INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown hooked up for three touchdowns, and the Pittsburgh Steelers’ defense shut down the depleted Indianapolis Colts in a 28-7 victory Thursday night.
The Steelers (6-5) helped their playoff chances with a second straight win and snapped a four-game losing streak on Thanksgiving.
“When you’re in the huddle with him (Roethlisberger), you know you’re going to have a chance to make some big plays,” Brown said.
Colts quarterback Andrew Luck sat out with a concussion, and his absence showed as Indy’s first winning streak of the season ended at two games. While replacement Scott Tolzien hung tough most of the night, the performance wasn’t good enough to extend the Colts’ 10-game winning streak on Thursday nights.
The Steelers built a 21-7 lead by scoring touchdowns on each of their first three possessions — a 5-yard TD run from Le’Veon Bell, and touchdown catches by Brown of 25 and 33 yards.
Indy’s only score came on a 5-yard TD pass from Tolzien to Donte Moncrief early in the second quarter, a play set up by the first completion of Pat McAfee’s career on a fake punt.
The Colts (5-6) had two chances to trim the deficit but Tolzien was stopped twice on third-down runs at the 1-yard line, and the Steelers forced incompletions on both fourth-down plays.
“This is a humbling league and God, when you’re that close, we’ve got to put them in,” Tolzien said. “Personally, I look at those two opportunities. I had two chances with the ball in my hand and I just wish I could have punched them in.”
Pittsburgh sealed it with — what else? — a 22-yard TD pass from Roethlisberger to Brown with 5:30 left.
Roethlisberger was 14 of 20 for 221 yards, Brown caught five passes for 91 yards and Bell ran 23 times for 120 yards.
Tolzien finished 22 of 36 for 205 yards with one TD and two interceptions.
Colts greats Tony Dungy and Marvin Harrison received their Hall of Fame rings at halftime. Dungy was the coach of the 2006 Super Bowl championship team that celebrated its 10-year anniversary Sunday. Harrison is the team’s career leader in receptions, yards receiving and TDs and also played on the title team. Both were inducted into the Hall of Fame in August. “It’s one of those things you don’t even dream about when you’re young,” Dungy said. “You dream about making it to the NFL and possibly winning a Super Bowl, but you never dream about these kinds of things and the Hall of Fame.”
Steelers: LB James Harrison was escorted off the field by officials in the first quarter after getting dinged. Pittsburgh safety Mike Mitchell (stinger) left late in the first half. Neither stayed out long.
Colts: It was a rough night. After starting the game without Luck, they lost center Ryan Kelly (left shoulder) on the opening series, right guard Denzelle Good (neck and shoulder) on the second series, cornerback Vontae Davis (groin) in the second quarter and receiver T.Y. Hilton (bruised lower back) late in the first half. Good and Hilton both returned but then left again in the second half. Kelly and Davis did not return at all. Outside linebacker Robert Mathis (elbow) exited late in the game and did not return.
Steelers: Will try to extend their winning streak to three Dec. 4 when the New York Giants visit.
Colts: Hope to have Luck back in the lineup when they visit the New York Jets on Dec. 5.