NFL: Steelers stave off Colts' rally to dent faint playoffs hopes

Indianapolis, Indiana - The Indianapolis Colts' flickering NFL playoffs hopes have all but been extinguished, as their third-quarter rally was not enough and the Pittsburgh Steelers staved them off for a 24-17 victory at Lucas Oil Stadium on Monday.

Pittsburgh Steelers running back Najee Harris scores a touchdown past Indianapolis Colts free safety Julian Blackmon and cornerback Kenny Moore during the first half at Lucas Oil Stadium.
Pittsburgh Steelers running back Najee Harris scores a touchdown past Indianapolis Colts free safety Julian Blackmon and cornerback Kenny Moore during the first half at Lucas Oil Stadium.  © REUTERS

Benny Snell Jr's six-yard touchdown run followed by George Pickens' two-point conversion were the only scores in the final quarter, after the Colts charged back with two third-quarter TDs to claim a 17-16 lead at the final change.

Rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett completed 20 of 28 passes for 174 yards, along with 32 rushing yards from six carries, as the Steelers improved to 4-7. The Colts, who came into the game second in the AFC South, fall to 4-7-1.

The Colts had rallied from a 16-3 half-time deficit with touchdowns to Jonathan Taylor – sparked by Dallas Flowers' 89-yard kickoff return – and Michael Pittman Jr.

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Matt Ryan passed for Pittman for his only touchdown of the game, completing 22 of 34 passes for 199 yards with one interception.

At 16-10, the Colts coughed up a costly fumble as Ryan and Taylor botched an exchange at first-and-goal from the one-yard line, which was recovered by defensive end Chris Wormley. Indianapolis gave up two turnovers for the game, with their season tally up to an NFL-high 21.

The Steelers offensive had 172 rush yards, with four players totaling at least 30 for the first time in the same game since 1999, with Snell (62 yards on 12 carries), Najee Harris (35 on 10), Anthony McFarland Jr (30 on six), and Pickett.

Harris crossed for the only first-half TD on a six-yard second-quarter run, with Matthew Wright converting three-of-three field goals.

Cover photo: REUTERS

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