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Steelers Clinch AFC North With Win Over Colts

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The Pittsburgh Steelers defeated the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday afternoon to clinch the AFC North division title.

First Half Breakdown

Pittsburgh began the first half the same as they have in many games this season.

Their first possession resulted in a three-and-out after three incomplete passes thrown by quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

The Colts responded with a six-yard rushing touchdown from Jonathan Taylor on a drive that lasted just under five minutes.

At the start of the second quarter, the Steelers defense gave the offense a break yet again. T.J. Watt forced a Phillip Rivers fumble in Indianapolis territory.

The ball was scooped up by cornerback Mike Hilton who returned it 14 yards. Running back James Conner then ran it in for a one-yard touchdown.

This was followed by two touchdowns for the Colts as the half came to a close. The first came on a one-yard run from Jonathan Taylor. The second was a 42-yard pass to Zach Pascal.

Second Half Comeback

The Steelers came out of the locker room for the second half and managed to execute some much-needed changes on offense.

Pittsburgh outscored Indianapolis 21-3 throughout the second half. After the Colts made a field goal on their first drive of the third quarter, the Steelers scored three unanswered touchdowns in under 11 minutes.

Wide receiver Diontae Johnson caught a 39-yard pass from Roethlisberger to make the score 24-14.

On the Steelers’ next drive, tight end Eric Ebron caught a five-yard touchdown pass just eight seconds into the fourth quarter.

Finally, wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster scored after catching a 25-yard pass that put the Steelers up 28-24.

The game came down to the wire, but cornerback Mike Hilton’s interception in the fourth quarter was a crucial play that resulted in Pittsburgh’s win.

“Really proud of every man in the locker room, regardless of role,” Tomlin said in his postgame press conference. “It took everyone today; just love the fight of the group.”

The Bigger Picture

For the Pittsburgh Steelers, Sunday’s game was a must-win.

The win over the Colts allowed the Steelers to clinch the AFC North division title. This win was Pittsburgh’s first under head coach Mike Tomlin while down 17 or more points at the start of the second half.

During Sunday’s game, outside linebacker T.J. Watt set yet another record for the Steelers.

With Pittsburgh’s spot in the playoffs already secured, they may choose to sit a few starters in next weeks game.

The Steelers will travel to Cleveland to play the Browns on Jan. 3 at 1 p.m.

Featured Image Courtesy of Behind the Steel Curtain.

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