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Any time the oddsmakers give the Steelers points when they are playing at home, it might be a good idea to take the bet, especially with such a massive chip on Big Ben’s shoulder.
Steelers +2 (-110)
|Colts vs Steelers Information|
|What||Indianapolis Colts vs Pittsburgh Steelers|
|Where||Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, PA|
|When||Sunday, December 27, 2020; 1:00 PM ET|
|How to watch||CBS|
The Indianapolis Colts need a win here against the Steelers to hang onto a Wild Card playoff spot (and with a Titans Week 16 loss the Colts could possibly win the AFC South next week), so they must keep the pressure on the Steelers’ banged-up rushing attack and QB Philip Rivers must have the game of his life to steal a victory, especially at the Three Rivers.
This is a must-win for the 11-3 Pittsburgh Steelers, simply to stop their 3-loss downward spiral, the latest being against the Bengals, of all teams, and right now QB Big Ben Roethlisberger looks as though he is incapable of throwing the long ball accurately and with a tight spiral, and without Bud Dupree, this defense is looking more human. Uh oh.
The two teams have met each other 31 times (including 5 postseason games), with the Pittsburgh Steelers winning 25 games and the Indianapolis Colts winning 6 games.
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Colts QB Philip Rivers is completing almost 69 percent of his passes, an amazing stat considering he was just picked up by them this past offseason and he had to learn an entirely new offensive game plan and work with new playmakers, too.
Rivers did all of that and more, taking his new team to a 10-4 record and a chance to play in the postseason, a win here critical for achieving that goal.
On the season, Rivers has completed passes for yards and touchdowns with interceptions for a passer rating of 99.0 on the season, and a solid showing in this Week 16 matchup is key to helping Indianapolis stay alive.
Suddenly, Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger looks awkward throwing the ball, and in the last two games has only completed 56% and 53% of his passes, respectively, and it has some fans wondering if Big Ben is starting to wind down.
His numbers on the season are good – the Steelers are 11-3 right now and Roethlisberger has completed 365 passes for 3,462 yards and 30 touchdowns with 10 interceptions.
But his team has dropped three in a row, the last one to the miserable Bengals, so a decent showing here against the Colts at home would go a long way to proving Roethlisberger is ready for his inevitable postseason closeup.
A big reason for the resurgence of these Colts has been due to the addition of QB Philip Rivers this offseason, the veteran hurler adding not only led to the team but also a level of football IQ that only someone with 17 years of pro football experience can bring.
This season, Rivers has completed almost 69 percent of his passes, and his production has been respectable, having completed 331 passes for 3,735 yards and 22 touchdowns with 9 interceptions.
For this critical Week 16 matchup with the Steelers, Rivers is currently listed as questionable due to a toe injury, so keep an eye on his availability since him under center is a major key to a Colts away victory for sure.
The Steelers are typically known for a solid rushing attack, but this season they are the second least productive team in the league on the ground, averaging just 89 yards of rushing per game (compare that to the Ravens, who are ranked first and post 173 yards on the ground every outing).
Not helping matters here is the fact that their main RB, James Conner, is currently listed as questionable for Week 16 with a nagging quadriceps injury, and he will most likely be a game-time decision for coach Mike Tomlin.
Connor is averaging 4.3 yards per carrying this season, which is also his career average, and he has carried the ball 155 times for 663 yards and 5 touchdowns on top of making 25 catches for another 145 yards, a production that will be tough to improve on against these Colts, a top-5 team against the run.
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Mike Lukas is a retired standup comedian turned freelance writer now living in Dallas, Texas, originally from Cleveland, Ohio. His love for the game of football and all things Cleveland Browns turned Mike into a pro blogger years ago. Now Mike enjoys writing about all thirty-two NFL teams, hoping to help football gamblers gain a slight edge in their pursuit of the perfect wager. Email: [email protected]More info on Mike Lukas
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