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The Journal Gazette

  • Associated Press Colts defensive end Margus Hunt sacks Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger during the first half Sunday. In the second half, Roethlisberger rallied Pittsburgh from a 17-3 deficit to beat Indianapolis.

Monday, November 13, 2017 1:00 am

Big Ben shakes off Colts

QB rallies Steelers to last-second victory

MICHAEL MAROT | Associated Press

Scoreboard

Pittsburgh 20, Indianapolis 17

Green Bay 23, Chicago 16

Detroit 38, Cleveland 24

Minnesota 38, Washington 30

Tampa Bay 15, New York Jets 10

Tennessee 24, Cincinnati 20

Jacksonville 20, L.A. Chargers 17, OT

New Orleans 47, Buffalo 10

Seattle 22, Arizona 16

Atlanta 27, Dallas 7

L.A. Rams 33, Houston 7

San Francisco 31, New York Giants 21

New England 41, Denver 16

INDIANAPOLIS – Ben Roethlisberger's old game plan still works.

Pittsburgh's quarterback kept taking shots Sunday and eventually the Steelers' playmakers broke through.

Roethlisberger threw two second-half touchdown passes to erase a 14-point deficit and then hooked up with Antonio Brown on a 32-yard completion with 35 seconds left to set up Chris Boswell's 33-yard field goal as time expired for a 20-17 victory at Indianapolis.

“Let's not take this thing to overtime,” Roethlisberger said, after being asked for his thoughts during the final drive. “I felt that's what we were kind of leaning toward.”

Roethlisberger made sure the Steelers (7-2) got out of town on time with a fourth straight win, padding their AFC North lead over Baltimore. Aside from the second-half comeback and frantic finish, things didn't exactly go according to script.

Brown, the league's top receiver, caught only three passes for 47 yards. Le'Veon Bell, the league's No. 3 rusher, finished with 80 yards on 26 carries, and Roethlisberger wound up 19 of 31 for 236 yards after being picked off on the second play of the game.

And the Steelers never led until the final play.

But when it mattered most, Roethlisberger played his best ball, methodically moving around and buying just enough time to pick apart the Colts' young secondary. It was no match for the 35-year-old comeback master.

“Big Ben is Big Ben and he finds guys, and we've got him in second-and-long and he finds a guy, and then he scrambles around and finds Antonio Brown,” Colts coach Chuck Pagano said. “That's what he does.”

For the Colts (3-7), it was just another frustrating game in a series full of them. They've now lost five straight to the Steelers, this one perhaps the most flummoxing.

They appeared to be in control after Jacoby Brissett threw a 60-yard touchdown pass to Donte Moncrief early in the second quarter and a 61-yard TD pass to Chester Rogers four plays into the third quarter to make it 17-3.

Roethlisberger came right back. The two-time Super Bowl champion hooked up with JuJu Smith-Schuster on a 7-yard TD pass to cut the lead to 17-9. And after Ryan Shazier picked off Brissett's pass at the Colts' 10-yard line, Roethlisberger scrambled long enough to find a wide open Vance McDonald for another 7-yard score early in the fourth. The 2-point conversion pass tied the score at 17 with 11:52 to go.

He did it again on the final drive, too, completing two third-down passes before finding Brown on the final 70-yard drive for the winning kick.

“You give up some big plays, you have a chance to lose football games,” Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said. “We're fortunate to win this game giving up those two long touchdown passes. So, we'll get back in the lab and go back to work.”

Brissett didn't speak to the media because of concussion-like symptoms. He was 14 of 24 for 222 yards with two TDs and one interception.