PITTSBURGH — Ben Roethlisberger threw for 364 yards and four touchdowns, leading the Pittsburgh Steelers to a 45-10 victory over the Indianapolis Colts in battle of teams jockeying for playoff position Sunday night.
The Steelers (7-5) moved a game ahead of the Colts (6-6) while keeping pace with the New York Jets and Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC wild-card race.
Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown caught eight passes for 118 yards and two touchdowns. Brown also returned a punt 71 yards for a touchdown after he replaced Jacoby Jones, who fumbled twice in the first half, on special teams.
Running back DeAngelo Williams added 134 yards on 26 carries for Pittsburgh. Roethlisberger completed 24 of 39 passes, four of them to wide receiver Martavis Bryant for 114 yards and a touchdown.
The Steelers’ defense limited Indianapolis to 240 yards of total offense and forced three turnovers.
Indianapolis began drives in Pittsburgh territory three times but scored only three points as a result.
Quarterback Matt Hasselbeck struggled in his fifth start for Indianapolis, finishing 16-for-26 for 169 yards with one touchdown pass and two interceptions. Hasselbeck also lost a fumble and a fourth-quarter play that knocked him out of the game with a shoulder and neck injury.
Kicker Adam Vinatieri put Indianapolis on the board with a 35-yard field goal after the teams combined to turn the ball over three times in the game’s first three minutes.
Jacoby Jones fumbled the opening kickoff, and Indianapolis recovered at the 11. Steelers linebacker Jarvis Jones intercepted Hasselbeck two plays later.
Williams fumbled to give the ball back to Indianapolis at the Pittsburgh 25, and the Colts took advantage of the Steelers’ second miscue.
Roethlisberger led Pittsburgh into the red zone, and kicker Chris Boswell tied the game with a 29-yard field goal.
Hasselbeck was intercepted again at the Colts 37, and Boswell later connected on another field goal, this from 51 yards, for a 6-3 Pittsburgh lead.
Indianapolis took the lead in the second on Hasselbeck’s 9-yard touchdown pass to running back Frank Gore. Pittsburgh responded with a 80-yard drive, capped by a 7-yard touchdown pass from Roethlisberger to Brown and a two-point conversion to take a 14-10 lead.
The Steelers took a 21-10 lead into halftime after Roethlisberger’s second touchdown toss, a 5-yarder to wide receiver Markus Wheaton with 10 seconds left.
Roethlisberger put the Steelers up 28-10 in the third quarter with a 68-yard completion to Bryant, who burned cornerback Greg Toler on a go route.
NOTES: Colts QB Andrew Luck (lacerated kidney). was sidelined for the fifth consecutive game. … WR Antonio Brown became the third player in Steelers history to record 6,500 career receiving yards with a catch in the first quarter. … Pittsburgh QB Ben Roethlisberger started despite sustaining a concussion in the loss to the Seattle Seahawks last week.