Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) walks off the field after a 27-17 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals during an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 21, 2020, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Emilee Chinn)
- The Indianapolis Colts (10-4) visit the Pittsburgh Steelers (11-3) in Week 16 (Dec. 27th, 1 pm EST)
- Indianapolis beat Houston 27-20 in Week 15, while Pittsburgh fell to Cincinnati 27-17 on MNF
- Read below for analysis on which way the line will move ahead of kickoff
Two teams destined for the postseason clash in Week 16, as the Pittsburgh Steelers host the Indianapolis Colts. Indy is fresh off a 27-20 victory over the Houston Texans, while the Steelers suffered an embarassing 27-17 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday Night Football.
Colts vs Steelers Opening Odds
|Indianapolis Colts||+2.5 (+100)||+115||Over 45.5 (-110)|
|Pittsburgh Steelers||-2.5 (-120)||-135||Under 45.5 (-110)|
Odds taken Dec. 21st.
Despite the defeat, Pittsburgh opened up as a 2.5-point favorite. After an 11-0 start, the Steelers have dropped three in a row, and now hold just a one-game lead over the Cleveland Browns in the AFC North.
Super Bowl 55 Odds Tracker
Mistakes Continue to Plague Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh racked up just 244 total yards against the Bengals, marking the second straight game they’ve been held below the 300-yard mark. They lost the turnover battle 3-0, and have now committed eight turnovers in their last four games.
Bengals beat Steelers, Jets beat Rams, just as everyone expected…
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 22, 2020
Ben Roethlisberger completed just 52.6% of his passes for 170 yards, and at times, made the Cincinnati defense look like world beaters. The Steelers failed to record a first down on their first five possessions, and Roethlisberger set a career-low with just 7 passing yards in the first half.
Ben Roethlisberger on throws 10+ yards vs. Bengals:
▪️ 1 TD
▪️ 1 INT pic.twitter.com/vcFZswvrX8
— PFF (@PFF) December 22, 2020
Big Ben and company have produced 19 or fewer points in four straight games, and have not scored more than three touchdowns in a contest since Week 10.
Already decimated by injuries, Pittsburgh lost both fullback Derek Watt and tight end Eric Ebron in this game, after starting running back James Conner was ruled out earlier in the day.
The Colts are Rolling
Indianapolis meanwhile, has now won three straight after completing the season sweep of Houston in Week 15. Phillip Rivers threw for two more touchdowns, giving him 419 for his career, one shy of Dan Marino for fifth all-time. Rivers has thrown for multiple scores in five straight, posting an 11-2 TD-to-Int rate over that stretch.
Back in front. @ZachPascal6 with his second TD of the day!
📺 CBS pic.twitter.com/M3740kwr1g
— Indianapolis Colts (@Colts) December 20, 2020
Jonathan Taylor continued his torrid stretch with 83 rushing yards and a score, and the defense stepped up when the game was on the line. Stud linebacker Darius Leonard forced a Texans fumble deep inside Colts territory with just 23 seconds remaining to preserve the win. The Indy defense, which entered Week 15 ranked sixth by DVOA, impressed again forcing two turnovers and racking up five sacks. They rank top-11 in yards and points allowed, and have forced the third most turnovers in the league.
Darius Leonard 🌪
‘You are ridiculous!’#Colts 1️⃣0️⃣➖4️⃣
— Peyton2Luck 🏈 (@Peyton2L) December 20, 2020
Given how poorly the Steelers have been playing on offense, the Colts defense could be in line for another big game on Sunday.
Line Likely to Experience Plenty of Movement
Pittsburgh is one of the most heavily backed public teams in the NFL, but their popularity will definitely be tested this week. A -2.5 (-120) line suggests they’re already drawing the bulk of the action, but that could change if the number hits -3. At that point, expect sharp bettors to hammer Indianapolis.
“Don’t sleep on the Steelers”
The rest of the NFL: pic.twitter.com/4y7fNEBAGC
— NFL Memes (@NFL_Memes) December 22, 2020
This game has massive playoff implications, as both teams are fighting for their respective division. Indy is clearly a team on the rise, while the Steelers appear to be fading fast.
Chris began his career at Hockey Night in Canada over 15 years ago. He has since worked at TSN for over 12 years as a writer, line-up producer, field producer, newsroom supervisor for Sportscentre, and presently as a promotions producer.