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The Steelers will beat the Colts (1 Viewer)

Frenchy Fuqua

Footballguy
First the trends:

10- The Steelers are 18-6 on MNF under Cowher. He loves the role of huge underdog in this game too.

9- Roethlisberger is back. He is 18-1 as regular season starter.

8- The Steelers are 8-0 lifetime agains the Indy Colts, including a 28-10 victory over Manning & Co. on MNF in 2002.

Now the meat:

7- The Steelers should have James Farrior back at ILB. He is their anchor against the run/in the nickel. His presence will allow the Steelers to stay in the nickel during Manning's no-huddle and not compromise their ability to stop the run. He is also very active in pass coverage.

6- The Steelers have the depth and speed at CB to hold their own with the Colts WR. Ike Taylor, Deshea Townsend, Ricardo Colclough and Bryant McFadden are under the radar but these guys are all above average corners. They have given up the fewest TD passes in the league, faring very well against Carson Palmer and the Bengals solid WRs.

5- Steelers OLBs Haggans and especially Porter are one dimensional speed rushers...artificial turf will help them, Heinz "grass" does not. The key to this game in my opinion is here. If the Steelers can't get pressure on Manning with these guys and need to send safeties or corners it won't be good.

4- The gameplan. The Steelers will control the line of scrimmage on O. Coming off an embarrassing loss to the Ravens in which they completely deviated from their normal gameplan (nearly 2-1 pass to run vs. Balt) the Steelers will pound away at the Colts undersized DEs and LBs. They need Marvel Smith back. If Trai Essex is matched up against Dwight Freeney, he will need plenty of help.

3- Troy Polamalu - Rodney Harrison used to wear down the Colts WRs after they caught passes over the middle. Polamalu will send a message early in this game.

2- The Colts DBs have allowed an average of over 250 yards passing in the past 3 games. Expect the Colts to load up early to stop the run and Roethlisberger will take some shots deep. Big Ben won't throw many passes but he's always effective when he does.

1- Willie Parker was made for artificial turf. Bettis or Staley will grind the clock but Parker will hit a HR in this game. Indy yields 4.5 yards per carry. Teams that beat the Steelers stop their running game (NE, Jax, Balt) Indy will not.

 
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thatguy

Footballguy
I hope so. Your list is quite convincing. I was going to say that the turf would be their downfall, but you do give some good examples of how the turf will help them--made me remember what Quentin Griffin did to them on that turf two years ago.I still don't think it will be enough, but I hope they prove me wrong.

 
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SickThing

Footballguy
Nice list, but nothing in it convinces me that Edge won't have a huge day again, which changes a lot. Just last week backup RB Chester Taylor put up 85 total yards against them in only 23 touches. Now imagine a much better running threat than CT, with more touches, combined with the far more potent passing threat of the Colts, and this game looks like another easy big win for Indy to me.Along this same line of thought, I was just looking at my lineup considering giving Peyton and Wayne a rest this week, but keeping Edge in for sure.This is not to say that your list of Pitt strengths is inaccurate. Just not enough to slow the scoring machine that's now shifting into high gear. Don't stand anywhere near Cowher. His head might explode.

 

djcolts

Footballguy
2- The Colts DBs have allowed over 250 yards passing in 3 consecutive games. Expect the Colts to load up early to stop the run and Roethlisberger will take some shots deep. Big Ben won't throw many passes but he's always effective when he does.
Not true. The Texans didn't get anything close to 250 yards passing in either game against the Colts - and the Texans played the Colts the week before the Bengals. Actually, the Texans got 132 net passing yards combined in two games vs. the Colts.
 

dudaman

Footballguy
3- Troy Polamalu - Rodney Harrison used to wear down the Colts WRs after they caught passes over the middle. Polamalu will send a message early in this game.
He can only be in one place at a time. Manning is smart enough to look him to one side of the field and throw to the other. Plus, Polamalu is caught out of position often enough and Indy knows it.Using Rodney is not a good example either. They had a shutdown corner in Ty Law and excellent cover LB's, so Rodney's responsibilities were different - he would often clobber guys going across the middle and he could play more run support. Troy is going to have to help out in the secondary more in this game.

