PITTSBURGH –First Quarter Recap
The Steelers won the toss and chose to receive.
The game would start with three turnovers before even three minutes had expired. Jonathan Newsome forced a fumble on the opening kickoff and rookie D'Joun Smith jumped on the loose ball.
Indianapolis could not take advantage though. On a third-and-nine from the Steelers 10-yard line, Pittsburgh linebacker Jarvis Jones picked off Matt Hasselbeck.
Starting for Jerrell Freeman, Nate Irving would give the Colts offense the ball right back. Billy Winn recovered a forced fumble by Irving.
The Colts got on the board with a 35-yard field goal from Adam Vinatieri, making the score 3-0 with 10:19 left in the first quarter.
Pittsburgh tied the score at three on their next possession, with a heavy emphasis through the air. A 29-yard field goal from kicker Chris Boswell tied the score at three with 5:27 remaining in the first.
The turnover-filled first quarter didn't cease. On a third-and-15, Steelers cornerback Brandon Boykin made a diving interception off a tipped pass deflection from William Gay.
It was nice sudden change defense for the Colts, holding the Steelers to a field goal. A 51-yarder from Boswell gave Pittsburgh a 6-3 lead at the 3:15 mark of the opening quarter.
The Colts were nearing midfield when the first quarter came to a close.
At the end of the first quarter, the Steelers led the Colts 6-3.Second Quarter Recap
The most productive Colts offensive drive of the night ended on a failed third-and-one, just past midfield.
Field position was flipped and the Colts defense kept it that way with a quick three-and-out. The Colts would get the ball back at the Pittsburgh 46-yard line with 10:54 left until halftime.
On the Colts third drive starting in Steelers territory, the offense finally cashed in. Two catches for 44 yards by Andre Johnson ignited the drive. A nine-yard touchdown toss by Matt Hasselbeck to Frank Gore gave the Colts a 10-6 lead at the 8:25 mark of the second.
We saw the potency of the Pittsburgh offense on their next series. A 10-play, 80-yard drive came from big plays to Antonio Brown and Martavis Bryant. Brown's seven-yard touchdown reception was followed up by a successful two-points conversion (the Steelers seventh of the season), to give Pittsburgh a 14-10 lead.
Looking for a late-half score, the Colts went three-and-out after not being able to pick up a third-and-two.
Pittsburgh would convert their late-half drive into points. Moving 60 yards in less than two minutes, Ben Roethlisberger found Markus Wheaton for the touchdown.
At halftime, the Steelers led the Colts 21-10.Third Quarter Recap
Any early, second-half momentum didn't come for the Colts offense, with the unit going three-and-out to start the third quarter.
Pittsburgh would then strike. On a third-and-three, Steelers wide receiver Martavis Bryant got by Greg Toler for a 68-yard touchdown. Pittsburgh's lead was now 28-10 with 12:35 left in the third.
On Indianapolis' next offensive series, Colts nation held their breath when Matt Hasselbeck went down. Hasselbeck did walk off the field under his own power, following another series that led to a punt for the Colts.
The score would stay at 28-10 after kicker Chris Boswell missed from 47 yards out, just his second miss of the season.
With Hasselbeck back under center, the Colts put together a nice drive, highlighted by a 35-yard catch and run from Frank Gore. Things bogged down in the red zone and a failed fourth-and-one kept the deficit at three scores for the Colts with the third quarter clock ticking under four minutes.
The third quarter would come to a close with the Steelers hitting on another chunk play to Antonio Brown.
At the end of the third quarter, the Steelers led the Colts 28-10.Fourth Quarter Recap
The Steelers lead would grow even more to start the fourth quarter. Big Ben and Antonio Brown connected from five yards out and the lead was now 35-10 with 14:11 remaining.
A 60-yard return by Quan Bray wouldn't lead to any points for the offense. James Harrison stripped Matt Hasselbeck and Vince Williams recovered the fumble at the Steelers 22-yard line.
Pittsburgh would begin to chew up the clock, while still extending their lead. An 11-play drive ate up 6:24 and ended with Chris Boswell hitting from 42 yards out. The lead for Pittsburgh was now 38-10 with 6:29 remaining.
Charlie Whitehurst entered the game on the next Colts drive with Matt Hasselbeck ruled out due to a shoulder/neck injury.
A 71-yard punt return from All-Pro Antonio Brown made it 39 unanswered points for the Steelers. The lead was 45-10 with 4:01 left in the fourth quarter.
Neither team put any points on the board the rest of the way.
The 45-10 loss for the Colts ended their three-game winning streak.
Next up for the Colts (6-6) is a road trip to Jacksonville (4-8) next Sunday at 1:00 p.m. EST.
Colts In-Game Injuries
-QB-Matt Hasselbeck (shoulder/neck, ruled OUT)
Colts Pre-Game Notes
-The Colts are 2-10 all-time in Pittsburgh. They've won just one road game against the Steelers since 1968.Weather Update
-Considering normal December conditions in Pittsburgh, it's a calm night at Heinz Field. No precipitation, little wind and temperatures in the upper 30s are in the forecast for tonight.