The Pittsburgh Steelers have little margin for error if they hope to stay alive in the AFC North race. After missing last year’s playoffs, Pittsburgh enters Week 9 of the 2019 NFL season two games behind the Baltimore Ravens for first place in the division.

With Baltimore hosting the undefeated New England Patriots Sunday night, the Steelers have a real chance to gain some ground on their rivals. Doing so would require beating the Indianapolis Colts at home Sunday afternoon.

Indianapolis is a one-point favorite in Pittsburgh, according to the latest betting line at OddsShark. The over/under is 41.5.

The Colts are on a three-game winning streak that’s improved their record to 5-2, putting them atop the AFC South. The Steelers are on a two-game winning streak, and a victory in Week 9 would give them a .500 record for the first time this season.

Don’t count on Pittsburgh having a winning record at any point in 2019.

Jacoby Brissett Indianapolis Colts
Jacoby Brissett of the Indianapolis Colts looks to pass in the second quarter of a game against the Arizona Cardinals at Lucas Oil Stadium on Sept. 17, 2017 in Indianapolis. Getty Images

Evidence from the first half of the season suggests that the Steelers are a mediocre team. They’ve beaten the Cincinnati Bengals and Miami Dolphins, who are the NFL’s remaining winless teams. Pittsburgh’s other victory came against the Los Angeles Chargers, who are 3-5 and rank among the most disappointing teams in football.

Los Angeles beat Indianapolis in overtime in Week 1. The Colts have won five out of six games since the season opener, beating Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson along the way.

Mason Rudolph is not going to be the quarterback that derails Indianapolis. The quarterback hasn’t thrown for more than 251 yards in a game. He’s averaging 6.2 yards per attempt against teams that have at least one win this season.

James Conner is doubtful to play. Backup running back Benny Snell Jr. is out.

The Steelers are 28th in total offense. In two games against offenses that rank in the bottom-10 in the NFL, the Colts have given up 30 total points.

Pittsburgh’s defense is playing well, making the most of their 19 takeaways. Unfortunately for the Steelers, Jacoby Brissett has thrown an interception on just 1.3% of his throws in 2019.

Playing at Heinz Field hasn’t given Pittsburgh much of an advantage. The Steelers are 2-2 at home with those wins coming over the Dolphins and Bengals.

Indianapolis finds a different way to win each week. That will continue in Week 9.

Prediction: Indianapolis over Pittsburgh, 23-13