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Steelers vs. Colts 2016 picks and predictions: Pittsburgh heavy favorites on Thanksgiving

With Luck in concussion protocol, the Colts' chances are fading fast

The Indianapolis Colts (5-5) will take the field on Thanksgiving against the Steelers (5-5) without their franchise quarterback. That would put any team in a tough position, but especially one that has little else to boast on either side of the ball. With Andrew Luck in concussion protocol, the Colts turn to Scott Tolzien, who will attempt multiple passes for the first time in exactly three years — he was a backup to Aaron Rodgers with the Packers then.

Kickoff is at 8:30 p.m. ET on NBC and can be streamed here.

Tolzien will have a few weapons at wideout with Donte Moncrief and T.Y. Hilton, along with running back Frank Gore. It just might not be enough with Indianapolis' defense giving up an average of nearly 400 yards (third-worst in the NFL) and 27 points per game.

Pittsburgh's playmakers like wideout Antonio Brown, running back Le'Veon Bell, and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger should have no problem pushing around a secondary that's been inept all season.

Regardless, this won't be a game the Steelers take lightly. They need to take advantage of a depleted opponent as they sit tied with Baltimore for first place in the AFC North with much tougher games looming.

Without Luck, the Colts aren't getting much love in this matchup. All eight CBS Sports writers are going with a Pittsburgh victory on Thursday while six of seven ESPN writers picked the Steelers.

SB Nation finds itself aligned with them here, leaning heavily toward Pittsburgh.

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If the NFL really wants us to believe that anything can happen on Thursday night, a Colts victory would be a good place to start.