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Colts' Matt Hasselbeck finally looked like a 40-year-old quarterback

Matt Hasselbeck was 16-of-26 for 169 yards, a touchdown, two interceptions and a lost fumble in Sunday's loss to the Steelers. AP Photo/Fred Vuich

PITTSBURGH -- Matt Hasselbeck didn’t look like a 40-year-old quarterback during his first four starts for the Indianapolis Colts.

His play during those four games caused a minor buzz about whether the Colts should continue to start Hasselbeck once Andrew Luck returns from kidney and abdomen injuries.

Hasselbeck and coach Chuck Pagano dismissed that notion, and the Pittsburgh Steelers further verified things when they caused the quarterback to have his worst performance of the season before eventually knocking him out the game with a neck and shoulder injury in the Colts’ 45-10 loss.

“We couldn’t get anything going offensively,” Pagano said. “No run game or pass game.”

Hasselbeck’s ability to lead the Colts in Luck’s absence had been one of the feel-good stories of the NFL. But you knew there was going to going to come a time when he would struggle.

That time came on national television against the Steelers. Hasselbeck was only 16-of-26 for 169 yards, a touchdown, two interceptions and a lost fumble.

“We didn’t see a lot of the stuff that we necessarily prepared for, but we kind of knew that might be the case also,” Hasselbeck said. “The stuff that we did prepare for we didn’t execute the way [we wanted to]. I don’t know. I wish I could get some plays back. But I would agree. They had me out of sync with the dropping eight and rushing three.”

Hasselbeck's night was basically set up on the opening series when he threw an interception by making a bad decision when he tried to force the ball to tight end Coby Fleener in the end zone.

“It was just terrible,” Hasselbeck said. “There’s really no excuse.”

The biggest issue for Hasselbeck is his health, especially since Luck is still at least a couple of weeks away from returning. Nobody could say for sure that Hasselbeck will be under center for Sunday’s game at Jacksonville.

“I don’t know about that yet,” Hasselbeck said. “I would hope that I could.”