 

BGP

Indians Fever
The Colts are ranked #1 in offense and #2 in defense. If my memory serves me correctly, that the highest combined ranking since the 1996 Packers finished 1st in both. Those Packers went on the crush the Patriots in the super bowl.The Steelers are much the same team from a year ago statiscially. They still rank 11th on offense. The defense, ranked #1 last season, now is #3.Point differential comparison (points scored minus points allowed). Steelers; +75Colts: +153There's really no reason to favor the Steelers here. I won't guarantee a Colts win. Just using these numbers, you'd have to predict the Colts to never lose a game again this season. But they will probably stumble at some point. The tricky part is predicting when it happens. I wouldn't feel comfortable making that call in any given week.

 

djcolts

Footballguy
There's really no reason to favor the Steelers here. I won't guarantee a Colts win. Just using these numbers, you'd have to predict the Colts to never lose a game again this season. But they will probably stumble at some point. The tricky part is predicting when it happens. I wouldn't feel comfortable making that call in any given week.
BGP's opinion on the Steelers in general withstanding, he does have a point here. At some point the Colts will probably lose, and some "expert" will happen to pick the right week and sound like a genius (never mind that he likely picked against the Colts in several previous games before the game they'd lose). It can happen on Monday, vs. Jax, vs. the Chargers or Seattle - or in the playoffs (I hope not). It even can happen vs. the Titans or Cards, but that isn't likely. There will be a FBG thread saying that "Team X will beat the Colts this week" until either the Colts lose or they go 19-0. And (except for the Titans and Cards) - you can come up with 10 reasons why the Colts will lose in a given week. But, in each given week - the Colts should be the favorite until they at least lose a game. And if this happens to be the week the Colts lose - that's the way it goes - but unless the expert predicted a Colts 10-0 start that would then be snapped by the Steelers before the season started - he's not a genius.

 

Aaronur

Footballguy
The Colts are ranked #1 in offense and #2 in defense. If my memory serves me correctly, that the highest combined ranking since the 1996 Packers finished 1st in both. Those Packers went on the crush the Patriots in the super bowl.

The Steelers are much the same team from a year ago statiscially. They still rank 11th on offense. The defense, ranked #1 last season, now is #3.

Point differential comparison (points scored minus points allowed).

Steelers; +75

Colts: +153

There's really no reason to favor the Steelers here. I won't guarantee a Colts win. Just using these numbers, you'd have to predict the Colts to never lose a game again this season. But they will probably stumble at some point. The tricky part is predicting when it happens. I wouldn't feel comfortable making that call in any given week.
I have to argue with the #2 D for the Colts, I know it has been said, but they have played some feeble O's and the few good ones they played put up big numbers, even on turf where their D is supposed to be better. The Colts are the best team this year but thier D is a little overrated compaired to the Pack in 96 or the Niners in 94 which were the last two teams to have those rankings I believe.I pick the Steelers because they will hit Indy in the mouth which hasn't happend this year and get a big pick up with Big Ben the team rallies with him at the helm.

 

djcolts

Footballguy
The Colts are ranked #1 in offense and #2 in defense.  If my memory serves me correctly, that the highest combined ranking since the 1996 Packers finished 1st in both.  Those Packers went on the crush the Patriots in the super bowl.

The Steelers are much the same team from a year ago statiscially.  They still rank 11th on offense.  The defense, ranked #1 last season, now is #3.

Point differential comparison (points scored minus points allowed). 

Steelers; +75

Colts: +153

There's really no reason to favor the Steelers here.  I won't guarantee a Colts win.  Just using these numbers, you'd have to predict the Colts to never lose a game again this season.  But they will probably stumble at some point.  The tricky part is predicting when it happens.  I wouldn't feel comfortable making that call in any given week.
I have to argue with the #2 D for the Colts, I know it has been said, but they have played some feeble O's and the few good ones they played put up big numbers, even on turf where their D is supposed to be better. The Colts are the best team this year but thier D is a little overrated compaired to the Pack in 96 or the Niners in 94 which were the last two teams to have those rankings I believe.I pick the Steelers because they will hit Indy in the mouth which hasn't happend this year and get a big pick up with Big Ben the team rallies with him at the helm.
Two points:1. No, Indy doesn't have the 2nd best D in the league - but BGP was going by scoring defense, and even including last week they are #2 in scoring defense.

