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GAME – Colts – Steelers

DATE – Sunday Dec. 6

TIME – 8:30 p.m. Eastern

TV – NBC

 

Backup quarterbacks have played a big role for the Colts and Steelers this season, and the backups have had vastly different levels of success.

 

The Colts and Steelers will kick off at 8:30 p.m. Eastern on Sunday Night Football on NBC from Heinz Field in Pittsburgh.

 

Indianapolis has seen a big boost from backup quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, who has gone 4-0 as a starter while filling in for injured and ineffective Andrew Luck, who has gone 2-5 as a starter this season. It's doubtful Luck will return for the Colts-Steelers game, and that might be just fine with Indianapolis fans, who seem to be wanting to see more of Hasselbeck as the Colts push to win the AFC South Division.

 

Indianapolis is tied with Houston for the AFC South lead through Week 12 at 6-5. The Colts will face Houston at home in Week 15, and their other three games remaining after the Colts-Steelers SNF contest are against sub-.500 teams, so a win on Sunday Night Football could push Indianapolis toward a strong finish.

 

Pittsburgh will also carry a 6-5 record into the Colts-Steelers game, but it is three games behind first place Cincinnati in the AFC North, so Pittsburgh is focusing its playoff hopes on a Wild Card berth. With quarterback Ben Roethlisberger back though, the Steelers certainly should compete for a playoff spot. 

 

When Roethlisberger was injured in Week 3, the Steelers offense struggled throughout October behind backup quarterbacks Michael Vick and Landry Jones. In seven Roethlisberger starts this season, he has thrown for 300-plus yards five times and Pittsburgh has scored at least 30 points in four of those games. Pittsburgh's did not score more than 25 points or pass for more than 209 yards in the four games where the backups started.

 

Roethlisberger threw for more than 400 yards last week, but the Steelers lost in Seattle, 39-30. And Roethlisberger was injured on a quarterback run late in the Seattle game, leaving his status uncertain for the Colts-Steelers game after being treated for a potential concussion. If Roethlisberger cannot play, Jones would likely start the Colts-Steelers contest.

 

Pittsburgh leads the all-time Colts-Steelers series, 20-6, although Indianapolis has won two of the last five meetings after losing nine in a row. The 24-20 Indianapolis win in Pittsburgh in 2008 was its first road win in the Colts-Steelers series since 1968.

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LAST 5 COLTS-STEELERS MEETINGS

10/26/14 at Steelers 51, Colts (-5) 34 (O 48)

9/25/11 Steelers (-10.5) 23, at Colts 20 (O 39.5)

11/9/08 Colts 24, at Steelers (-3.5) 20 (O 38.5)

1/15/06 Steelers 21, at Colts (-10) 18 (U 48)

11/28/05 at Colts (-7.5) 26, Steelers 7 (U 47.5)

*Favorite is 2-5 ATS in last 7 Colts-Steelers games

*Overs are 3-0 in last 3 Colts-Steelers games

*Overs are 3-3 in last 6 Colts-Steelers games

 

COLTS LAST 5 ATS

11/29/15 W at Colts (-3) 25, Buccaneers 12 (U 46.5)

11/22/15 W Colts 24, at Falcons (-3.5) 21 (U 47.5)

11/8/15 W at Colts 27, Broncos (-3.5) 24 (O 45)

11/2/15 W at Panthers (-5) 29, Colts 26 (ot) (O 45.5)

10/25/15 L Saints 27, at Colts (-5.5) 21 (U 52.5)

*Colts are 6-1 ATS in last 7 games

*Colts are 3-0 ATS in last 3 road games

*Overs are 3-1 in last 4 Colts road games

 

STEELERS LAST 5 ATS

11/29/15 L at Seahawks (-3) 39, Steelers 30 (O 46.5)

11/15/15 W at Steelers (-7) 30, Browns 9 (U 43.5)

11/8/15 L at Steelers (-6) 38, Raiders 35 (O 47.5)

11/1/15 L Bengals (PK) 16, at Steelers 10 (U 49)

10/25/15 L at Chiefs (-3.5) 23, Steelers 13 (U 41.5)

*Steelers are 1-4 ATS in last 5 games

*Steelers are 5-2-1 ATS in last 8 home regular season games over two seasons

*Unders are 11-3-1 over past 15 Steelers games