Last week’s dramatic ending to the Colts-Steelers game left one fanbase jovial and another heartbroken. The latter might have also been wondering how the road ahead might look.
Without Brissett, the Colts‘ offense was left to operate under backup Brian Hoyer on Sunday. The veteran did an admirable job, completing 17 of 26 passes for 168 yards, three touchdowns and one interception, but it was Indianapolis’ final possession that is still inspiring some uneasiness.
Trailing 26-24 with 2:28 to play and 85 yards to go, Hoyer and the Colts failed to gain a single yard on their first three plays of the possession. A pass interference committed by Pittsburgh’s Steven Nelson gave the Colts new life and 35 yards in the process.
After an incomplete pass on first down, Hoyer found Zach Pascal for a 19-yard gain down to Pittsburgh’s 31. It was the last first down Indianapolis would earn, and four plays later, Adam Vinatieri‘s kick sailed wide left, ending the Colts‘ chances at a win that was very attainable just moments earlier.
One could contend that Brissett might not have made a difference on the final possession, that Hoyer did a good enough job to get the Colts in position to win. That person might be right, but with more than a minute left on the clock and just 31 yards left between Indianapolis and the end zone, it left the bad taste of a missed opportunity in the mouths of most onlookers.
At 5-3 in a very competitive AFC South, the Colts can’t afford another close loss. With receivers T.Y. Hilton and Parris Campbell already ruled out for Sunday, Brissett’s availability only becomes more important.