2. You didn't see the Jax/Indy game earlier in the year. Indy was hit in the mouth HARD and survived when Peyton had his worst regular season game in several years. Peyton was so bad that day he couldn't even complete passes in warmups.

 

Steelers4Life

Footballguy
I'd love to believe the Steelers will roll in there at full strength and win, but I'm not convinced just yet. Some HUGE injury concerns for the Steelers right now.Marvel Smith has to be somewhat close to 100% or I'm very concerned about Dwight Freeney's pass rush. Not that I'm not anyways, but Smith will at least be able to hold his own. Essex sucks, and it'll force the Steelers to give him help on most passing downs.And James Farrior has to come back healthy. The Steelers' defense - specifically the run defense - just isn't the same without him.I expect Ben to be at something close to 100%. People who only look at numbers have no idea how much he adds to the offense, and they don't realize the kind of numbers he could put up if he was ever in a situation that he had to consistently throw a lot. I know the Colts have the #2 defense in points given up, but I don't think they have anything close to the 2nd best defense in the league. I'm pretty confident that as long as Ben is ready to go, the Steelers will have success on offense.I agree that the Steelers' secondary is very good and vastly underrated, but if the Steelers don't get pressure on Manning, it won't matter.I expect this to be a great game.

 

Frenchy Fuqua

Footballguy
Nice list, but nothing in it convinces me that Edge won't have a huge day again, which changes a lot. Just last week backup RB Chester Taylor put up 85 total yards against them in only 23 touches. Now imagine a much better running threat than CT, with more touches, combined with the far more potent passing threat of the Colts, and this game looks like another easy big win for Indy to me.

Along this same line of thought, I was just looking at my lineup considering giving Peyton and Wayne a rest this week, but keeping Edge in for sure.

This is not to say that your list of Pitt strengths is inaccurate. Just not enough to slow the scoring machine that's now shifting into high gear.

Don't stand anywhere near Cowher. His head might explode.
I'd never tell you to bench Edge but the Steelers haven't allowed a 100 yard rusher in 22 games. The Steelers allow 3.2 YPC, fewest in the NFL. The Steelers will not lose this game because of Indy's run game.
 

Frenchy Fuqua

Footballguy
2- The Colts DBs have allowed over 250 yards passing in 3 consecutive games.  Expect the Colts to load up early to stop the run and Roethlisberger will take some shots deep.  Big Ben won't throw many passes but he's always effective when he does.
Not true. The Texans didn't get anything close to 250 yards passing in either game against the Colts - and the Texans played the Colts the week before the Bengals. Actually, the Texans got 132 net passing yards combined in two games vs. the Colts.
My mistake. I should have typed averaged over 250 yards passing allowed the past 3 games (758 passing/3 gms).
 

djcolts

Footballguy
I know the Colts have the #2 defense in points given up, but I don't think they have anything close to the 2nd best defense in the league. I'm pretty confident that as long as Ben is ready to go, the Steelers will have success on offense.

I agree that the Steelers' secondary is very good and vastly underrated, but if the Steelers don't get pressure on Manning, it won't matter.

I expect this to be a great game.
1. I think the Colts have between the 8th and 12th best D in the league. The Colts offense can make the D look better than it really is when they play ball-control - but they've played quick-strike because opposing Ds are not playing them as soft as their were earlier in the year - and that hurts the D (along with AWFUL special teams - some head-scratching mistakes lately and bad coverage). 2. I agree that the key to the Steelers' D is an effective pass rush. If they don't get it, Manning will have a big day.

 

djcolts

Footballguy
I'd never tell you to bench Edge but the Steelers haven't allowed a 100 yard rusher in 22 games. The Steelers allow 3.2 YPC, fewest in the NFL. The Steelers will not lose this game because of Indy's run game.
I agree. The Colts will run to set up the pass - but Edge won't have a huge day. If the Colts succeed on offense it will be on Manning's arm and good pass protection with enough running to keep the Steelers honest.
 

djcolts

Footballguy
2- The Colts DBs have allowed over 250 yards passing in 3 consecutive games.  Expect the Colts to load up early to stop the run and Roethlisberger will take some shots deep.   Big Ben won't throw many passes but he's always effective when he does.
Not true. The Texans didn't get anything close to 250 yards passing in either game against the Colts - and the Texans played the Colts the week before the Bengals. Actually, the Texans got 132 net passing yards combined in two games vs. the Colts.
My mistake. I should have typed averaged over 250 yards passing allowed the past 3 games (758 passing/3 gms).
That's fine. Just wanted the facts to be accurate.
 

