DraftKings Sportsbook has the Colts as 2.5-point favorites at home. This is the equivalent of flipping a coin that might slightly favor the Steelers.
Jeff Saturday and Parks Frazier are heading into the third game as architects of the Colts' offense - at least as it relates to what is seen on the field. This is a rare primetime game for Indianapolis and one that was circled as something with an entirely different feel before the season started.
Somehow, in a wild AFC playoff race, the Colts still aren’t officially out of it. A winning streak will likely put the franchise in a position to make a late-season playoff push again. On the other hand, a loss to the Steelers will make things extremely difficult the rest of the way.
For the Colts’ fan base, it’s probably hard to pick a direction. Everyone wants to win games, but doing so pushes Indianapolis further down the draft order next spring and makes it harder to move up to grab a young quarterback - assuming the option presents itself.
While Jim Irsay and Jeff Saturday have stated that there is no tank in this group, a handful of moves suggest otherwise. An in-season head coach move almost always means some step back for a team. Choosing an inexperienced head coach is like choosing an inexperienced quarterback in-season, something the Colts also did earlier this year.
The offensive line has been the biggest trouble for the franchise, and we wrote that one could judge the direction the owner and front office is taking based on the efforts made to address the weaknesses on the line, especially at right guard. The only move there was to put a young, inexperienced player in place of two players that had already failed. The veteran left tackle who had shown at least some signs of average play, was officially sent back to the bench in favor of a trial by fire for a rookie left tackle who transitioned from tight end in college only a few years ago.
Who knows the long-term direction of the team? It’s too much to try to figure all of that out.
What we can expect tonight is a defense-heavy performance. The Steelers have a reputation for pressuring the quarterback and face an offensive line that gives up pressure more than any other team in the league. The Colts make life difficult for opponents and hold them to low-scoring affairs. They face off against one of the weakest offenses in the league.
Let’s hope the teams leave the game healthy. Win or lose, someone in the Colts fan base can get behind it.