Steelers-Colts highlights, lowlights
The following are the highlights and lowlights from the Steelers’ 26-24 victory over the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh:
Play of the game: Colts veteran kicker Adam Vinatieri badly missed a 43-yard field goal attempt with 1:14 remaining in the game that would have given Indianapolis a 27-26 lead.
Offensive player of the game: Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph completed 26-of-35 passes for 191 yards with one interception and one touchdown.
Defensive player of the game: Pittsburgh linebacker Bud Dupree had three quarterback hits, including two sacks with a forced fumble that he recovered.
Most telling statistic: In addition to the missed field goal, the Colts also had an extra-point kick blocked and a two-point conversion fail.
Hidden statistic: Three Colts turnovers turned into 17 Steelers points.
Best run: On his first carry of the game, Steelers running back Trey Edmunds followed blocks from Maurkice Pouncey and David DeCastro for a 45-yard burst to the Colts’ 30-yard line.
Best pass: Indianapolis quarterback Brian Hoyer, subbing for the injured Jacoby Brissett, found Zach Pascal in the end zone for a 14-yard score in the second quarter. Steelers defensive back Mike Hilton didn’t have a chance because Hoyer threw it high enough, but not too high.
Worst pass: Hoyer didn’t see Steelers safety Minkah Fitzpatrick lurking in the secondary, and Fitzpatrick returned an interception 96 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter.
Best catch(es): Pittsburgh’s James Washington caught a 9-yard pass for a first down in the first quarter with the Colts’ Marvell Tell draped all over him. Later, Washington made a one-handed snag on a pass thrown behind him.
Dropped pass: Chester Rogers and Deon Cain were among a few Colts receivers who didn’t help Hoyer. But the most damaging drop in the game was the Steelers’ JuJu Smith-Schuster, who had a pass go off his hands and into the arms of Indianapolis’ Kenny Moore.
Best block: On Fitzpatrick’s interception return, Steelers linebacker Olasunkanmi Adeniyl sealed the deal by taking out Colts lineman Quenton Nelson.
Missed block: Colts running back Marlon Mack and Braden Smith couldn’t stop Mark Barron and T.J. Watt from sacking Hoyer in the third quarter.
Best tackle: Indianapolis defensive end Jabaal Sheard fought off Matt Feiler and stopped Smith-Schuster for no gain on a fourth-and-2 pass in the second quarter.
Best hit: The Colts’ Tell caused Steelers running back Jaylen Samuels to fumble by hitting the ball with his helmet in the fourth quarter. The Colts’ Trevon Coley recovered the ball.
Missed tackle: Colts tight end Mo Alle-Cox ran over several Steelers to get a first down on the first play of the second half.
Best kick: The Steelers’ Chris Boswell nailed a 51-yard field goal with no time on the clock right before halftime.
Worst kick: See “Play of the game” above.
Best coverage: Pittsburgh safety Terrell Edmunds knocked away a two-point conversion pass to Colts tight end Jack Doyle in the fourth quarter.
Worst coverage: The Steelers’ Devin Bush, with no help from Fitzpatrick, allowed Doyle to catch an easy 11-yard touchdown pass from Hoyer early in the second quarter.
Costliest penalt(ies): Colts linebacker Darius Leonard’s helmet-to-helmet hit on Vance McDonald gave the Steelers an extra 15 yards and helped Boswell get three points with his 51-yard field goal right before halftime. Later, Leonard had a late hit on Smith-Schuster, which helped lead to a McDonald touchdown catch in the third quarter.
Best call: Down 23-18 with 8:47 left in the game, the Colts went for it on fourth-and-2 from the Steelers’ 4-yard line, and Hoyer found Rogers open in the back of the end zone.
Worst call: Steelers coach Mike Tomlin challenged two pass interference calls in the fourth quarter to no avail but didn’t challenge a play in which Samuels was called down at the 1-yard line in the first quarter. Replays showed Samuels possibly scored, and the Steelers ended up settling for a field goal.
Best effort: With top running backs James Conner and Benny Snell injured, Steelers offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner called a good game with a lot of short passes.
Unsung hero: Despite the fumble, Samuels caught 13 passes for 73 yards.