After a game there are players who impress and some who disappoint. This is where our weekly “Winners and Losers” column was born. Sometimes being labeled a loser is a bit harsh, but ultimately there are players every game who simply don’t measure up to “the standard”.
I know I said it last week, but if you were wondering if Bell was “back” to his old self, then there shouldn’t be a shadow of a doubt anymore. On top of his vision, patience and power, we all witnessed Bell stiff-arm Dre Kirkpatrick so hard he bounced like a basketball. Chalk that up to things I’ve never seen before. This team is turning into a running team, and it fits Bell just fine.
Call him a game manager, field general or just a great quarterback, but Roethlisberger is starting to find his groove. It should be noted No. 7 only threw the ball 24 times Sunday, and only 25 in Week 6. Want to know the new recipe for success? Get a lead, throw when necessary, grind opponents into stumps. Roethlisberger says he doesn’t care about stats, and for once, I believe him. Nonetheless, a great game for Big Ben Sunday.
Robert Golden may not look like a quarterback when throwing the football, but he dropped a dime to Darrius Heyward-Bey down the sideline on the fake punt which was the dagger for the Bengals. Gutsy call by either Mike Tomlin or Golden, but it worked. You can always chalk it up to genius when a play like that works.
While not the flashiest rookie defender in the 2017 NFL Draft class, Watt should be getting at least some recognition for rookie defender of the year, if he continues on his current pace. Watt was all over the field Sunday vs. Cincinnati, racking up 6 tackles, 1 sack, 1 tackle for loss, and 3 quarterback hits. Have a day T.J.!!
With Stephon Tuitt out of the lineup, the Steelers needed a big performance from Heyward, and he delivered. He wasn’t as blatantly over-powering as he was in previous weeks, but his 4 tackles, 1 sack, 2 tackles for a loss and 2 quarterback hits were huge in the victory Sunday at Heinz Field.
If you bash him when they lose, you also need to give credit where credit is due. Tomlin has taken his team into Arrowhead Stadium and knocked off the top team in the league, and followed it up with a big win at home against a division rival. That is impressive in itself, but how they won is almost equally impressive. The Steelers were dominant, but also disciplined. Only one penalty for 5-yards vs the Bengals?! Kudos to Coach Tomlin, and his staff, for a job well done.
It may have taken 7 weeks, but Joe Haden finally got an interception in a black-and-gold uniform. It was one of two for the Steelers, and it equated in another Chris Boswell field goal, but don’t focus on that. Instead, focus on how Haden has helped this defense, mainly the secondary, be the best in the business to date, and looking more and more like a championship caliber unit.
You reportedly asked for a trade and said you weren’t happy with your role in the offense. Being a receiver isn’t easy, based on the fact you have to rely on someone else to get your the football; however, I still can’t figure out how Bryant didn’t pick up the football on the ‘go-route’ in the second half. It was a well-thrown pass, and very catchable, but Bryant never got his head turned around in time. When you are a part of an offense where you might only get one, or two, big play opportunities a game...better make the most of them.
3rd and Short Offense
3rd and short and the team doesn’t have Nix on the field? Get out of here! The team’s inability to have any semblance of a plan on short-yardage situations is frustrating, but also an easy fix. Better get it fixed quick too.
Another day, another mediocre red-zone offensive performance. The team was 1-6 in the red-zone, and that simply isn’t going to cut it down the stretch. In the first half alone, if the team would have turned one of those failed red-zone opportunities into a touchdown, it likely would have been game over for the Bengals. However, the team’s failures in this area of the field let teams hang around. The issues start with the play calling, and filter on down to execution. If this offense wants to be as good as everyone thinks it can be, they need to start cashing in when they get the chance.