The Good, Bad, and Ugly column is a breakdown of several segments of each game into each of a grading category of "good", "bad", or "ugly". To get to the nitty gritty, Joe Kuzma dissects three moments from each game which could be best classified as each of those labels.
The Pittsburgh Steelers succeeded in stacking their third victory of the season in a back-and-forth battle with the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday, by a final score of 26-24.
There were plenty of peaks and valleys, per the usual. Here are the moments I felt stood out in this game.
Good – Minkah Fitzpatrick's Pick Six
Colts Ball: 2nd Quarter 2:36 - 1st-and-10 PIT 20
It appeared that the Colts, currently up 10-3, were about to coast to more points before Brian Hoyer made a "Brian Hoyer" style play...
That is, an interception.
Fitzpatrick blew in front of Hoyer's intended target, TE Jack Doyle, picked off the pass, and would surge down the sideline for a 96-yard touchdown.
Fitzpatrick has become a difference maker in only his sixth game with the Steelers since being traded in Week 3 from the Miami Dolphins. This play not only took points off of the board for the Colts, but added them for the Steelers and could have been the single-most important play in aiding Pittsburgh to victory.
Bad – Steven Nelson's Pass Interference
Colts Ball: 4th Quarter 2:20 - 3rd-and-10 IND 15
This one nearly cost the Steelers the game.
Brian Hoyer badly overthrew a deep pass intended for WR Zach Pascal, who was being covered by Steelers CB Steven Nelson. The two players would get tangled up downfield, with Pascal seemingly initiating contact, stopping short of a ball he couldn't catch up to and the two players going to the turf.
The intended pass would then sail over five yards further downfield!!
Naturally, the referees threw a flag on the play and gave the Colts a fresh set of downs just as the Steelers defense had appeared to force a three and out.
Mike Tomlin would unsuccessfully challenge this play, and yet one more involving the same two players in what was a similar ticky-tack play that mirrored a call made earlier in the game except with a different result. (The previous play say Colts coach Frank Reich challenge to receive an uncalled pass interference that would be denied at the end of the first half.)
This time? The referees stuck with their bad decision that was inconsistent with the one Reich had challenged. Of course they weren't going to overturn either bad call and in both cases the Steelers got screwed out of 35 and 19 yards respectively.
Those calls gave the Colts an opportunity to win the game with a 43-yard field goal with 1:14 remaining in the game. Fortunately the football gods favored the Steelers as Indianapolis K Adam Vinatieri missed his attempt!
Just As Bad – NFL.com confusing Terrell and Trey Edmunds
Steelers Ball: 1st Quarter 7:09 - 1st-and-10 PIT 25
His name is Edmunds, but it's Trey not Terrell.
The NFL goofed big time during the Steelers/Colts game on Sunday when one of their writers mistook recently called up practice squad running back, Trey Edmunds for his brother, starting safety Terrell Emunds, on what would be a 45-yard gain for the former.
— Joe Kuzma (SCU & DisContent) (@joe_kuzma) November 3, 2019
Ugly – Mason's Early Turnover
Steelers Ball: 1st Quarter 12:33 - 3rd-and-13 IND 49
The Steelers received the ball to start the game and got two first downs on their first drive before being faced with a 3rd-and-13 in the middle of the field.
The Colts would return the pass 35 yards down to the Steelers 35, and the result would end in three points for Indy off of the snafu.
Note: For all of the chatter about releasing Donte Moncrief this weekend (because he "couldn't catch the ball") fans might not be paying attention to JuJu's miscues this season, which have also cost the Steelers dearly in key situations. Nothing against either player, but it's something that I really wanted to point out because some harsh critics were placing more blame on Rudolph for this play, which is a bit unfair.
Regardless, the offense needs to clean these plays up as it has already cost them several close games which could've been won this season.