm-tackling. Whether it was Chase Brown or Joe Mixon that defense wasn't stopping them.
The Bengals offense was unstoppable and it seemed as though the Colts had no answer to it. If the same thing happens again, it might be worth revisiting the article I wrote earlier in the year calling for the Colts to fire Gus Bradley. Although he's not the one tackling, it's still his scheme that the Bengals ripped apart with their screen passes.
De Ja Vu VS Pittsburgh?
The Steelers 100% watched that game last week and thought wow we can do the same thing, but better. As long as Najee Harris plays. At the time of writing this, I see he is questionable, but I am not depending on that. I'm depending on our defense wanting to show up this week and wrap up and drive through when they tackle. If they can accomplish that we will be just fine.
However, if they can't and we look similar on defense it may end up feeling like De Ja Vu, but I'm hoping not. Though the Steelers have the defense that can pressure Minshew into making mistakes that can cost us the game. Is it all his fault? Maybe not, because the tackles couldn't stop a cold from getting to him.
All Three Phases
Winning in all three phases of the game, including special teams, is crucial to winning a game, even if the defense and offensive line do their job well. Last week, Matt Gay didn't perform as expected, missing field goals and extra points, which may lead to questions about his contract if it happens again this week. Hopefully, he was just exhausted from all the travel, and with a home game, he can limit some of the travel between everyday NFL life and taking care of a newborn baby.
If Indy wants to avoid having the Steelers win for the 9th time in a row, we need to improve our performance and eliminate the sloppy play. The offensive line needs to step up their blocking game, and Matt Gay needs to be accurate with his kicks. The defense also needs to improve their tackling and wrap up their opponents. Coach Steichen has emphasized the importance of playing their best game in December multiple times, and the players need to take it to heart. The Colts are still in the playoffs if the season ends today, but they need to secure a win this week to stay in the conversation. My prediction is the Colts will come out on top with a score of 27 to 25.