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Matchups to Watch Revisited: Week 16 @Steelers

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

Braden Smith vs. T.J. Watt

After Smith was placed on the COVID list, and Anthony Castonzo was ruled out because of an ankle injury, we all knew the Colts were screwed. T.J. Watt has been one of the best edge defenders since entering the NFL and he is leading the league in sacks. In the end, it was mostly Chaz Green against Watt, and that is never a favourable matchup. Sure, Green got beat a lot but he did have some nice reps. Don’t get me wrong, I never want to see Green in a Colts’ uniform ever again if possible but he was not the main reason the Colts lost this one.


Quenton Nelson vs. Cameron Heyward

Nelson more than made up for his poor play last year against Heyward, which resulted in Jacoby’s injury and the beginning of the end for that season. Big Q held his own against one of the best interior rushers in the NFL, as he got his revenge against Cameron. Nelson has bounced back after a poor start to the season by his standards and is back to his All-Pro caliber play.


Xavier Rhodes vs. JuJu Smith-Schuster

Rhodes has been excellent this season. Yesterday he more than held his own against the Steelers potent passing attack. Big Ben found success throwing the ball away from Rhodes, mainly targeting either Rock Ya-Sin or T.J. Carrie. Let’s just hope the price tag for him this off-season is not so steep and Ballard manages to re-sign him.


Kenny Moore vs. Diontae Johnson

Moore was not covering Johnson on his long leaping touchdown that sparked the Steelers’ comeback, and the pass interference called on him in the end-zone was among the worst calls I have ever seen in a football game. Overall, Moore’s game could have been better, but it is really tough when the officials are clearly playing against you.


Rodrigo Blankenship vs. Heinz Field turf

Blankenship was perfect from the field. Sure, his longest kicks were the two extra points, as his lone field goal attempt was from 28 yards out, but he took care of business. The Colts did not move the ball at all in the second half for him to get a chance for glory, but watching him go 4-4 a year after Vinatieri missed some crucial kicks was nice.