RECAP: Colts fall short in 24-17 loss to Steelers

The Indianapolis Colts (4-7-1) showed some fight but ultimately lost 24-17 on Monday night against the Pittsburgh Steelers (4-7) at Lucas Oil Stadium.

After a disastrous first half from the offense, the Colts got things going in the second half. They strung together two touchdown drives during the third quarter, but they couldn’t keep it going as their final drive ended in a turnover on downs.

Here’s everything we know from Week 12 loss:

Final Score: Steelers 24, Colts 17

Michael Hickey/Getty Images

Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

Final

Steelers

3

13

0

8

24

Colts

0

3

14

0

17

 

It was over when...

Robert Scheer-USA TODAY Sports

On fourth-and-three with 30 seconds remaining at the Pittsburgh 26-yard line, quarterback Matt Ryan couldn’t connect with wide receiver Parris Campbell. The Steelers took over and kneeled once for the win.

Keys to the game

Robert Scheer-USA TODAY Sports

  • Tale of two offenses. The Colts gained just 71 total yards in the first half—no yards in the first quarter—but finished with 290 on the day.

  • On the final drive, Jeff Saturday refused to use any of his three timeouts until it was essentially too late. They burned about 25-30 seconds after a 14-yard scramble by Matt Ryan on second down then hurried up for a bland Jonathan Taylor run that went nowhere.

  • The offense struggled on third downs, converting just 3-of-12 attempts (25%).

  • The defense was solid for most of the night, but it was clear they were gassed considering the Colts had just three drives with more than six plays.

3 Stars of the game

Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

  1. TE Jelani Woods: Welcome to the NFL! The rookie tight end set season-highs with eight receptions on nine targets for 98 yards, leading the team in receptions and yards

  2. RB Jonathan Taylor: He had an excruciatingly poor fumble at the goal line (technically attributed to Matt Ryan), but Taylor took 23 touches for 98 yards and a touchdown.

  3. RT Braden Smith: The starting right tackle held his own against T.J. Watt, limiting him to just one quarterback hit.

Injuries

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

  • TE Kylen Granson (illness) and DE Kwity Paye (ankle) were both inactive due to injuries.

  • C Ryan Kelly (knee) was questionable to return during the second quarter but returned only after missing a few plays.

  • CB Kenny Moore II (shin) suffered an injury in the fourth quarter and was eventually ruled out.

Quick Hits

Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

  • The Colts offense had zero total yards in the first quarter, running just five plays on two drives. It’s the second time this season it’s happened for the Colts (Week 9).

  • The offense didn’t have a play in opposing territory until six minutes left in the second quarter.

  • The Colts had just 71 total yards during the first half.

  • QB Matt Ryan completed his first pass at 7:05 of the second quarter. That’s the latest into a game for a team’s first completion since the 2020 Broncos, who had to use WR Kendall Hinton at quarterback due to COVID-19 issues, according to ESPN.

  • CB Dallis Flowers got things going in the second half with an 89-yard kick return. The Colts scored their first touchdown shortly after on the ensuing drive.

  • Flowers’ return was the longest for the Colts since Week 5 of the 2020 season.

  • TE Jelani Woods out-produced his season totals in one game. He had seven receptions for 79 yards coming into this game.

  • With 2.0 sacks, DE Yannick Ngakoue now has at least 8.0 sacks in every season of his career.

  • WR Michael Pittman Jr. made some big plays in the second half, ranging from his first touchdown since Week 1 to a big 28-yard catch on the final drive.

  • The Colts have now lost five of their last six games.

What's next?

Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Colts interim head coach Jeff Saturday will meet with the media Tuesday before the team prepares for the Week 13 matchup against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium on Sunday night, Dec. 4, at 8:20 p.m. ET.

Story originally appeared on Colts Wire