Rainbow Randolph

Footballguy
The Colts are ranked #1 in offense and #2 in defense. If my memory serves me correctly, that the highest combined ranking since the 1996 Packers finished 1st in both. Those Packers went on the crush the Patriots in the super bowl.

The Steelers are much the same team from a year ago statiscially. They still rank 11th on offense. The defense, ranked #1 last season, now is #3.

Point differential comparison (points scored minus points allowed).

Steelers; +75

Colts: +153

There's really no reason to favor the Steelers here. I won't guarantee a Colts win. Just using these numbers, you'd have to predict the Colts to never lose a game again this season. But they will probably stumble at some point. The tricky part is predicting when it happens. I wouldn't feel comfortable making that call in any given week.
I like the Steelers, and I will ignore the point spread. This is a money-line special all the way! In fact, this is my favorite money-line play of the year. Steelers on the road, Steelers on MNF, Cowher's record Vs. Dungy and Indy, etc. 31-13 will be my prediction.
 

BlueOnion

Footballguy
I don't think the Steelers finesse defense will be able to defend the uptempo, no huddle offense of Peyton Manning. The over\under for number of punts for the Colts in this game is 1.5.

 

dudaman

Footballguy
It'll be interesting to see if Ben can keep the pace up. I can't remember any games in which he's had to score to keep up in a shootout (except maybe the AFC championship game against NE last year).

 

Raiders Fan

The Black Hole
Steelers D isn't what it once was. You can throw all the stupid history rankings out you want.. This is 2005 not the past.. Right now Pitt is 17th vs the pass and 3rd vs the run. Look for a HEAVY dose of Peyton to burn that secondary. Play Manning and the WR's with confidence and hold James expectations down a bit.. maybe he gets some short TD runs. Look for the game to be semi close in the 1st half with Peyton dominating the 2nd..Edit: They are also at home.. If this was in Pitt MAYBE.. Still look what Peyton did to the Bengals..

 
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sentr

Footballguy
I know the Colts have the #2 defense in points given up, but I don't think they have anything close to the 2nd best defense in the league.  I'm pretty confident that as long as Ben is ready to go, the Steelers will have success on offense.

I agree that the Steelers' secondary is very good and vastly underrated, but if the Steelers don't get pressure on Manning, it won't matter.

I expect this to be a great game.
1. I think the Colts have between the 8th and 12th best D in the league. The Colts offense can make the D look better than it really is when they play ball-control - but they've played quick-strike because opposing Ds are not playing them as soft as their were earlier in the year - and that hurts the D (along with AWFUL special teams - some head-scratching mistakes lately and bad coverage). 2. I agree that the key to the Steelers' D is an effective pass rush. If they don't get it, Manning will have a big day.
This is exactly why the D has looked weaker lately. They are on the field more. Opposing teams have had many more possessions in the last five games than they had in the first five. While I don't think the Colts D is the '85 bears, it is still good enough to win it all this year. The team's philosophy has changed (running the ball) and the entire team seems to be bought in that if they do this, they can win the Super Bowl. I see a different Colts team this year than in the past--they really look like and act like they have matured and EXPECT to win, instead of hoping that Peyton can bail them out when things go bad. Not sure if they win or lose to the Steelers this week, but I wouldn't bet against them--playing in Indy is probably as tough a place as there is to play these days. Even if they lose, this team will not wilt or fade as previous ones have; it's a different team this year. The Colts will win the Super Bowl-- I am a 49'er for life so no homerism here-- just calling it like I see it.

 

Courtjester

The Town Drunk
I wanna believe, but am I the only one that thinks Pitt has no chance???
I am in this mindset also. Very few "big" matchups live up to the hype and I see this game as more of "Ben just looks rusty" type game.
 

