Winners and Losers from Pittsburgh's 34-24 loss vs. San Diego

Joe Sargent

It's tough to highlight winners from such a poorly played game, but pointing out the players who fell short of expectations isn't very difficult.

In reality, it's equally difficult to cite individuals as having outstanding games, because no one really did. Not everyone played poorly, but there clearly wasn't a player who did much of anything with obvious success through four quarters.

It's also difficult to point out just a few on the negative side, because everyone had at least a little of the blame in what will go down as one of the worst Steelers home losses in the Mike Tomlin Era.

As usual, we do not give these out for coaches, positional units or concepts. At most, we highlight two players at once for the sake of space.

Winners

Lawrence Timmons - the game's leading tackler did make something of an impact, as the Steelers' defense played very well on first and second downs. It's hard to praise any Steelers player after this one, but Timmons was probably the most consistent player in a game mired by inconsistency.

Shaun Suisham - He drilled a 49-yard field goal in a stadium not friendly to kickers to go to 25-for-26 on the season. With two home games left, Suisham looks to become the first Steelers kicker to go perfect in a full season at home (his one miss was a 54-yard attempt in Tennessee).

Drew Butler - After a shaky first punt, Butler got plenty of action, and even in an otherwise uninspiring day for him, his 79-yard punt was the second-longest in team history.

Losers

Curtis Brown - Enough has been said on him already, but if Mike Tomlin was to give his honest assessment of Brown's performance in his promotion to nickel back duties, it would be something along the lines of "the game was too big for him." The double-move in which he charged forward as if he was advancing on a beachhead at Normandy wasn't a great move - it was decent, but it's not as if Rivers is a threat to run. The receiver was still well behind him and he kept running forward, leaving him wide open for the touchdown.

Cortez Allen - Picked on only a little less often than Brown, he suffered from the same paralysis on underneath routes that Brown did. He didn't bit, chew, swallow and digest a double-move the way Brown did, but he was equally slow to respond and equally not up to the challenge the Chargers presented.

Jonathan Dwyer - appearing as if he'd spent pregame sleeping off a hangover yet again, Dwyer's position as starter and main ball carrier has to come into question. Expect Rashard Mendenhall to regain that position this week.

Mike Wallace and Antonio Brown - appearing together to point out hope is lost on these two for the season. Wallace grabbed two touchdowns and Brown had one - all in garbage time - and both had big dropped passes while their quarterback was yet again fleeing for his life. Wallace let a pass go through his hands with green in front of him and the pass to Brown (what would have been a career highlight play by Roethlisberger) bounced off his chest. Some old money would do the Steelers well about now.

Kelvin Beachum and Max Starks - Mentioning them together as another pair of mirror players who played poorly throughout the game. Starks headed into this being a rare player of stability in this game, but the assignment was simply too much for him. With only so much help to be given around, it was quickly obvious the media missed the boat on which team had the larger problem along its offensive line.

Isaac Redman - Two carries for zero yards, one target, no receptions. His net gain on three attempts to make plays was zero yards.


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