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Winners and Losers from Steelers' 27-20 win over the Atlanta Falcons in week 15

The Steelers pull out a huge road win in their quest for the playoffs. Here are the winners and losers from their 27-20 road win over the Atlanta Falcons Sunday.

Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports


Antonio Brown - In the same game, Antonio Brown reclaimed his position of having most receiving yards in the NFL for 2014 (1498), and set a new Steelers record for receptions in a single season (115). While those milestones are impressive by themselves, he made several huge plays that kept the offense going. Probably his best was an over-the-shoulder reception that put the Steelers inside the five-yard line to setup the first offensive touchdown for Pittsburgh. On a live-look, the sideline referee ruled it an incomplete pass, but the review showed he clearly had possession of the ball and tapped his right toe with his left foot down. Despite a taunting penalty that went against him, albeit a seemingly bogus one, his performance was instrumental in today's victory.

Le'Veon Bell - Though his three-game streak of 200 yards from scrimmage was ended, Bell still had a big day for the offense, netting 119 yards and setting a new single-season record for yards from scrimmage for the Pittsburgh Steelers franchise (2,043).  Bell scored two touchdowns and now leads the league in yards from scrimmage (however DeMarco Murray of the Dallas Cowboys has yet to play this week.) The Atlanta defense did a good job containing him, but he still made several key plays for Pittsburgh both with the ball and in pass protection.

William Gay - "Big play Willie Gay" had his third interception return for a touchdown in 2014 to give the Steelers a 13-0 lead early in the game. He also was able to make some solid tackles and he defended multiple passes. His performance paced a defense that only allowed two touchdowns, and the two biggest plays it surrendered were from wide receiver screens that sprung open for big gains. The only receiver that got behind the secondary the entire game was Devin Hester who got behind Antwon Blake for a touchdown reception. The Steelers currently lead the league in interceptions returned for touchdowns with four, including three from Gay.

Cameron Heyward - Cam "Wreck-it" Heyward had a big game on the defensive front. He consistently pressed the line of scrimmage from his position, collapsed the pocket and even batted a pass against an offense that played well today. Heyward has been one of the best and most consistent players on the Steelers' defense this season and he seems to get better with every play.

Honorable Mentions: Markus Wheaton, Vince Williams, Steve McLendon.


Mike Adams - Adams had another opportunity to prove his worth in a replacement effort for Marcus Gilbert at right tackle and, though he wasn't as bad as some of his performances, he still missed several blocks throughout the game. The second-round draft pick out of Ohio State is running out of time, if he has any time left, to prove that he'll be part of this team's future.

Cam Thomas - While Heyward and McLendon seemed disruptive on the Steelers' front-three, Thomas was not. Even rookie Stephon Tuitt continues to prove more effective than the veteran expected to fill the void left from the departure of Evander "Ziggy" Hood. It really seems that Thomas won't be with the team after this season.

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