Shrek

Having a great season
3- Troy Polamalu - Rodney Harrison used to wear down the Colts WRs after they caught passes over the middle.  Polamalu will send a message early in this game.
He can only be in one place at a time. Manning is smart enough to look him to one side of the field and throw to the other. Plus, Polamalu is caught out of position often enough and Indy knows it.Using Rodney is not a good example either. They had a shutdown corner in Ty Law and excellent cover LB's, so Rodney's responsibilities were different - he would often clobber guys going across the middle and he could play more run support. Troy is going to have to help out in the secondary more in this game.
:goodposting: I think the list is pretty solid besides this, though. Manning just has too many options.

 

IndyHavoc

Footballguy
Steelers fans before game: :towelwave: :towelwave: :towelwave: :towelwave: :towelwave: :towelwave: Steelers fans after game: :cry: :cry: :wall: :hot: :cry: :confused: Just poking some fun, but I think this will be much like the Pats and Bengals games. Little different flow, but same result. I think the problem in beating the Colts is that you just have to play perfect football. No turn-overs, no missed assignments, no missed tackles or wrap-ups, no big penalties, win at the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball. Cincy did a LOT of these (really played their best game of the year, imo), and still came up short. And honestly, the Colts played a very good 1st half, but a relatively pedestrian and mistake filled 2nd half.Sorry, but the Stillers defense will have to play beyond itself to hold the Colts under 24 pts. And the Stillers offense will have to play WAY beyond (a rusty Big Ben) to hang more than 24 pts on the Colts. Now, if the Stillers can make something happen in the 3rd phase - speacial teams - imo, all bets are off. Colts have been very sloppy at times, and if the Steelers can capitalize (muffed punt recovery gets my vote) and get a late / unexpected score...I could see the Colts getting a bit flustered and making anther mistake on top of it.I'm with most others here, should be a GREAT game. Just hope the Colts remember it's a 60minute game. 30 minutes won't get it done vs. the Steelers.

 
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AhrnCityPahnder

Yinz-o-riffic
Are you people who are saying "look what Indy did to the Bengals" forgetting the Pttisburgh wiped their ### with the Bungles in week 7? It was 27-13 and not even as close as that score may indicate. I'm not saying undoubtedly that the Steelers will win, but, I believe the following to be true, we'll see how it hashes out on game day:The Steelers can run at will on the colts light DEs.The Colts will have trouble running on the Steelers.The Steelers should be able to play clock control. If the Colts want to focus on stopping the run, Ben can make plays to keep them honest. Now, You don't have to sell me on what Peyton can do, I know he's a stud. I agree with those above who said that the outlook of this game may fall on the amount of pressure the Steelers' front 7 can get on Manning. It should be a great gaem, I can't wait. :towelwave:

 

Steelers4Life

Footballguy
Steelers fans before game:

:towelwave: :towelwave: :towelwave: :towelwave: :towelwave: :towelwave:

Steelers fans after game:

:cry: :cry: :wall: :hot: :cry: :confused:

Just poking some fun, but I think this will be much like the Pats and Bengals games. Little different flow, but same result. I think the problem in beating the Colts is that you just have to play perfect football. No turn-overs, no missed assignments, no missed tackles or wrap-ups, no big penalties, win at the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball. Cincy did a LOT of these (really played their best game of the year, imo), and still came up short. And honestly, the Colts played a very good 1st half, but a relatively pedestrian and mistake filled 2nd half.

Sorry, but the Stillers defense will have to play beyond itself to hold the Colts under 24 pts. And the Stillers offense will have to play WAY beyond (a rusty Big Ben) to hang more than 24 pts on the Colts. Now, if the Stillers can make something happen in the 3rd phase - speacial teams - imo, all bets are off. Colts have been very sloppy at times, and if the Steelers can capitalize (muffed punt recovery gets my vote) and get a late / unexpected score...I could see the Colts getting a bit flustered and making anther mistake on top of it.

I'm with most others here, should be a GREAT game. Just hope the Colts remember it's a 60minute game. 30 minutes won't get it done vs. the Steelers.
:lmao: Love a little good natured trash talking!I agree that the Colts should be able to put up 24 on the Steelers. It won't be anywhere near as easy as it was against the Bengals to score, but they'll get their points. But I definitely disagree that the Steelers will have to play beyond themselves to score 24 against the Colts. I'll be suprised if either team scores more than 30 this week, but I think the winner will be close.

The comment that the Steelers have a finesse defense must have come from someone who doesn't really watch them play very much.

