- Associated Press - Monday, December 7, 2015

PITTSBURGH (AP) - The Indianapolis Colts had another tough time against Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Roethlisberger threw for 364 yards and four touchdowns in the Steelers’ 45-10 dismantling of the decimated Colts on Sunday night.

“We got beat thoroughly in all three phases,” Colts coach Chuck Pagano said. “We don’t have a lot of time to sit and dwell on this. It stings, but we’ve got to move on.”

Roethlisberger has 886 yards passing and 10 touchdowns in his last two starts against Indianapolis. The three-time Pro Bowl quarterback threw for a franchise-record 522 yards and tied his own club mark with six touchdowns when the teams met in Pittsburgh last season.

Antonio Brown caught eight passes for 118 yards and two touchdowns on Sunday. He also scored on a 71-yard punt return for the Steelers (7-5), who remain in the thick of a crowded AFC playoff picture.

Martavis Bryant hauled in four passes for 114 yards and a score, and DeAngelo Williams added 134 yards rushing as Pittsburgh shook off a slow start to dominate the Colts (6-6) during the final three quarters.

Matt Hasselbeck threw for 169 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions before leaving in the fourth quarter because of neck and shoulder pain. He was non-committal about starting next Sunday at Jacksonville for the Colts, who remain tied with Houston for the lead in the AFC South.

“I don’t know about that yet,” Hasselbeck said. “I would hope that I could. I did get X-rays and I’m in a little bit of pain, but I don’t know anything else other than that.”

The Steelers came in smarting following a sloppy loss in Seattle last weekend that dropped them out of the AFC’s top wild-card spot, while the Colts had been surging under the seemingly ageless Hasselbeck. The 40-year-old began the night unbeaten while subbing for Andrew Luck by avoiding mistakes and playing with the energy of someone at the onset of his career instead of fighting off the twilight.

Whatever magic Hasselbeck possessed disappeared quickly in a stadium where he has never won. He threw a pair of interceptions in the opening 11 minutes, matching his season total. The first one came on the game’s third play after the Colts recovered a fumble on the opening kickoff. He lobbed a pass at the goal line that linebacker Jarvis Jones snatched out of the air for his first career interception.

Hasselbeck’s second - after another Steelers turnover - came later in the quarter on a tipped ball that ended up in the hands of cornerback Brandon Boykin, seeing his first extended playing time since the Steelers acquired him from Philadelphia in August.

It led to a 51-yard field goal from Chris Boswell that gave the Steelers a 6-3 lead. Hasselbeck later found Frank Gore for a 9-yard score that put Indianapolis in front.

Roethlisberger took over from there as the Steelers finished the first half with a flourish.

He completed six straight passes on an 80-yard drive that ended with a 7-yard dart to Brown that pushed the Steelers ahead for good after the team’s NFL-leading seventh 2-point conversion.

Roethlisberger was even better running the 2-minute drill on Pittsburgh’s next possession, going 60 yards in eight plays, the last a 5-yard toss to Markus Wheaton just inside the pylon that put Pittsburgh up by 11 at the break.

“They gave us opportunities,” Hasselbeck said. “There’s really no excuse. We were in it. We had chances and we didn’t capitalize offensively.”

The Colts went three-and-out to start the second half and Roethlisberger picked up where he left off when he found Bryant with a rainbow down the right sideline. Bryant chased it down and simply ran away from a pair of Indianapolis defensive backs on his way to a 68-yard play that put the Steelers up 18.

Indianapolis’ last best shot to get back in it came later in the quarter, but Hasselbeck was chased to the sideline and threw an incomplete pass on fourth down at the Pittsburgh 14.

Roethlisberger provided the exclamation point with a 48-yard pass to Brown, three plays before the wide receiver hauled in his second touchdown catch.

“We tried to mix it up and nothing really seemed to work,” Pagano said.

___

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL

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