After a sack by linebacker LaMarr Woodley on the first play of the drive, Luck completed 4 consecutive passes for 60 yards to drive down to the Steelers’ 25. A big gain by running back Donald Brown set up first and goal for the Colts, who would punch it in on 3rd down on a Brown carry to cut the lead in half. Defensive end Ziggy Hood was doubled on the play and linebacker Larry Foote did not fill in the vacant hole.
After a 3 and out on Roethlisberger’s final drive, Andrew Luck’s next drive ended with another interception, this time by cornerback Cortez Allen. However, the pass should have been caught; the receiver batted the ball in the air.
On the first possession for the Steelers headed by veteran Charlie Batch, the series began with a nice 23 yard carry by Dwyer through a big hole behind blocks by Mike Adams and David DeCastro, but the drive quickly died after that. Batch threw low to Brown on third down, who could not come up with the pass.
Luck impressed on the next drive, showing nice touch on several passes over defenders, and after 3 failed attempts for the running game to punch it into the endzone near the goal line, Luck slid in himself on fourth down to tie the game.
After yet another 3 and out for the Steelers, including a “business decision” by Emmanuel Sanders to lay up on a deep route instead of getting leveled by the safety in a preseason game, Luck set up his kicker for a long 53 yard field goal, which he hit, to give the Colts the lead at halftime.
The defense would force a 3 and out to begin the second half, and linebacker Mortty Ivy then blocked a punt on fourth down, setting up a short field that led to the first of 4 Hrapmann field goals, but Colts backup Drew Stanton drove down the field on the next drive to retake the lead on a 4 yard touchdown pass.
Following an exchange of three and outs, the Steelers finally saw something that they hadn’t up to this point in the preseason: a 5th receiver stepping up. After sitting out the first game, David Gilreath took advantage of his playing time on the night, coming up with two catches on the drive, the first on a deep pass on a free play for 41 yards, and the second on a key 3rd down conversion. He leaped to reel in the overthrown pass and then made a defender miss in order to reach the first down marker. The drive would stall just outside the redzone, however, including a sack on third down, but Hrapmann would kick another field goal to make the score 24-20.
With new quarterback Jerrod Johnson in the game, Gilreath continued to impress, reeling in another long pass for 24 yards on 3rd and 16. A 21 yard pass to newly acquired tight end Justin Peele set the Steelers up at the 20, but a series of penalties backed them up to the 39. A 14 yard catch by rookie receiver Toney Clemons on 3rd and 29 salvaged the drive, however, setting up Hrapmann for a 43 yard field goal to pull within one point with 10 minutes remaining.
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