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MIKE PELAIA

The Steelers sit at 6-2 after the first half of the season and come out of the bye week ready to play their way into the playoffs and beyond. That journey begins with a visit to the Indianapolis Colts, who sit at 3-6. The Steelers are heavy favorites in this one and should be, but you never know what could happen.

After the time off, will the team come out flat or will they be ready to continue moving in the right direction?

Here are the keys to a Steelers victory:

The Black and Gold have played down to their competition over the years while under Mike Tomlin. They need to avoid that trap this week and blow the Colts out. They can’t allow a team, who is far inferior, to hang around this time.

Ben Roethlisberger needs to sling the ball all over the field. The Colts have the 31st ranked defense against the pass. Ben needs to chuck the ball to Antonio Brown, Martavis Bryant and of course JuJu Smith-Schuster.

The defense must blitz Jacoby Brissett.  Brissett is an average quarterback at best and has been sacked 32 times already this season. The Black and Gold should send T.J. Watt, Bud Dupree and the rest of the cavalry at Brissett early and often.

The Steelers pass defense will need to stop T.Y. Hilton and Jack Doyle. Hilton is the big play threat the Colts have while Doyle is the team’s leading receiver and safety net for Brissett. Take one or both of these guys out of the game and it’s an easy victory for the black and gold.

Here are A few things to watch:

I want to see how Roethlisberger comes back after the week off. He’s been subpar this year, by his standards at least and I’m looking for a huge game from him to start the second half.

Earlier this week, I predicted the team would score 30 points in three of the next eight games. I fully believe this will be one of those games. Watch how the offense rolls.

I’d like to watch Smith-Schuster vs. Bryant. I think Smith-Schuster is the new #2 receiver, let’s see how he’s used vs. Bryant this week.

I predicted Vince Williams to have a huge second half and I think it starts this week with a double-digit tackle performance.

The Steelers should have no issues this week as they come out of the bye and begin the second half of the season. The Colts are bad, the Steelers are solid and as long as they don’t play down to their competition, they will roll in this game. I’m looking for the final score to be 34-10 in favor of the Steelers.

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