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Colts Lose Close One to Steelers; Collins Concussed – SportsUntapped.com
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Added September 26th, 2011 by Chalk

Colts Lose Close One to Steelers; Collins Concussed
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The Peyton Manning-less Indianapolis Colts played their best game of the season on Sunday night, but lost 23-20 to the Pittsburgh Steelers on a last-second field goal. Third-string quarterback Curtis Painter came in for the Colts after Kerry Collins left late in the third quarter with concussion-like symptoms and nearly forced overtime with a late touchdown drive.

The Colts bounced back from an early 10-0 hole to lead 13-10 at the half, thanks almost entirely to their defense. Colts defensive end Dwight Freeney sacked and stripped Pittsburgh quarterback/probable rapist Ben Roethlisberger and Jamaal Anderson ran it back 47 yards for a game-tying touchdown. Another fumble by Roethlisberger and an interception led to two Indianapolis field goals.

Collins was pretty awful before getting hurt, completing just 13 of 29 passes for 93 yards — it’s not clear if he’ll be able to start next Monday night when the Colts face the 2-1 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, or if the Colts will even want him to. Painter, playing in his first NFL game since 2009, started slowly, getting sacked and losing a fumble that was returned 17 yards for a touchdown by Troy Polamalu that put the Steelers up 20-13 with just 5:13. But then Painter needed just over two minutes to lead the Colts 80 yards for the tying score.

Colts coach Jim Caldwell realizes his team still has a ways to go, but was impressed with Painter’s performance, even though the long-haired third-stringer from Purdue completed only five of 11 passes. “Once he got his feet underneath him, he really moved the ball down the field and did a nice job for us,” said Caldwell. “The big thing is we are still measured by wins around here … But we can see evidence we’re getting better. The key is we have to get over that threshold. … We just have to do a couple more things right to get in position to win.”

Meanwhile, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin was just happy to escape Indy with a win and a 2-1 record. “We don’t care how it looks,” said Tomlin. “We just want to get out of stadiums with wins, particularly road stadiums and AFC ones.”

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