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Colts’ Stat of the Game: Week 15 vs. Steelers

Pittsburgh Steelers v Indianapolis Colts Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images

Colts have 34 running plays to 28 passing plays

The Colts had been moving away from the running game in the past couple of games, which was alarming considering the strength of the offense right now is the offensive line, the tight ends’ blocking has been above-average, and the entire running backs’ room has showed up. Also backup quarterback Gardner Minshew is much better suited for a complimentary role rather than being the protagonist of the offense. Against the Steelers the Colts ran the ball 34 times, and did so thirteen times in a row at one point late in the game, compared to just 28 passing attempts. The offense looked much better, and even without Jonathan Taylor and Zack Moss it still kept on working. Quenton Nelson being in the best shape of his life is also a massive advantage.

Trey Sermon career day, D.J. Montgomery scores

The Colts’ offense was without the starting right tackle, starting running backs, #1 receiver, starting tight end, and of course starting quarterback, yet still managed to put up 30 points against a strong defense, and had it not been for two drops and missed field goals it could have been even more. Third running back Trey Sermon carried the ball 17 times for 88 yards, Tyler Goodson even got in on the fun, running 11 times for 69 yards. Wide receiver D.J. Montgomery who came in after MPJ left the game with a concussion got a touchdown, and made up for his earlier drop in the endzone. I give head coach Shane Steichen a ton of credit for that, and how the offense just keeps performing even without the starting players. In my opinion that is the sign of an offensive mastermind, in the NFL you rarely have all your players available, and you always have to deal with personnel issues, yet being able to move the ball and put up points even in the most unfavourable conditions makes a good head-coach.

Julian Blackmon two takeaways

Colts’ safety Julian Blackmon made two key plays on Sunday, the first one being a fumble recovery that showed impeccable awareness considering at first sight it seemed like Steelers’ running back Najee Harris had survived contact with the ground, but after review it was ruled a fumble and Blackmon’s clear recovery of the ball meant the Colts regained possesion. The second one was an interception on an overthrown pass by Trubisky which sealed the game for the Colts.

Colts zero turnovers, two flags / Steelers three turnovers, eight flags for 101 yards

In the end, what determined the game for the Colts was how few unforced errors they made compared to the Steelers. The Colts had no turnovers, and commited just two penalties for 10 yards, a clean day at the office. In contrast, the Steelers turned the ball over three times, at really bad times, and commited eight penalties for a whopping 101 yards. I doubt that other teams make as many mistakes as the Steelers did, but the Colts continuing with no turnovers and few flags would be huge.