INDIANAPOLIS – ADDAI LEADS THE WAY: One of the strengths for the Colts offense through the first three games of the regular season has been the running game.
Indoctrinating a new quarterback into an extensive offensive playbook has forced the Colts to rely more extensively on a part of their offense that has not been as prominent as the passing game in years past.
That has not been in the case in 2011 as the Colts came into Sunday night's game against the Steelers averaging 4.1 yards a carry through two games.
After sharing the load with rookie Delone Carter for the first two games, Joseph Addai led the way with 17 carries for 86 yards and a touchdown Sunday night.
The 5.1 yards a carry for Addai was even more impressive considering the Steelers only gave up 31 yards in their week two victory over the Seattle Seahawks.
Historically known for stopping the run, the Steelers' 62.8 rushing yards per game allowed in 2010 was third-least in NFL history for yards allowed rushing in a season.
Addai's six-yard touchdown came on a third-and-two with 2:09 remaining and tied the game at 20.
The touchdown was the first rushing score of 2011 for Addai and was an answer to the previous drive in which the offense turned the ball over.
"I think everybody was just believing that we needed to make a score," Addai said. "We came back, made a couple of runs, had some nice throws and got in the end zone. I think the mindset was just get in the end zone."
After kicking four field goals against Cleveland in week two and another two more Sunday night, Addai and the offense know they need to start converting those into touchdowns.
"I think we did everything we could have done except put points on the board. We fought hard. I think everybody saw that. I think the next thing is put some points on the board."
WAYNE CATCHES 800TH CAREER PASS: It wasn't in spectacular fashion but with an 11-yard screen pass in the second quarter, wide receiver Reggie Wayne became the second player in Colts history with 800 catches.
Wayne caught the screen pass on a second-and-10 from the Pittsburgh 38-yard line, which led to the Colts' first points of the evening.
On the Colts first drive of the game, Wayne caught a four-yard pass from quarterback Kerry Collins and that marked the 83rd consecutive regular season game in which the 11-year veteran has caught a pass.
The accolades for Wayne keep on adding up. Since 2004 he leads all receivers in the NFL in receptions (657) and receiving yards (9,045).
He also leads all active wide receivers with seven consecutive 1,000-yard seasons.
The 24 yards receiving against the Steelers puts Wayne 54 short of 11,000 for his career and the only other Colt to put his name in both categories is former teammate Marvin Harrison.
"Just means I'm inching away at more catches. I guess it shows how many years I've been playing," Wayne said "It's always good when you set some type of milestone just going to see what I can add on to it."
ANGRY IN THE MIDDLE: Going up against one of the AFC's most productive running backs and missing a defensive captain can add up to a long day in the run defense department.
But instead it was the opposite Sunday night thanks to Pat Angerer and his 20 total tackles.
Filling in for an injured Gary Brackett at middle linebacker, Angerer could not remember the last time he had 20 tackles.
"Maybe in high school when I blitzed every play," Angerer said.
A quiet guy, who leads by his play on the field, Angerer would give up all the individual acclaim for the Colts to have gotten the 'W' against Pittsburgh.
"It doesn't matter. I would rather have zero tackles and win every day," Angerer said.
A second-year pro out of Iowa, Angerer normally plays the outside linebacker position but with Brackett sidelined he slid to the middle for the second straight week.
Cornerback Jerraud Powers had high praise for Angerer giving him the compliment all players want to here—he has 'it.'
"Pat's a football player. He has that 'it.' He's always going to be around the ball making plays," Powers said. "Gary's out and he stepped right in and it's just like we're not missing a beat. He has a nose for the ball, hard-working guy. Might not say too much around the crowd but Pat knows how to play the game of football and he does it well."
Angerer led a Colts defense that kept Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall to 2.4 yards a carry, which is a yard and a half below his 2010 average.
Following the game Colts head coach Jim Caldwell said he was impressed with his entire linebacker corps including the man in the middle.
"One of the thing's is he's a very instinctive guy," Caldwell said of Angerer. "He's all over the place, just in terms of his ability to run and tackle. He's a guy that has a very good feel for the run game, how to stop it, and getting in position to make tackles."
Coming into the game against the Steelers, Angerer had 21 tackles on the season and his 20-tackle performance was more than double any of his teammates. As the Colts head into a Monday Night contest with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers next week, the goal remains the same.
"We didn't get the win and we let them score at the end and that's all that matters," Angerer said. "We're going to keep fighting and we're going to be all right."