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Colts Can't Mount Comeback In Loss To Steelers

Intro: The Colts have reached the midway point of the 2014 season at 5-3 after struggling defensively on Sunday afternoon in Pittsburgh. Here’s a rundown of the Colts 51-34 loss to the Steelers.


INDIANAPOLISFirst Quarter Recap

The Colts won the toss and chose to receive.

T.Y. Hilton got things clicking early for the Colts offense with a 45-yard reception on the game's opening drive. The drive bogged down in the red zone though. Adam Vinatieri knocked home a 31-yard field goal to make the score 3-0 with 11:56 left in the first quarter.

Pittsburgh's first crack with the ball was pretty flawless. The Steelers converted an early third-and-one to start the 80-yard touchdown drive. Steelers wide receiver Markus Wheaton hauled in an 18-yard touchdown to give Pittsburgh an early 7-3 lead.

Facing their first deficit since Week Two of the season, the Colts offense went three-and-out.

The Steelers once again penetrated deep into Colts territory with a goal-to-go situation before the first quarter block ran out.

At the end of the first quarter, the Steelers led the Colts 7-3.

Second Quarter Recap

Pittsburgh finished off that drive with rookie Martavis Bryant catching a five-yard touchdown. With 14:57 to go in the second quarter, the Steelers led the Colts 14-3.

Trying to claw back into the game, Andrew Luck threw a pick six to Steelers cornerback William Gay. Looking for Hakeem Nicks, Luck's pass was timed perfectly by Gay and returned 33 yards for a touchdown.

A much-needed spark was in order for the Colts. Rookie wide receiver Donte Moncrief took off for a 52-yard gain on a third-and-three. Four plays later, it was Dwayne Allen once again finding the end zone. Allen made a beautiful basket grab on a 21-yard reception for the touchdown. The score cut the Steelers lead to 21-10 with 11:36 to go in the first half.

On the next drive, it looked like the Colts were going to get off the field with allowing just three points but an offsides penalty on a Steelers field goal attempt gave Pittsburgh new life. On the next play, Antonio Brown made a spectacular one-handed touchdown catch for an eight-yard score. Pittsburgh now led 28-10 with 8:33 left in the second quarter.

It would be another three-and-out for the Colts offense.

The Colts lack of pass rush was evident on the next Steelers series. Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger got ample time to throw and found Antonio Brown for a 47-yard touchdown. The lead was now 35-10 with 5:08 left in the first half.

Any attempt for an historic comeback got started with T.Y. Hilton. Andrew Luck hung in the pocket to deliver a 28-yard score to Hilton. The touchdown cut the lead to 35-17 with 1:56 to go in the first half.

It was a crazy end to the half beginning with Colts rookie linebacker Jonathan Newsome blocking a pooch punt attempt by Ben Roethlisberger.

That gave the Colts a chance for some final minute points. A 39-yard reception by T.Y. Hilton put the Colts in range. Adam Vinatieri hit a 23-yard field goal at the halftime gun.

At halftime, the Steelers led the Colts 35-20.

Third Quarter Recap

Pittsburgh took the opening kickoff of the third quarter and marched down the field for another score. The key play came on a third-and-eight where busted Colts coverage sprung Steelers tight end Heath Miller for 49 yards. It would be Martavis Bryant snagging a fade pass from two yards out for the score. Pittsburgh now led 42-20 with 9:59 left in the third quarter.

Protection issues continued to plague the Colts offense. A punt was in order on the Colts opening offensive drive of the half.

The Colts forced their second punt of the day on the following drive.

Donte Moncrief continued to flash for the Colts and at this point in the game the rookie had five catches for 77 yards. This drive by the offense was capped by a patient Ahmad Bradshaw finding the end zone on a 12-yard rush. Pittsburgh's lead was now 42-27 with 3:38 left in the fourth quarter.

A turnover was needed to spark things for the Colts and they got just that. Darius Butler forced a fumble of Darius Heyward-Bey and the Colts were in business. Moncrief once again delivered. His 31-yard touchdown brought the Colts to within a possession at 42-34 with 2:35 left in the third quarter.

At the end of the third quarter, the Steelers led the Colts 42-34.

Fourth Quarter Recap

Pittsburgh looked like it was going to regain control with a drive deep in Colts territory. But it was another timely turnover forced by the defense. Andy Studebaker, filling in for Erik Walden, stripped LeGarrette Blount and recovered the fumble.

Unfortunately for the Colts, the momentum wouldn't last. Backed up against the goal line, Andrew Luck got his feet tangled up, fell to the ground and a desperation heave led to an intentional grounding penalty and two points for the Steelers. Pittsburgh's lead was now 44-34 with 12:34 left in the fourth quarter.

Needing a stop, the Colts defense had its chances on a 12-play drive from the Steelers. On a fourth-and-inches at the Colts 11-yard line, the Steelers went for it and Ben Roethlisberger found tight end Heath Miller for the game-clinching touchdown. The Steelers lead was now 51-34 with 5:14 to go in the fourth quarter.

The 51-34 loss for the Colts dropped their record to 5-3 on the year. The Colts hold a one-game lead in the AFC South and will travel to New York for a Monday Night matchup next week against the Giants (3-4).Colts Inactives

25-Jalil Brown

60-Lance Louis

62-Khaled Holmes

64-Jamon Meredith

73-Kelcy Quarles

87-Reggie Wayne

95-Montori Hughes

Colts Pre-Game Notes

-A win on Sunday would mean the Colts finish the first half of the 2014 season with a 6-2 mark.Weather Update

-Reports from Heinz Field has temperatures in the 60s with a windy early evening in Pittsburgh.

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