If the Colts win, I won't be shocked. I won't be shocked if the Steelers win, either. This isn't the Bengals' sorry excuse for a defense that they're playing this week, though.

If it's a shootout, the Steelers just won't be able to keep up. I'm hoping Ben starts out playing well and doesn't look rusty, because a bad first quarter might be too much to overcome.

 

Steelers4Life

Footballguy
Are you people who are saying "look what Indy did to the Bengals" forgetting the Pttisburgh wiped their ### with the Bungles in week 7? It was 27-13 and not even as close as that score may indicate.
The Steelers ran on the Bengals as easily as the Colts passed on them. Of course, Ben passed on them too in the first half when the game was still undecided. People who want to compare the Steelers to the Bengals aren't paying attention. A STAT FOR YOU

Carson Palmer in a home game versus the Steelers in week 7

21-36, 227 yards, 0 TDs, 2 INTs

The same Carson Palmer who ripped apart the Colts' secondary last week. Manning will get some numbers, but it's not going to be as easy as some people think.

 

jurb26

Footballguy
6- The Steelers have the depth and speed at CB to hold their own with the Colts WR. Ike Taylor, Deshea Townsend, Ricardo Colclough and Bryant McFadden are under the radar but these guys are all above average corners. They have given up the fewest TD passes in the league, faring very well against Carson Palmer and the Bengals solid WRs.
I like your list and agree with most of it. This I don't find to be the least bit true though. Our CBs will be in trouble... no a great deal of trouble if the front 7 doesn't disrupt the timing of Manning and confuse him with looks. Our DBs can not cover the Indy WR and pass catching options. This game needs to be won up front by the Steelers.
 

IndyHavoc

Footballguy
Are you people who are saying "look what Indy did to the Bengals" forgetting the Pttisburgh wiped their ### with the Bungles in week 7? It was 27-13 and not even as close as that score may indicate.
The Steelers ran on the Bengals as easily as the Colts passed on them. Of course, Ben passed on them too in the first half when the game was still undecided. People who want to compare the Steelers to the Bengals aren't paying attention. A STAT FOR YOU

Carson Palmer in a home game versus the Steelers in week 7

21-36, 227 yards, 0 TDs, 2 INTs

The same Carson Palmer who ripped apart the Colts' secondary last week. Manning will get some numbers, but it's not going to be as easy as some people think.
Yeah, I wish I had the Bengals v Steelers TiVO'd. I'd like to watch and see if the Bengals O-line has made a lot of progress since the Steelers game. Not sure if it's pertinent, but MAN did their O-line play well vs. the Colts. No pressure from the front 4 and/or 7 all game on Palmer. He really had no problem with 5 and 7 step drop patterns at all. We'll see if the Steeler O-line can give Ben the same comfort and time. If so, you're dead on...it'll be a nail biter. Indy's DB's fly around and can make some hits, but Jason David in particular will get BURNED ALL DAY by Randal El. Bank on that.
 

BGP

Indians Fever
The Colts are ranked #1 in offense and #2 in defense.  If my memory serves me correctly, that the highest combined ranking since the 1996 Packers finished 1st in both.  Those Packers went on the crush the Patriots in the super bowl.

The Steelers are much the same team from a year ago statiscially.  They still rank 11th on offense.  The defense, ranked #1 last season, now is #3.

Point differential comparison (points scored minus points allowed). 

Steelers; +75

Colts: +153

There's really no reason to favor the Steelers here.  I won't guarantee a Colts win.  Just using these numbers, you'd have to predict the Colts to never lose a game again this season.  But they will probably stumble at some point.  The tricky part is predicting when it happens.  I wouldn't feel comfortable making that call in any given week.
I have to argue with the #2 D for the Colts, I know it has been said, but they have played some feeble O's and the few good ones they played put up big numbers, even on turf where their D is supposed to be better.
The exact same thing was said about the 1999 Rams. They had the softest schedule that year and won HFA. Everyone said they were pretenders all year long. Then they predicted they would lose in the first round. Then they predicted the Bucs would beat them in the NFC title game. Then many picked the Titans. The thing is, having a soft schedule says nothing about the quality of your defense. You can only play the teams on your schedule. And let's give them credit - every year there are clubs with soft schedules, and yet most of them do not get as high as the #2 ranked defense.

