INDIANAPOLIS – The nerves were evident on the first series of the game.
After that, Scott Tolzien looked like a quarterback that could give his team a chance to pull off the upset.
The question was asked all week long, with confident answers not too abundant: How would Tolzien handle his first meaningful playing time since 2013?
The answer came Thursday night.
All things considered, Tolzien was pretty solid.
"Scott gave us a chance (and) I thought he played his ass off," Chuck Pagano said after Tolzien went 22-of-36 for 205 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions, both of which came in the fourth quarter.
"He is one tough son of a gun. He hung in there and hung in there and made some really tough throws and took some shots along the way. I am very proud of that kid."
While Tolzien's numbers won't satisfy the majority of Fantasy Football owners, the six-year veteran quarterback led six drives into Pittsburgh territory.
Not being able to turn those opportunities into points really ate at Tolzien during his post-game press conference.
"When you're that close, you have to put them in," Tolzien said pointing to a pair of failed 4th-and-Goals from the one-yard line.
"I had two chances with the ball in my hand and I wish I could've punched it in. You can't have that in this league, you can't win games when you can't score from that short."
With Pittsburgh's offense having a past history of putting up points against Indy, a shootout was thought to be the only way the Colts would have a chance on Thursday.
The Colts had six of their nine drives cross midfield, a recipe for plenty of points, but the NFL's No. 2 red-zone offense scored just seven points on those six series.
The lack of a reliable run game and too many drops undid the Colts' effort to hang with Pittsburgh.
Both coaches and players were adamant the play of Tolzien was not the reason why the Colts dropped to 5-6 on the season.
"Amazing," T.Y. Hilton said of Tolzien's play.
"He put us in a situation to win the game. We just didn't make the plays out there."