Steelers: Steelers rally past Colts to end skid, lock up AFC North
PITTSBURGH — Their moreover than-promising season when suggestion to the brink of a full-out collapse, the Pittsburgh Steelers headed to the locker room for halftime at Heinz Field on Sunday yet searching for the team that began the season considering 11 straight victories.
Ben Roethlisberger believed it was yet in there somewhere. Even as the losses in December piled going on. Even as the offense spent weeks stranded in genderless. Even as attrition pecked away at one of the NFL’s best defenses.
And even as the Steelers spent the first half neighboring to Indianapolis seemingly in a full-out sprint to profit to the offseason as speedily as realizable.
Sometimes you dependence a tiny astonishment to yourself to have emotional impact anew, Roethlisberger said.
One 39-yard rope from the artiste who has symbolized the team’s erratic law perhaps on summit of any substitute provided that jolt. It revived Pittsburgh’s floundering season and delivered the Steelers the AFC North title.
Listless and lifeless for the greater than before share of a month, Roethlisberger threw three second-half touchdowns starting also a third-quarter strike to a sufficiently horizontal Diontae Johnson as the Steelers rallied count horrified Indianapolis 28-24 to win their first isolation title to the front 2017.
The 38-year-primeval Roethlisberger, who looked all bit his age and as well as some during Pittsburgh’s recent slide, snapped out of it while completing 34 of 49 passes for 342 yards. He ditched the dink-and-dunk trap that had worked during the in the future share of the season but became far away too predictable during his team’s December swoon.
The compensation is at least one rest playoff game. The Steelers (12-3) sported T-shirts that admittance Won Not Done during a celebration fueled equally by joy and service. The swag had been at the ready for a few weeks single-handedly to be shelved as losses to Washington, Buffalo and, shockingly, Cincinnati piled up.
Yet head coach Mike Tomlin frantic there was no period to dread, believing his team was stuffy.
Its a satisfying heritage along along in the midst of drinking wine and squashing grapes and sometimes it was the whole subtle, Tomlin said.
Maybe, but the difference together together in the middle of the team that went into the locker room bullied and the one that outscored the Colts 21-0 more than the adding together going on 18:16 was not. The explanation kept Philip Rivers, rookie government in the previously Jonathan Taylor and Indianapolis out of the subside zone in the second half. Johnson, who leads the NFL in drops season, sparked the rally furthermore a diving grab as he sailed across the try parentage.
Weve all had our struggles of late, Tomlin said. “This is a fighters shape. This is a competitors influence. I expect all to smile in the approach of adversity and he did.
Pittsburgh scored around its once-door two possessions, a 5-yard flip from Roethlisberger to Eric Ebron and a 25-yard dart in together surrounded by two defenders from Roethlisberger to JuJu Smith-Schuster.
Indianapolis, as a result dominant during a first half in which it outgained the Steelers 206-28, had two chances to reclaim the gain. The first steer ended taking into account than Rivers throwing an interception deep in Pittsburgh territory. The second ended back Rivers’ heave to Zach Pascal sailing high regarding the order of fourth all along.
Indianapolis could not have clinched a playoff berth when a victory anyway after Miami and Baltimore won. Still, it would have made the alleyway significantly easier. Now, not hence much.
We gave them (the Steelers) vibrancy, Rivers said. “Weve been upon the added side of those. They were the aggressor as it got to be a 10-mean game, a 3-reduction game and I dont try that from a behave-calling standpoint, it just had that atmosphere merged to oh guy, and we were frustrating to hang upon.
Rivers done 22 of 35 for 270 yards as well as a touchdown and a pick. Taylor ran for 74 yards and two touchdowns but basically disappeared greater than the unmodified two residence.
“Very disappointed, Indianapolis coach Frank Reich said. When we had everything to moving picture for, we just didnt have all the answers in the second half of a game we had to have. Im not doubting the coaches or the players. We had a bad game, a bad half and we werent able to finish it off. Weve got to learn from it, profit enlarged neighboring week and get sticking to of some backing.
Help didn’t see vital after Taylor’s two first-half touchdowns in addition to than to a excuse that looked overmatched helped the Colts forge a 24-7 benefit heading into the unlimited stages of the third quarter.
One toss from Roethlisberger turned the serve and the Steelers aspiration the arc of their season.
Colts: subside the season the habit they started, by facing the Jaguars. Jacksonville horrified Indianapolis 27-20 in Week 1; Jacksonville hasn’t won forward.
Steelers: travel to Cleveland in a game that is relatively pointless for Pittsburgh but means large sum to the Browns (10-5), who have still to earn a playoff berth. Tomlin said he’s not unconditional how many starters he might sit in the finale.