It was not pretty.
The Colts began the game missing T.Y. Hilton at wide receiver. They lost Ryan Kelly at center early in the first quarter. The Indianapolis offensive line had immediate issues against a mean Pittsburgh defense due to the absence of Kelly. After a back and forward first quarter, the Colts took another tremendous blow to their starting lineup. This time, it was Jacoby Brissett who went down. Brissett took a fellow teammates helmet to the knee during an early drive of the second quarter. Brissett was taken out of the game for evaluation and was kept out for the remainder of the game. Coach Frank Reich commented post-game on the blow to Brissett’s knee. “I think it looks like a sprain, but we’ll see to what degree” Reich said. “We have to see how it responds.” Brissett is currently continuing evaluation as Colts fans await nervously for a definite prognosis on the severity of the injury. Brissett was 4 of 5 for 59 yards before exiting the game.
Brian Hoyer, the backup quarterback to Brissett, took the field after Brisset’s injury. Hoyer had a strong start, connecting with Jack Doyle for a touchdown on only his second play of the drive. Hoyer finished the game completing 17 out of 26 pass attempts for 168 yards and a pass completion rating of 65.4%. He threw for three touchdowns and one interception. While a Brissett injury was indeed a worst-case scenario for the Indianapolis Colts, Brian Hoyer showed that he is capable of taking over in such situations.
The Colt’s could not seem to hold onto much of anything during Sunday’s game. It was as if they decided to emulate a Colt’s team of a few years prior. Easy passes were dropped. A kickoff return was fumbled. There were errors left and right for the Colt’s offense throughout the matchup.
For the second time in the last two weeks, the game came down to an Adam Vinatieri field goal. In week 8, Vinatieri kicked a 51-yard field goal to defeat the Denver Broncos 15 to 13. This week against the Steelers, he wasn’t so lucky. A 43-yard field goal attempt went wide left, resulting in a Colt’s loss.
While it seems that Vinatieri has gotten crucified by fans for every missed kick this season (5 of 17 attempts, his most since 2012), he is not the only one at fault for Sunday’s botched attempt. Rigoberto Sanchez, the punter/holder for the Colts, had the laces facing towards Vinatieri on the hold for the field goal, which very likely contributed to the miss.
The Colts fell to the Steelers Sunday 26 to 24 due to injuries and an all-around poor performance. While I wish I could blame the loss on the downright terrible officiating (aka beating the dead horse of this year’s NFL season), there were too many errors for the Colt’s to come out on top.
The Colts will host the Miami Dolphins this coming Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium in downtown Indianapolis.
Stay tuned for an update on Jacoby Brissett.