The “Good, the Bad, and the Ugly” as the Steelers rally to beat the Colts

Following every Pittsburgh Steelers game, Travis Newton takes a no-holds-barred, unabashed look at what went well, not so good, and just plain ugly. Here is this week’s edition of the “Good, the Bad, and the Ugly”

Everyone take a deep breath! It has been a tale of two seasons this year for the Pittsburgh Steelers and their Week 16 matchup against the Colts played the same tune, being a tale of two halves in the Sunday afternoon thriller.

The Steelers were down bad in the first half with no hope of any momentum as they headed to the locker room. Then out of nowhere, the Black and Gold exploded in the second half, showing a glimpse of the team we saw throughout the first 11 games of the season.

Pittsburgh had already clinched a playoff birth, but with the win against Indianapolis, secured the top spot in the AFC North. Their play was far from perfect, especially in the first half, but the win goes a long way for the Steelers as they head into their final game of the regular season and prepare to make a Playoff run.

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The Good

Diontae Johnson Touchdown Reception

Steelers Ball: 3rd Quarter 3:23  – 1st-and-10 IND 39

Down by 21 points and nearing the end of the 3rd quarter, the Steelers were in desperate need of an offensive spark to get them back in the game. That spark was promptly delivered when Ben Roethlisberger went deep to Diontae Johnson for the score.

Johnson had very little separation from the defender when the ball left the hand of Roethlisberger but turned on the burners to catch up with the perfectly thrown pass. Johnson laid out for the ball just as he crossed the goal line, securing the catch for a 39-yard touchdown to provide the momentum swing needed for the Pittsburgh win.

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The Bad

Zach Pascal Touchdown Reception

Colts Ball: 2nd Quarter 4:08 – 2nd-and-9 PIT 42

The Steelers Defense has been amongst the best in the league throughout the season, but in recent weeks have had a propensity to allow receivers to get behind them. The Pittsburgh secondary stalled again against the Colts, giving up a 42-yard bomb to Zach Pascal.

Philip Rivers was having his way with the Steelers defense in the First Half and added to his stat line when he stepped up in the pocket and delivered a dime to Pascal. The path to the endzone was as simple as it gets for Pascal as he ran a straight go route, splitting the two deep safeties and camping under the pass for the wide-open score.

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The Ugly

Failed 3rd Down Conversion/Lousy Run Game

Steelers Ball: 1st Quarter 6:27 – 3rd-and-1 50

Down early in the 1st Quarter, Pittsburgh needed one yard at midfield to convert on the 3rd downplay. As most teams would, the Steelers went to the ground to Benny Snell for the conversion attempt. The play was stymied from the start with a stalemate at the line of scrimmage. Snell failed to find an opening and was tackled for a two-yard loss, leading to a punt.

The play as a whole wasn’t that ugly, but it opens up the point that the Steelers’ run game has been almost non-existent as of recent and has played a large role in the overall offensive struggles. Pittsburgh finished the game with just 20 yards on the ground, showing once again how one-sided their offense truly is.

Unfortunately, a successful run game doesn’t just magically appear, but the Steelers must find some sort of balance to make any kind of run in the Playoffs.

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