Following an unimaginable 30-13 come-from-behind victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers (7-7) on Saturday, the Indianapolis Colts are 8-6 and surprisingly management their future within the AFC playoff race.
One huge motive for the staff’s success is first-year head coach Shane Steichen, who has steadied a short-handed ship whereas serving to the franchise conquer a number of demons.
Saturday’s win was the Colts’ first over the Steelers since 2008. Heading into Week 15, that they had misplaced eight straight in opposition to Mike Tomlin’s squad. However the Steelers aren’t the one boogeyman Steichen has erased.
Two weeks in the past, the Colts topped the Tennessee Titans, 31-28 in additional time, sweeping the season collection for the primary time since 2018. Previous to Steichen’s arrival, that they had dropped six of their final seven video games in opposition to their AFC South rival.
Lastly, the Colts solved Invoice Belichick and the New England Patriots, escaping with a 10-6 win in Week 10. Indianapolis was 1-9 in opposition to the Patriots of their earlier 10 conferences.
The turnaround from a four-win staff a 12 months in the past to what they’re at present could be spectacular in its personal proper, however the Colts are succeeding with out a number of key gamers, together with rookie QB Anthony Richardson (shoulder), star RB Jonathan Taylor (thumb) and beginning RT Braden Smith (knee), together with breakout again Zack Moss (arm) and No. 1 wideout Michael Pittman Jr. (concussion), who left Saturday’s recreation with accidents.
Steichen’s Colts responded with the identical next-man-up mentality on Saturday as they’ve all through many of the season. Backup QB Gardner Minshew completed 18-of-28 for 215 yards with three touchdowns and nil interceptions in opposition to the Steelers whereas veteran RB Trey Sermon and rookie Tyler Goodson cut up backfield duties, combining for 157 yards off 28 carries. On the identical time, second-year WR D.J. Montgomery and TE Mo Alie-Cox recorded TD receptions.
Many groups within the Colts’ place would crumble. However, Steichen’s group has persevered and their spirited efficiency this 12 months within the face of virtually fixed adversity ought to have his identify on the prime of any record of Coach of the 12 months candidates.