Listen to play-by-play of the Sunday Night Football matchup between the Indianapolis Colts and the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, starting with pre-game at 8:00 PM Sunday night on 105.7 The Fan! (no streaming)
When: 8:30 PM ET, Sunday, December 6, 2015
Where: Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
TV: 8:30 p.m. ET, NBC
Matt Hasselbeck faces a tough challenge in trying to remain unbeaten as a starter when he leads the resurgent Indianapolis Colts into a prime-time matchup at the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday night. The Colts have won three in a row following a three-game skid to move into a tie with the Houston Texans atop the AFC South.
The 40-year-old Hasselbeck has been a savior while subbing for an injured Andrew Luck, improving to 4-0 after guiding Indianapolis to a 25-12 win over Tampa Bay last week. “Obviously, at his age, being 4-0 as a backup quarterback it’s great for us,” Colts coach Chuck Pagano said. “We’re very, very fortunate and I just hope he keeps it going.” The Steelers got a scare of their own at quarterback when Ben Roethlisberger was knocked out of last weekend’s loss at Seattle with a concussion, but he received medical clearance this week. Pittsburgh is among four AFC teams tied with 6-5 records battling for the final two postseason slots.
ABOUT THE COLTS (6-5): Hasselbeck capped a 315-yard performance by tossing a pair of second-half touchdown passes to T.Y. Hilton as Indianapolis rallied to remain in contention for the division title. Donte Moncrief snagged eight catches for 114 yards to help the Colts overcome a dreadful running game – Frank Gore managed only 24 yards on 19 carries while backup Ahmad Bradshaw was lost for the season with a wrist injury. Indianapolis is among the league leaders with 14 interceptions but it also ranks 27th overall with an average of 272.8 passing yards allowed.
ABOUT THE STEELERS (6-5): Pittsburgh’s pass defense is even worse than that of the Colts, surrendering 283.6 yards per game, and it was one of decisive factors a week ago in allowing three fourth-quarter scoring passes to Seattle. That negated a huge performance by Roethlisberger, who threw for a season-high 456 yards but also was intercepted twice for the Steelers, who are playing the first of three straight games against division leaders. While Markus Wheaton had nine catches for 201 yards and a TD last week, Antonio Brown has 33 receptions in the last three games.
1. Roethlisberger set franchise records with 522 yards and six TD passes in a 51-34 win over Indianapolis last season.
2. Hasselbeck joined Brett Favre and Warren Moon as the only QBs to win four straight starts at age 40.
3. Pittsburgh is the first team with three players – Brown, Wheaton and Martavis Bryant – to have a 175-yard receiving game in the same season.
LINE: Steelers -7
PREDICTION: Steelers 27, Colts 23