ReFo: Colts @ Steelers, Week 8
There haven’t been many games more fun to watch this season than this pass-happy clash between the Steelers and Colts that could only have been improved by a closer finish.
Pittsburgh jumped out to a 35-10 lead on the strength of four first-half Ben Roethlisberger touchdown passes and a pick-six taken from Andrew Luck, but the Colts – as they’ve been known to do – climbed back and drew within eight points by the end of the third. A debated safety and a sixth Roethlisberger score stretched the Steeler lead again, this time too far and too late for any Indy resurgence to matter.
In this game with so many standouts, here are a few:
Indianapolis Colts – Performances of Note
Cory Redding, DE: +4.0
Breakdown: Redding had the most significant impact of any Colt defender in this game, proving himself a handful both as a run defender (four run stops) and as a pass rusher (four hurries), Pittsburgh really only enjoyed success dealing with him in the form of occasional double-team stalemates. Continuing a fine year as a Top-10 3-4 DE, he owns the ninth-highest overall grade at the position.
Signature Stat: Redding’s 20 total pressures on the year have him sitting in fine company amongst the league’s top 3-4 DEs; good enough for eight place at the moment.
T.Y. Hilton, WR: +2.3
Breakdown: With six catches and 155 yards, Hilton’s work was done against five different defenders and most often past the chains. Six of his eight targets (and four of his catches) came farther than 10 yards downfield as Luck looked for him to help push the Colt offense in their game-long comeback attempt.
Signature Play: A slick post-corner route turned cornerback Cortez Allen around as Hilton hauled in a score late in the first half (2Q, 2:03).
CBs, Josh Gordy (-2.3), Greg Toler (-2.8), and Darius Butler (-3.3)
Breakdown: Someone was due to catch the brunt of the incredible effort turned in by the Pittsburgh passing game and, fittingly, it was the trio of Indy corners who absorbed much of the hit. Combining to give up catches on 19 of 24 passes at them — not to mention the 322 yards and five touchdowns they were charged with – they found themselves on the wrong end of play after play.
Signature Play: A rare bright spot among the pile of negatives they racked up, Butler made the heads-up play to punch the ball from former Colt Darius Heyward-Bey’s grip (3Q, 3:38), getting the ball back for the Indy offense.
Pittsburgh Steelers – Performances of Note
Ben Roethlisberger, QB: +10.6
Breakdown: Any recap of this game begins and ends with Roethlisberger. On target with so many throws and pushing the ball downfield all day long (19 attempts aimed at least 10 yards downfield, seven longer than 20 yards), he racked up positive mark after positive mark on his way to providing a how-to tape for any hopeful NFL QB. From deep balls to dumps, and opposite-hash outs to crossers in stride, the sturdy Steeler couldn’t miss – he targeted 10 different receivers and all recorded at least one catch except rookie Dri Archer who dropped his lone chance.
Signature Play : Too many to choose from, but perhaps his best of the day was a deep ball put in a perfect spot nearly 40 from the line of scrimmage, hitting Martavis Bryant on the run (2Q, 10:57).
Jason Worilds, OLB: +2.9
Breakdown: Didn’t hit the heights of his Week 7 performance against Houston, but Worilds nonetheless put up another strong showing. Adding three more hits, a hurry, and a batted pass to his season tally – largely doing his work against Colt right tackle Gosder Cherilus – he led the charge for a Steelers pass rush that harassed Luck from start to finish.
Signature Play: Got low to turn the corner against Cherilus at 6:40 of the first quarter, taking Luck down as he released, forcing a third-down overthrow and a punt.
Kelvin Beachum, LT: +3.0 pass blocking
Breakdown: Beachum’s fifth green-graded day of pass protection on the year, he’s threatening for a Top-5 spot among tackles in that regard. Helping to keep the Colts’ pass rush from making any waves during a 50-drop-back outing, Beachum posted his second clean sheet in four weeks and has now allowed just 12 total pressures on the year in 328 pass-blocking snaps.
Signature Stat: After finishing 2013 as the 39th-ranked tackle in Pass Blocking Efficiency, Beachum’s 96.9 mark this season has him in the Top 10.
PFF Game Ball
No question here, Ben Roethlisberger gets the prize in the easiest game ball decision to date.
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