Night of the Living Dead: Steelers Put a Stake in the Hearts of the Depleted Colts



I’ll admit it. I was worried again this week. Road game? Check. Backup quarterback who has thrown a total of 91 attempts in the NFL prior to the game? Check. Thanksgiving game? Check. Steelers favored by more than a touchdown before the game? Check. Thursday night game? Check. Not a highly respected defense? Check. In other words, the scene was set for an upset of massive proportions.

But it didn’t happen. The defense got three more sacks, including one for Old Man Harrison and the second for rookie Javon Hargrave. The beleaguered defensive backs came up with not one but two interceptions. (The big disappointment on the latter of the two interceptions was that William Gay was stood up immediately for no gain, thus breaking his streak of pick-sixes at five.) And the offense looked a lot more like the Heinz Field Steelers.

But I expect there will still be those who are annoyed because the defense allowed a score, not caring that the defense twice forced a TOOD when the Colts had 1st and Goal at the 1 yard line. Or who will be screaming because the offense only scored one other time in the second half, possibly because two of their possessions began just in front of their own end zone because of the above-referenced TOODs.

But I won’t be one of them. Like last week, I really don’t care that the Colts without Andrew Luck (and then without Vontae Davis and T.Y. Hilton and a couple of offensive linemen and so on) wasn’t a fabulously strong team. You can only play the games on your schedule, and Lord knows the Steelers have played enough games in the past few years without critical players on offense and defense, and no excuses were allowed for them. The Standard is the Standard, remember?

The main disappointment, if there is to be one, is that there still isn’t a lot of reliable depth on the offense behind Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell. There were a few Ladarius Green sightings, a couple of sweet catches by Eli Rogers, and a couple of missed almost sure touchdowns to Sammie Coates, who clearly isn’t over the broken fingers psychologically even if they are physically healed.

Not that any of that mattered. Brown had three touchdowns, two of which looked like taking candy from a baby, and Bell ran in the other. Ben is looking like the player we thought he was at the beginning of the season, even on the road. The defense is looking like they mean business. Mike Mitchell looked like the guy they thought they were signing from Carolina. I’m not going to complain about any of that.

There’s lots more to say about this game, but I’m not going to say it now. As I write this it is 12:12 a.m., and it was a long day before the game started, what with all the cooking and cleaning. I’ll go into this more tomorrow, or perhaps Ivan and/or Homer J. have some things they would like to say. And we’ve now got a mini-bye week to mull it over, as the Steelers don’t play again until a week from next Sunday. And oh how much nicer it is for everyone to mull over a win.

Enjoy the rest of your Thanksgiving weekend, and Here We Go Steelers!

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