Kickoff Saturday, Dec 16th 4:30pm Eastern

Steelers (
20.25) at

Colts (

Over/Under 41.5


Key Matchups
Steelers Run D
13th DVOA/20th Yards allowed per carry
Colts Run O
9th DVOA/16th Yards per carry
Steelers Pass D
7th DVOA/29th Yards allowed per pass
Colts Pass O
17th DVOA/15th Yards per pass
Colts Run D
24th DVOA/15th Yards allowed per carry
Steelers Run O
12th DVOA/17th Yards per carry
Colts Pass D
14th DVOA/19th Yards allowed per pass
Steelers Pass O
19th DVOA/20th Yards per pass

saturday slate Overview ::

By hilow >>
  • Vikings RB Alexander Mattison (ankle) has yet to practice this week (as of Wednesday), making it a strong possibility that he misses the team’s Week 15 game against the Bengals on a short week. UPDATE: Mattison has now been ruled out.
  • Vikings WR Justin Jefferson (chest) got in two limited sessions to start the practice week and has told reporters that he intends to play against the Bengals.
  • Bengals WR Ja’Marr Chase (ankle) started the week with a ‘DNP’ but upgraded to a limited showing on Wednesday. He also told reporters that he intends to play on Saturday.
  • Bengals WR Tyler Boyd (foot/ankle) got in two limited sessions to start the practice week and appears set to play against the Vikings.
  • Steelers QB Kenny Pickett (ankle) has been ruled out for Saturday, paving the way for another Mitchell Trubisky start against the Colts.
  • Steelers WR Diontae Johnson (knee) did not practice Wednesday after not being on the team’s injury report Tuesday – monitor this situation moving forward.
  • Steelers RB Najee Harris (knee) upgraded from a ‘DNP’ to a limited participant on Wednesday – he should be good to go against the Colts.
  • Steelers LB T.J. Watt (concussion) cleared protocol and is on track to play in Week 15.
  • Colts RB Jonathan Taylor (thumb) did not practice Tuesday or Wednesday and appears likely to miss his third consecutive game against the Steelers in Week 15. UPDATE: Taylor was ruled out on Thursday afternoon.
  • Broncos TE Greg Dulcich (hamstring, IR) got in a full practice Wednesday for the first time since re-injuring his hamstring – notable as he works his way back from injured reserve.
  • Lions C Frank Ragnow (toe/back/knee) returned to a limited practice Wednesday after missing the previous two contests.
  • The Vikings-Bengals game carries the lowest game total on the slate but it also carries the widest range of outcomes with respect to expected game environment.
  • The second game on the slate will be largely left up to the Colts to change from a game environment driven by the Pittsburgh defense. The Steelers continue to try to “win dirty” by shortening games into the fourth quarter, currently sitting at a 7-6 record with a -40 point differential.

How PITTSBURGH Will Try To Win ::

We’ve talked about this for a while with Mike Tomlin but it’s even more prevalent this season – this team is going to try and win dirty. As in, the Steelers are going to do what they can to keep the game close into the fourth quarter, where they’ll then look to steal away a win. The fact that the Steelers are 7-6 with a -40 point differential should highlight that point rather emphatically. They’ve attempted to do that of late through extreme rush rates and a slow pace of play, bringing their season-long rush rate over expectation (RROE) up to the fourth highest in the league in the process. The difference for this squad recently is that their run game has been effective, which wasn’t always the case for the Steelers this season. Yes, they struggled to 2.8 yards per carry against the solid Patriots defense in Week 14, but this team had performed as one of the most efficient rushing attacks over the second half of the season prior to that clunker. Considering Pickett has already been ruled out for Saturday and the team will be forced to start Trubisky, it’s safe to say that we expect the Steelers to ride their run game for as long as possible against a Colts defense finally getting healthier. Although Trubisky is not necessarily known for his efficiency nor for his accuracy, he does bring an ability to throw downfield that the team had largely been lacking with Pickett under center. Either way, expect the Steelers to look to control this game with their defense while their offense aims to not lose the game, the chances of which are raised due to the likely return of Watt after he played sparingly in Week 14 following concussion symptoms. The historical splits with Watt on versus off the field for the Pittsburgh defense are startling, to say the least. In other words, this dude is vital to the success of Pittsburgh’s game plan here.

Saturday Slate Ownership Projections!

Ownership updates automatically

It’s been three weeks since Tomlin declared Jaylen Warren the “starter,” which has resulted in a slightly lower snap rate and slightly fewer opportunities per game than he averaged prior to the anointment. Makes sense. This backfield is very much still a split backfield between Warren and Harris, with Harris the likelier back to see green-zone touches (and goal-line carries) and Warren the likelier back to see enough receiving work to offset the need for multiple touchdowns. The Colts have allowed 16 total scores to opposing backfields this season, second most in the league behind only the Panthers. The pure rushing matchup is a net positive on paper against a Colts defense allowing a moderate 4.2 yards per carry but yielding 1.41 yards allowed before contact. That said, they just got back Grover Stewart after a prolonged absence, and his presence has made a significant impact against the run this season.

Check the Scroll for Saturday Strategy

The largest impact to the expectations for this Pittsburgh passing game (beyond the hit or miss aspects invoked through Trubisky) is the status of Johnson, who missed Wednesday’s practice with a knee injury after not appearing on the injury report Tuesday. The team held a walkthrough Tuesday, which introduces further uncertainties as to when the knee injury occurred (it’s difficult to injure your knee when you don’t have a practice). That makes his situation difficult to get a read on as I write this on Thursday morning, before the team has held its practice. The Steelers have utilized a frustratingly wide rotation of pass catchers since the firing of Matt Canada, building their offense primarily around 12-personnel in the process. That has left only George Pickens with a snap rate over a modest 73 percent in any of the previous three games (twice, 80 percent and 86 percent). As such, only Pat Freiermuth (11-target game in Week 12) has seen more than a modest seven targets in a game during that span, and that came against the Bengals, who we talked about above as being an extreme tight-end-funnel defense. In other words, it’s very difficult to get a read on this pass offense in its current state (Canada gone and Trubisky under center), and even more so due to the uncertainty surrounding Johnson.

How indianapolis Will Try To Win ::

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