It’s an inter-conference preseason match-up on Saturday night at Heinz Field between the defending NFC North Division Champion Pittsburgh Steelers and the Indianapolis Colts. This will be the second preseason game for both teams, but in the early going, two teams headed in opposite directions. The Steelers are a perfect 2-0 with wins against the Giants (20-12), and Falcons (17-13). Meanwhile, the Colts have had their struggles in their 0-2 start with losses against the Lions (24-10), and Cowboys (24-19).
Sports Interaction’s NFL preseason odds have listed the Steelers as 6 point favourites with the total of 41.5 in this game.
Colts at Steelers
Date:Saturday, August 26, 2017 @ 19:30
Location:Heinz Field, Pittsburgh
Point Spread and Betting Analysis
This is a great opportunity for the Steelers to improve to 3-0 this preseason with a number of starters playing for the home side. Three-time Pro Bowler Andrew Luck is still listed on the physically unable-to-perform list, and likely won’t dress vs. Steelers. In fact, Luck may not be ready for the start of the regular season. These two teams have met 29 times in the regular season with the Steelers recording the win 23 times.
This Colts have looked dismal in two preseason games, allowing 48 points against, and have major struggles moving the ball on offense. Franchise quarterback Andrew Luck has yet to play, and not expected to play this weekend in Pittsburgh.
Starting center Ryan Kelly is also on the sidelines, with no firm return date. Kelly started all 16 games as a rookie last season and didn’t allow a sack.
Head Coach Chuck Pagano will tinker with the team’s offense, as Stephen Morris is expected to reclaim the No.2 job behind Scott Tolzien this Saturday. Rookie running back Marlon Mack should get more chances as well after putting in a good performance against the Cowboys last week (5 carries, 45 yards).
Rookie running back James Connor made his professional debut this past Sunday and fit right in with the Black and Gold. The home state back raced for 98 yards on 20 carries against the Falcons.
Also playing a significant role for the Steelers this preseason is rookie (4th round pick) quarterback Joshua Dobbs. Through two games, Dobbs is 18 of 34 passing for 170 yards and has played the most of all Steelers pivots in camp. The Tennessee product is expected to share the workload this game with backup Landry Jones. Don’t be surprised to see star QB Ben Roethlisberger take some reps under center for the first time this preseason.
Head Coach Mike Tomlin said at the beginning of camp Big Ben would appear in only one preseason game this August, and it would make the most sense for it to be this game. Hold out RB Le’Veon Bell is expected to miss the Steelers’ third preseason game, but he’s also expected to report to camp next week.
Indianapolis Colts at Pittsburgh Steelers Prediction
Steelers 24 Colts 10