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Throwback Thursday: Steel Curtain Struggles (Part 2)

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The Colts have historically struggled against the Pittsburgh Steelers. This Sunday, the Colts look for their first win against the Steelers in seven years. This week, Ben Lamers reviews the dark history that the Colts have when facing Pittsburgh.

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Last year when the Colts rolled into Pittsburgh, I wrote about how the Colts have historically struggled with the Steelers. I'm going to write about more of those struggles again today (sorry).

The first meeting between the Colts and Steelers occurred in 1950 when the Baltimore Colts traveled to Forbes Field to take on the Steelers. It didn't end well for the boys in blue, as they lost 17-7, setting the tone for the rest of the meetings between the two franchises.

The Colts wouldn't get their first win over the Steelers until 1968 when Earl Morrall led the Colts to a 41-7 blowout win over Pittsburgh. Of course, the Colts were en route to a 13-1 season in 1968, while the Steelers were plummeting to a 2-11-1 record.

This was one of only two games where the Colts have ever won in Pittsburgh, and the only time the Baltimore Colts won in the Steel City.

In 1971, the teams met again, and the Colts recorded their second straight win over Pittsburgh, this time in Baltimore. It is the only time in franchise history they have beaten the Steelers twice in a row.

Then, the 70s came around, the Steelers moved into Three Rivers Stadium, and the Colts recent success was gone. The Colts would lose their next eight contests against Pittsburgh, including two playoff losses in 1974 and 1975. Those back-to-back wins were the only two times the Baltimore Colts ever beat the Steelers.

When the Colts moved to Indianapolis, it appeared that they had turned over a new leaf in the series.

The two met in the Hoosier Dome in 1984, and the Colts emerged with a 17-16 victory. The Colts trailed 13-0 entering the fourth quarter before Mike Pagel led them to 17 fourth quarter points and a surprising upset win.

However, that "new leaf" wasn't meant to be. The next nine meetings between the teams all went to Pittsburgh. That stretch included two back-to-back playoffs losses to the Steelers, much like in the 1970s. The closest the Colts came to winning any games in that stretch was a 24-22 loss in Three Rivers Stadium.

Sad fact: The Colts never won in Three Rivers Stadium. Never.

The Peyton Manning era finally brought about a win against the Steelers. In a Monday Night showdown, Manning found Marvin Harrison for an 80 yard score on the first play, and the Colts never looking back, winning 26-7.

Unfortunately, the Colts followed up their first win over Pittsburgh in 21 years, with one of the most hurtful losses in franchise history, falling at home in the Divisional playoffs.

In the 2008 campaign, the Colts notched their second ever win in Pittsburgh, 40 years after winning their first in the Steel City. Manning led the injury riddled Colts to victory by throwing touchdowns to Reggie Wayne, Dallas Clark, and Dominic Rhodes. It didn't hurt that quarterback Ben Roethlisberger tossed three interceptions, including one to Melvin Bullitt at the Colts 6-yard-line to end the game.

That would be the last time Manning would face Pittsburgh in a Colts uniform.

The next time the teams played was in 2011 when the Steelers returned to Indianapolis for a primetime showdown. The game saw the Colts only lose by three, despite needing to use both Kerry Collins and Curtis Painter in the game.

And that brings us to the most recent meeting between the two. Last year the Colts were ripped apart by Roethlisberger to the tune of a 51-34 loss. Roethlisberger finished the day 40-49 for 522 yards and six scores.

This time, it will be Matt Hasselbeck going into Pittsburgh looking to lead the Colts to a win. Hasselbeck is 2-3 against the Steelers in his career. He won both of his home games, lost both games in Pittsburgh, and of course, lost the Super Bowl to the Steelers as well.

That's a fairly dark picture that I've painted now (sorry). Here's hoping that the Colts can notch their seventh ever win over Pittsburgh, and their third ever on the road.