 

buckeye35

Footballguy
I hope you're right about FWP. I'm playing for the division this week and we get double points for 50+ TDs. I've been waiting for Willie to give me one of those all year!Knowing Frenchy and his record on predicting games this year, take Indy and the points. It's a lock. :boxing: I say, when it all washes out, the Colts win 34-20. Ben will be rusty. He might have a few big plays in him, but it won't be enough.

 

Irish

Footballguy
The Colts are ranked #1 in offense and #2 in defense. If my memory serves me correctly, that the highest combined ranking since the 1996 Packers finished 1st in both. Those Packers went on the crush the Patriots in the super bowl.

The Steelers are much the same team from a year ago statiscially. They still rank 11th on offense. The defense, ranked #1 last season, now is #3.

Point differential comparison (points scored minus points allowed).

Steelers; +75

Colts: +153

There's really no reason to favor the Steelers here. I won't guarantee a Colts win. Just using these numbers, you'd have to predict the Colts to never lose a game again this season. But they will probably stumble at some point. The tricky part is predicting when it happens. I wouldn't feel comfortable making that call in any given week.
I have to argue with the #2 D for the Colts, I know it has been said, but they have played some feeble O's and the few good ones they played put up big numbers, even on turf where their D is supposed to be better.
The exact same thing was said about the 1999 Rams. They had the softest schedule that year and won HFA. Everyone said they were pretenders all year long. Then they predicted they would lose in the first round. Then they predicted the Bucs would beat them in the NFC title game. Then many picked the Titans. The thing is, having a soft schedule says nothing about the quality of your defense. You can only play the teams on your schedule. And let's give them credit - every year there are clubs with soft schedules, and yet most of them do not get as high as the #2 ranked defense.
The Colts defense is OVERRATED. All one has to do is look how the Bengals shredded their defense last week.
 

IndyHavoc

Footballguy
The Colts defense is OVERRATED. All one has to do is look how the Bengals shredded their defense last week.
I'd agree with you, if you were right. Unfortunately, what you saw vs. Cincy was a defensive scheme that in retrospect probably wasn't the best (but who can say, they won!). Watch the game again, and count how many times they blitzed Palmer. I can remember twice off the top of my head. The idea was to say content and limit Rudi as well as trying to take away the deep ball. That game was a great example of "who blinks first" mentality.Anyway, the Colts D isn't as good as the #'s say, but they're GREATLY improved and can be counted on to make 2 or 3 key stops a game, which is 2 or 3 more than in previous years. And really all that Peyton needs.

 

midwaymonster

Footballguy
Seems like the numbers don't lie much here when comparing both teams given they have played nearly identical schedules.Colts D #2 points allowed 15.2/gameSteelers D #3 points allowed 16.1/gameDifference: Indy leads league in offense 30.5 pts/game.Colts by at least 2 touchdowns.

 

SickThing

Footballguy
Nice list, but nothing in it convinces me that Edge won't have a huge day again, which changes a lot. Just last week backup RB Chester Taylor put up 85 total yards against them in only 23 touches. Now imagine a much better running threat than CT, with more touches, combined with the far more potent passing threat of the Colts, and this game looks like another easy big win for Indy to me.

Along this same line of thought, I was just looking at my lineup considering giving Peyton and Wayne a rest this week, but keeping Edge in for sure.

This is not to say that your list of Pitt strengths is inaccurate. Just not enough to slow the scoring machine that's now shifting into high gear.

Don't stand anywhere near Cowher. His head might explode.
I'd never tell you to bench Edge but the Steelers haven't allowed a 100 yard rusher in 22 games. The Steelers allow 3.2 YPC, fewest in the NFL. The Steelers will not lose this game because of Indy's run game.
I seldom have time to breakdown the reasoning for my comments here, but on this night before a holiday, I have an opportunity for an excepton. I already mentioned the Steelers "total" yards surrended last week to CTaylor. Not only is Edge is better runner, but he also too catches the ball out of the backfield. Pittsburgh has been succeptable to this, giving up 130 combined yards and a TD to Tomlinson, who is a comparable back to Edge, which was accomplished in only 25 touches.

Droughns put up 123 combined yards with a rushing TD against Pittsburgh recently on only 21 touches.

Referring to CTaylor again, in his earlier game against Pittsburgh, he also had 5 catches for 55 yards and a TD in that one, despite his very low rushing YPC.

