Heading into Week 16, the Pittsburgh Steelers probably had the bluest Christmas ever for an 11-3 team. Losers of three straight, their season appeared to be further slipping away when they fell behind 21-7 to the Indianapolis Colts at halftime.
What was once a team seemingly destined to at least the AFC Championship had turned to a squad that needed to move on from Ben Roethlisberger, put head coach Mike Tomlin on the hot seat and fire offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner.
Then things took a turn right out of a Hallmark Christmas movie. The offense snapped out of its three-game funk after halftime and outscored the Colts 21-0 over the final 18:16. The Steelers won 28-24, clinched the AFC North crown and can rest their starters in Week 17 against the Cleveland Browns (10-5).
Steelers Twitter reacted to the turn in fortunes.
Week 16 betting splits
For Week 16, the Steelers opened as 1.5-point underdogs against the Indianapolis Colts, with the total points line at 44.5. However, by Sunday, the line flipped and the Steelers were 1.5 or 1-point favorites at PA sportsbook apps.
Betting splits from FanDuel for Steelers vs. Colts:
- 54% of the money was on the Colts (-1) to cover the spread
- 54% of the money was on the Steelers (-108) moneyline
- 79% of the money was on the over (42.5)
- 55% of the money was on the Steelers (+1) to cover the spread
- 54% of the money was on the Steelers (-105) moneyline
- 71% of the money was on the over (44.5)
Awful first half
The Steelers (12-3) offense had a poor first half. Roethlisberger threw for 98 yards, and the feeble ground game only had four rushing yards.
Hot takes on Steelers’ slide
Steelers’ second-half surge
TJ Watt recorded his 14th and 15th sack against the Colts. He is the first Steeler with more than 14 sacks in multiple seasons.
What’s next for the Steelers
PA online sportsbooks list the Cleveland Browns as 7-point favorites against the Steelers for Week 17. The Steelers will likely rest their starters. The Browns control their playoff fate with a win.
Beyond that for the Black and Yellow … well, everybody has their opinions.
Lead image credit: AP Photo/Don Wright