Though it’s only the preseason, the Indianapolis Colts desperately need to put a solid game together tonight in their third preseason game of the 2017 season. Heading into Pittsburgh hasn’t been an easy gig lately for the Colts, in fact, they’ve flat out stunk it up against the Steelers in the last three years.
Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown will reportedly both be playing tonight at Heinz Field, and this very new and unimpressive — to this point — defense will be tested from the first snap of the game. We know that there will be some of the Colts key players sitting this one out, but if any of those who are playing are going to need a realistic test to find out what they can do... this is certainly it.
In their past three meetings the Steelers have racked up 124 points, 1531 total yards and Roethlisberger has tossed 13 touchdowns without a single interception. Now, I don’t mean to suggest that the secondary will consider a preseason interception, or even a possible poor performance from Roethlisberger to be some sort of a moral victory, but there isn’t a better barometer for this group to test their skills against at this point in the process.
It isn’t just through the air that the Colts have been dismantled by the Steelers either. The Steelers’ ground game has averaged over 140 yards (424 total rushing yards) rushing as well. This front seven is so dramatically different this season because Chris Ballard felt that this group could improve upon the dread that the Colts have had on the field in recent years to help stop the run and make the defense, as a whole, a better unit.
Le’Veon Bell won’t be toting the rock tonight, but let’s be honest, it’s never needed to be a top talent in the league to sift through the Colts defense.
It’s the third go at it of the preseason. This is supposed to be a glimpse at what we should come to expect from the Indianapolis Colts, especially the starting unit. One way or the other, we need to see some bright spots. Nobody cares about the final score, but being competitive, showing competence and a semblance of quality play calling is something we should all care about when the Colts take the field tonight.