When Pittsburgh thrashed Houston, Houston's only score came on a pass to DDavis, who combined for 92 combined yards against them in the game.

Even KFaulk (while Dillon was the starter) caught the ball for 71 yards against Pittsburgh.

With Edge on offense... he is 1st in the league with 100 yard rushing games, 2nd in the league in rushing yards, 4th in rushing TDs, and 1st in the league in combined yardage. Indy is playing very smart ball, weekly playing as needed against any given opponent. I still see them getting the ball to Edge to open things up and having good results there, even if it doesn't come in the form of a high YPC or a 100 yard rushing game. Edge is healthy now and going to put up one heck of a fight.

I am also a believer in momentum and confidence, which is :own3d: by Indy now. There are no real question marks around them, although there are with the Steelers.

 

Biabreakable

Footballguy
I think the Steelers would have a better chance if Ben was in a groove but he hasn't played in weeks and probobly will need some time to shake off the rust as others have allready pointed out.The Steelers are going to need some big plays in the passing game to keep up with the Colts. Thier defense is good but I don't think any defense is good enough to stiffle the Colts machine.Ben has to win this game for them. I think he can but the time he has missed may cause a slow start and possibly some mistakes. The Colts are to good for the Steelers to overcome that imo.

 

Irish

Footballguy
The Colts defense is OVERRATED. All one has to do is look how the Bengals shredded their defense last week.
I'd agree with you, if you were right. Unfortunately, what you saw vs. Cincy was a defensive scheme that in retrospect probably wasn't the best (but who can say, they won!). Watch the game again, and count how many times they blitzed Palmer. I can remember twice off the top of my head. The idea was to say content and limit Rudi as well as trying to take away the deep ball. That game was a great example of "who blinks first" mentality.Anyway, the Colts D isn't as good as the #'s say, but they're GREATLY improved and can be counted on to make 2 or 3 key stops a game, which is 2 or 3 more than in previous years. And really all that Peyton needs.
:ptts:
 

BGP

Indians Fever
BGP- Aren't we about due for your yards per point analysis? :scared:
Yup its about that time of the year for all of that. Why be scared? A year ago that analysis said the Steelers were extremely overrated (and they were) and that the Patriots and Eagles would meet in the super bowl.
 

BGP

Indians Fever
I do not like using yards gained and yards allowed when analyzing teams. If you look at the hard data, it is a vastly inferior predictor of what is going to happen in a club's win/loss column compared to points scored and allowed.A big part of that is that some clubs play a bend-but-don't break defense. Measuring clubs by yardage penalizes those clubs unneccessarily.Take a look at the 2001 Patriots. If you measure them by yards, they ranked 19th yards gained and 24th in yards allowed. That is horrible. But they ranked 6th in both points scored and allowed. Which was the more accurate measure? Obviously, the points.

 

BGP

Indians Fever
Yards per point analysis - otherwise known as efficiency. I feel this is also a decent measure of a club. It tries to marry the competing philosophies of points and yards. I still think that points alone is superior.

On offense, you want to be in the low 14s or lower.

Examples: 14.25 YPP, 13.21 YPP

On defense, you want to be above 20.

Examples: 20.50 YPP, 25 YPP

Colts offense: 305 points on 3828 yards

12.55 YPP

Colts defense: 152 points on 2934 yards

19.30 YPP

Steelers defense: 236 points on 3173 yards

13.44 YPP

Steelers defense: 161 points on 2907 yards

18.0 YPP

The Colts offensive YPP of 12.55 is fantastic. That is an extremely high number here. In 2004 they were 12.61. In 2003 they were 13.38. In 2002 they were 16.50.

The Colts defensive YPP of 19.30 approaches super bowl quality. Historically, many super bowl defenses have a YPP of 20 or higher. In 2004, the Colts defense finished at 16.89 In 2003, in 2003 it was 14.92. 16.46 in 2002.

The current Steelers are more efficient on offense than your typical Cowher club. To be honest, the efficiency of your average Cowher-era Steelers has been horrible. This number is nice. A year ago the Steelers finished at 14.61 YPP. I would consider this a super-bowl efficiency on offense.

The 2005 Steeler defense is improved from a year ago in this category. In 2004, the Steelers defense finished at 16.47 YPP.

 

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