Pittsburgh Steelers (-10.5) vs. Indianapolis Colts
Ben Roethlisberger vs. Kerry Collins wasn’t exactly the matchup people were expecting to see here when this game was announced. Of course, this would have been an intriguing game if Peyton Manning was healthy to play. Kerry Collins doesn’t exactly get anyone excited. Nevertheless, the Steelers vs. Colts are the featured game on Sunday night with a Maning’less Colts squad. Without Manning the Colts have looked hopeless, but they will have the main stage on Sunday to prove that they can live without Peyton.
Last week, the Colts lost as slight underdogs to the Cleveland Browns. Cleveland is expecting to have a resurgence of sorts this year, but it’s inexcusable for Kerry Collins to only have 191 yards passing against them. They failed to do anything through the air against a porous Houston pass defense as well. It is the first time since 2006 that they have failed to reach 200 yards passing in back-to-back games. The Colts had offensive line problems last season and made it work thanks to Manning. However, Collins looks lost with the same line problems from last season. Not exactly the best recipe for a quarterback that hasn’t been with the team for very long. There haven’t been too many bright spots for the Colts so far, other than generating a few turnovers in the second half against the Texans. If the Colts don’t show any motivation in primetime against the Steelers, there may be more problems on this team than just Peyton Manning missing. Now, it’s being reported that Kerry Collins was limited in practice this week due to a shoulder injury.
As far as the Steelers go, I feel the verdict is still out on them. They got absolutely steamrolled against bitter rival Baltimore in week 1. In week 2, the Steelers bounced back big, but it was against the Seattle Seahawks at home. Even after a 24-0 victory, I think the stench of week 1 against the Baltimore Ravens is still fresh in everyone’s mind. In this regard, while the Colts have a lot to prove in front of a nationally televised game, the Steelers indeed want to prove they aren’t washed up. Ben Roethlisberger got banged up last weekend after a big hit, having to leave with a knee injury for briefly; he will play through the pain and give a valiant effort though.
Steelers vs Colts Pick:
I don’t think the Steelers are really going to show much here. I foresee them pounding the ball early and often, chewing up clock against a less than average Colts run defense. With this game plan, I still think the Steelers will cover. Not only is Peyton Manning not playing, but you have an injury list that now features linebacker Ernie Sims, offensive tackle Ryan Diem, Gary Brackett, safety Melvin Bullitt, and a banged up Kerry Collins. Could you imagine Curtis Painter against the Steelers defense if Collins gets knocked out? In any case, I think the Steelers still have a bad taste in their mouth from a couple weeks ago, and win comfortably against a Colts team that is in complete disarray. I usually don’t like laying this many points on the road, but it is hard to find any reason to take the Colts.
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