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Steelers vs. Colts: ‘Monday Night Football’ game pick and open thread

Two AFC teams near the low end of the totem pole fight to keep their faint playoff hopes alive

Syndication: The Indianapolis Star Robert Scheer/IndyStar via Imagn Content Services, LLC

Another week of football is almost completely in the books. Week 12 has been full of surprises and upsets. Tonight, we’re treated to a less-than-exciting matchup between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Indianapolis Colts. With an 8:15 p.m. EST kickoff time, DraftKings Sportsbook has the Colts as 2.5-point favorites at home.

The Colts haven’t been explosive offensively this season. The offensive line has been subpar, and running back Jonathan Taylor hasn’t gotten the push up front to look like the dominant force he was last season. The last couple of games, he’s averaged 115 yards and 22 attempts. And quarterback Matt Ryan has quietly put together a solid season, even after being benched. In six of the last seven starts, he’s completed 70% of his passes and has built great chemistry with wide receiver Michael Pittman. Defensively, the Colts always give their offense a chance to win the game. They boast a Top 10 defense that doesn’t beat itself with penalties.

The Steelers have been trying to build up their rookie quarterback, Kenny Pickett, with reps—and have been rewarded with exciting play at times. But no rookie is exempt from growing pains. He’s had highs and lows that could’ve been helped with a better showing from the running game. Second-year running back Najee Harris has also underperformed the expectations placed on him this season. He averages 3.7 yards per carry on the year, with three touchdowns—two of which came in Week 1 against the Cincinnati Bengals.

I’m expecting this game to be a clash of running attacks looking to establish something to build on and call a success. Both teams will depend on a run game and strong defensive performances. I’m going with the Steelers in this one. I expect T.J. Watt to disrupt Ryan’s timing, as well as Taylor’s running lanes. Expect a low-scoring game with big defensive plays.