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2020 NFL Week 16: Colts at Steelers second half open thread: Colts lead 21 - 7

Indianapolis Colts v Pittsburgh Steelers Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

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FIRST HALF THOUGHTS

It has been absolutely stunning to watch just how bad the Pittsburgh Steelers are playing right now. There is no identity on either side of the ball. The looks on players’ faces are of frustration and confusion. The swagger from earlier this season appears to be gone entirely.

I couldn’t be happier to misjudge our Colts as much as I did coming into this game. Without Castonzo and Smith at tackle, I thought it would be tough sledding. I thought the pass rush pressure created by a stout Steelers defensive line would be too much. I thought the offense’s wheels would come off. I thought Jonathan Taylor would have no room to run and expected Quenton Nelson to kick out to left tackle — weakening the interior.

Good news Colts fans, I don’t have any idea what the Colts are going to do. Chris Ballard, Frank Reich, and the COVID inflicted coaching staff had a plan in mind all along.

What Jonathan Taylor is doing right now is making a late-season surge for serious consideration for offensive rookie of the year. I don’t think he will get there, as he started too slow, but the future looks really bright for the Colts backfield.

The Colts have the momentum, a big first-half lead, and are set to receive the ball on the other side of the half. The playbook? Wide-open. The Colts can continue to run and utilize Taylor and Hines out of the backfield. They can move the ball through the air and get Hilton and other receivers involved if they want.

If they can keep this going, this is a warm-up game for Week 17 against the Jacksonville Jaguars and could set up the Colts to win the AFC South if the Titans can’t upset the Green Bay Packers in Green Bay on Sunday Night Football.

*** Side note: The block in the back call on Mark Glowinski is another shining example of how NFL officiating hurts the game. Glow had no impact on the defender falling down. On a previous Colts possession, Chaz Green clearly held T.J. Watt around his shoulder/neck area and it wasn’t called and then they call something absurd like that. It’s shameful, embarrassing, and again take away from the game. ***