Colts Hang On For Win In Pittsburgh

It had been 40 years since the Indianapolis -- or Baltimore -- Colts won a game in Pittsburgh against the traditionally strong Steelers. But a 17-yard pass from Peyton Manning to Dominic Rhodes with 3:10 left in Sunday's game gave Indianapolis a 24-20 lead, and the Colts were able to hang on against a determined Steeler team that didn't give up until the very end.

Even after the Colts took a four-point lead late — their first of the game — the Steelers, led by Ben Roethlisberger, went on a 14-play drive that didn't end until Melvin Bullitt pulled down an interception in the end zone as time ran out on the clock.

The win, which moved the Colts over .500 at 5-4, didn't look likely in the first half after Mewelde Moore strolled in for a one-yard touchdown — his second of the game — and Jeff Reed added a field goal for a 17-7 Pittsburgh lead.

Bob Sanders and Tim Jennings celebrate after Jennings intercepted a pass late
AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar

But Manning engineered a late drive at the end of the first half, hitting Dallas Clark for a score with just nine seconds left before the break to cut the lead to three.

Indianapolis would tie it on an Adam Vinatieri field goal in the third quarter, but Reed added another field goal as the Steelers nedged ahead again, 20-17.

But it took a big defensive play for the Colts to get in position for the go-ahead score. The much-maligned Tim Jennings, who said earlier in the week he was trying to prove to the team that he wasn't a waste of a draft pick, came up with that big play, making a nice catch on an interception of Roethlisberger that put the Colts in business at the Pittsburgh 32.

After three runs by Rhodes netted a first down, Manning play-faked to Rhodes, then hit him releasing down the right sideline for the winning score.

The Steelers, who came into the game allowing just 164 yards per game passing, gave up 240 to Manning, who also had three touchdown passes, including a 65-yard pass to Reggie Wayne in the first quarter.

Manning threw the ball 40 times vs. just 19 runs for the Colts. Joseph Addai had 34 yards on 12 carries while Rhodes added 28 on seven totes.

Wayne had six catches for 114 yards, while Anthony Gonzalez made four catches and Marvin Harrison and Clark each had three.

In addition to Jennings and Bullitt, Keiwan Ratliff also had an interception, and Dwight Freeney broke out of his slump with two sacks, including a key drop of Roethlisberger on the final drive.

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