INDIANAPOLIS – A decade after meeting in Super Bowl XL, Ben Roethlisberger (pending concussion protocol) and Matt Hasselbeck will see each other once again on Sunday.
Week 13 of the NFL season pits two of the game's all-time leading passers currently leading their respective teams in the AFC playoff picture.
The Steelers welcome the Colts this Sunday night after a 39-30 loss in Seattle last week.
Big Ben threw for a season-high 456 yards last Sunday, continuing a year where he's torching opposing defensive backfields (when healthy).
He's averaging 334.7 passing yards per game in his seven starts this season, tops in the NFL.
This week, the Colts are also going to see arguably the game's top receiver.
The elusive Antonio Brown ranks second in the league with 1,192 receiving yards. His 431 yards after catch this season is more than any wide receiver.
Pittsburgh is trying to overcome the loss of All-Pro running back Le'Veon Bell.
On November 1, Bell tore his MCL against the Bengals, thrusting veteran free agent addition DeAngelo Williams into a much greater role which he has excelled in.
Despite the injuries on offense this year, Pittsburgh ranks top 10 in rushing and passing offense, with a focus still falling on situational football (the Steelers are 24th in third-down offense and 17th in red-zone efficiency).
The Steelers have struggled against the pass this season after long-time defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau moved on in the offseason.
They are seventh against the run this season, an area where the Colts have struggled in recent weeks.
If the playoffs started today, the Colts would be the No. 4 seed and the Steelers would be just on the outside, currently losing a Wild Card tiebreaker.
*2015 Record: *6-5, 2nd in the AFC North.
*Head Coach: *Mike Tomlin, 9th season as Steelers head coach and 9th NFL season as head coach (88-48 overall regular season, 5-4 playoffs).
*2015 NFL Rankings: *Offense – Overall, 4th (398.8); Rushing, 8th (119.9); Passing, 6th (278.9). Defense – Overall, 23rd (377.3); Rushing, 7th (93.6); Passing, 30th (283.6).
2015 Leading Passer: Ben Roethlisberger (177-of-266 comp., 2,343 yards, 66.5 pct., 11 TDs, 9 INTs).
*2015 Leading Rusher: *DeAngelo Williams (115 carries, 563 yards, 6 TDs).
*2015 Leading Receiver: *Antonio Brown (85 receptions, 1,192 yards, 5 TDs).
2015 Leading Sacker: Cameron Heyward (5.0).
2015 Turnover Breakdown: Plus 1 (13th in the NFL).
2015 NFL Draft Results: Pittsburgh concentrated on the defensive side of the ball with six of their eight draft picks. Looking for a future edge rusher, the Steelers chose outside linebacker Bud Dupree from Kentucky at No. 22 overall. Dupree ranks third on the team with 4.0 sacks through 11 games. Second-round pick Senquez Golden has been sidelined with a shoulder injury throughout his entire rookie season.
2014 Review:The Steelers won the AFC North last season in dramatic fashion. Pittsburgh won their last four games of 2014, including a Week 17 victory over Cincinnati to clinch the AFC North. An injury to Pro Bowl running back Le'Veon Bell though in the regular season finale kept him out of the playoffs and the Steelers bowed out to the Ravens in the Wild Card round. In the offseason, long-time defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau moved on to Tennessee.
Last time in Playoffs: 2014 season. Lost in the Wild Card round of the playoffs, 30-17, to the Baltimore Ravens.
*Last time in Super Bowl: *2010 season. Lost Super Bowl XLV, 31-25, to the Green Bay Packers.
*Super Bowl Championships: *Six: 1974 (IX), 1975 (X), 1978 (XIII), 1979 (XIV), 2005 (XL), 2008 (XLIII).
2015 Pro Bowl Selections:RB-Le'Veon Bell, WR-Antonio Brown, C-Maurkice Pouncey, QB-Ben Roethlisberger, ILB-Lawrence Timmons