Sports

The Colts, Steelers are keen to indicate they’ll shine in prime time

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – Indianapolis Colts proprietor Jim Irsay began asking questions three years in the past.

Why wasn’t his workforce internet hosting extra prime-time video games?

From 2011-20, the Colts performed a league-low 9 instances underneath the lights at Lucas Oil Stadium.

They didn’t host evening video games till final season from December 14, 2017, once they modified the date to a Thursday evening contest in opposition to the New York Jets in early November and a Saturday evening contest in mid-December in opposition to New England.

One other lengthy drought will finish when Pittsburgh takes on Indy within the metropolis’s first Monday evening (Reside on TSN at 8pm ET/5pm PT) View from September 21, 2015. These contained in the group assume the time has come.

“It is an excellent, nice atmosphere, I am positive Lucas Oil shall be nice, and it is nice to not journey,” longtime Colts middle Ryan Kelly mentioned. “You are the one sport on TV on the time, proper? So go on the market, play your greatest, play as a workforce and it is at all times enjoyable once you win these video games.”

It has been a number of days since Indy had a house Monday evening recreation.Indy had no gamers on the energetic roster for the Week 2 matchup in opposition to the Jets in 2015, and there have been solely 5 present Colts gamers within the league — quarterbacks Matt Ryan and Nick Foles, cornerback Stephen Gilmore, offensive lineman Dennis Kelly and security Rodney. McLeod II.

Indy misplaced the earlier season’s AFC Championship Recreation, often called “Deflategate,” whereas Peyton Manning was chasing his second Tremendous Bowl ring in his closing NFL season. And the Colts’ interim coach, Jeff Saturday, was in his third 12 months as a rookie ESPN broadcaster.

The Steelers, however, have been a featured prime-time fixture for many years.

They’ve the third-highest Monday evening profitable proportion in historical past (.671) and will tie San Francisco for many Monday evening wins (52) in league historical past with a win in Indy. The 49ers broke the tie final Monday with a 38-10 victory over Arizona in Mexico Metropolis.

Pittsburgh has received seven of its final eight Monday evening highway video games and dominates the sequence with seven straight wins over the Colts, a 3-0 mark at Lucas Oil Stadium and a 5-0 document in playoff video games.

Coach Mike Tomlin hopes it is a recipe for getting his workforce’s season again on monitor.

“We’re enthusiastic about Monday Night time Ball,” he mentioned. “We do not take it as a right to play in entrance of a primetime tv viewers and our friends. Man, that is one thing we want for. However we present him respect in how we put together, in our singleness and finally in how we play.”

However that is hardly a promoter’s dream.

Indy and Pittsburgh (3-7) started Week 12 with two of the NFL’s 5 lowest-scoring averages. The Colts have misplaced two of three, the Steelers three of 4. And even with the quarterback change, solely Davis Mills and Josh Allen have extra interceptions than Indies Ryan (9) or Pittsburgh rookie Kenny Pickett (eight).

Tomlin entered this week one loss shy of matching his private single-season profession excessive, eight, as a coach and two of his first shedding seasons in 16 years as a head coach — although the earlier 15 all got here with Ben Roethlisberger at quarterback.

Nonetheless, Tomlin considers it a privilege to be on nationwide tv on a vacation weekend.

“There’s loads of challenges in skilled sports activities, working the vacations and so forth, man, nevertheless it’s an excellent alternative,” he mentioned.

“It is one thing we respect. We keep in mind our days as soccer followers once we weren’t immediately concerned and the way vital weeks like this have been to younger individuals and households and it is an honor to be part of it.”

Indy (4-6-1) additionally has one thing to show.

After opening the season with the franchise’s first tie within the Indy period and making the primary midseason teaching change in Irsay’s 25-year tenure as proprietor, the Colts may show their most unwatchable recreation of the season of their earlier prime-time recreation. — a 12-9 additional time victory at Denver that featured no touchdowns — was an aberration.

The Colts could not consider a greater alternative to show their proprietor proper.

“Monday nights are at all times enjoyable,” Ryan mentioned. “Now it is Thursday evening and Sunday evening however once I was rising up it was Monday evening. So it is at all times been enjoyable for me to play in that form of atmosphere. We’ve such an excellent fan base right here, let’s give them one thing to cheer about, one thing’s going to go incorrect.”

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