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.
The entire Steelers playbook pic.twitter.com/1GK47K5o1g
— chris ⓳ (@EliteJuJu) December 27, 2020
Yinz would be booing the Steelers offense so badly at this point. #Steelers
— Blitzburgh ✨ (@RenegadeBlitz) December 27, 2020
Hot takes on Steelers’ slide
The Steelers are the worse 11-3 team in the history of any sport
— PFTCommenter (@PFTCommenter) December 27, 2020
Bens arm strength not there
No time to throw
No run game
Play calling ass
Tough covid schedule with no rest
Haven’t scored 20 points in a month
All these things are adding up to the worst offense I have ever seen under the Tomlin/Ben era.
— SteelersKB 🧬 (@SteelersKillerB) December 27, 2020
Steelers’ second-half surge
— BlitzburghVideos ✨ (@BlitzVideos) December 28, 2020
Important to note:
TJ Watt should clearly win Defensive Player of the Year.
— Across The Bridge (@ATBPGH) December 27, 2020
TJ Watt recorded his 14th and 15th sack against the Colts. He is the first Steeler with more than 14 sacks in multiple seasons.
We go live to the Steelers offense pic.twitter.com/A6NZjiKEtP
— Jenna Harner (@JennaHarner11) December 27, 2020
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.
Steelers might win the Super Bowl or lose by 30 in the first round.
I have no clue.
— Mikey (@fsmikey) December 27, 2020
1st Qtr: Fire the whole team!
2nd Qtr: Ban all of football!
3rd Qtr: Take me now Lord.
4th Qtr: Here we come Super Bowl!
What it’s like being a #Steelers fan.
— Pittsburgh Dad (@Pittsburgh_Dad) December 27, 2020
Lead image credit: AP Photo/Don Wright