The Pittsburgh Steelers played host to the visiting Indianapolis Colts at Heinz Field for prime time Sunday Night Football. It was a pivitol game for the Steelers, who needed a win to get back into the playoff picture. The Steelers, who are now 7-5, defeated the Colts, who now drop to 6-6, with a final score of 45-10.
Goodbye, Jacoby Jones?
The Steelers win over the Colts didn’t start out very pretty. During the opening kickoff, Jacoby Jones elected to run the ball out, but fumbled the ball at the eight yard line. The Colts recovered, but did not score any points as quarterback Matt Hasselbeck threw his first of two interceptions of the night to linebacker Jarvis Jones.
However, that wouldn’t be the first mishap from Jones for the night. In the second quarter of the game, Jones was back to receive a punt from Pat McAfee. After calling a fair catch, he muffed the ball, but this time the Steelers recovered. However, head coach Mike Tomlin was visibly disappointed and told special teams coordinator Danny Smith that Jacoby was “done” for the night.
Taking Jones’ place for the punt returns was Antonio Brown, who held the duties last season. The move paid off, especially in the fourth quarter, when Brown ran his punt return for a 71 yards for a touchdown to put the Steelers up 45-10.
Antonio Brown can do it all. This includes putting Pat McAfee on skates en route to a 71-yard punt return TD. https://t.co/mM49sFLARg
— NFL (@NFL) December 7, 2015
Big Ben and DeAngelo William have big-number nights
“Big” Ben Roethisberger had quite the night against the Colts defense. Roethlisberger threw four touchdowns to three different receivers: Markus Wheaton, Martavis Bryant and Brown. On top of all of that, Roethlisberger completed 24/39 passes for 364 yards and no interceptions. Roethlisberger also secured another personal best from this season: he didn’t get injured.
DeAngelo Williams also had a big night in the backfield. Although he did not score a touchdown, Williams ran for 134 yards on 26 carries. His longest run was for 21 yards as he continued to set up the Steelers in the red zone.
Brandon Boykin … who? Oh, that’s who.
Steelers fans got exactly what they wanted when Mike Tomlin put Brandon Boykin in for struggling cornerback Antwon Blake in the first quarter. Boykin instantly made an impact, as he grabbed on to Matt Hasselbeck’s second interception of the night. Even though Boykin didn’t run it back for a touchdown, he got some yardage off the interception.
Even more important was Boykin’s coverage. Boykin spent the majority of the night covering Coby Fleener and held him to only four catches for 20 yards. It was a breath of fresh air for Steelers fans after watching Blake struggle during the Seattle Seahawks vs. Steelers game last week. Maybe Tomlin will keep Boykin in now.
Antonio’s big night makes him Player of the Game
Antonio Brown had more than just a punt return touchdown. Brown, who was just named the AFC Offensive Player of the Month for November, continued his success with three touchdowns on the night. His first touchdown came from a 7-yard pass from Roethlisberger in the second quarter.
In the fourth quarter, before his punt return touchdown, Roethlisberger hit Brown again for a 5-yard touchdown. Brown was up against Vontae Davis, a seven-year veteran, for the majority of the night. Brown finished off the night with 118 yards and eight receptions.
Next up for the Steelers
The Steelers will now head over to Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio to take on the Cincinnati Bengals. The game will be on Sunday, December 13 and is slated to begin at 1:00 p.m. EST.