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”.
Davis was coming off his best game of the season in Week 7, and his Week 8 performance might have been even better. Davis racked up 6 tackles, 2 pass defenses, a tackle for a loss and several ridiculous stops in the red-zone. Davis is living up to the second round hype for sure.
Call it whatever you want, but the Steelers defense did their job when it counted the most. Holding the Lions and Matthew Stafford to all field goals, and two crucial stops on 4th downs on separate occasions. On a day they weren’t their best, they beat one really good quarterback on the road.
I really shouldn’t have to go into this besides just leaving his stat line here. So that is what I will do:
7 receptions, 193 yards, 1 touchdown, 10 targets
Hargrave might not put up the stats which make people turn their heads, but he has been absolutely dominating from the nose tackle position. His play vs. the run in the red-zone, as well as his pressure on the final fourth-and-goal play where he pushed the center back into Stafford, were beautiful football plays, if you were watching closely. While Artie Burns and Sean Davis might get more publicity, Hargrave has been an absolute terror on the field this season. Hopefully the team realizes this and starts to use him more.
Some might hate them, but I love the energy and fun it brings to the game. The Steelers’ bench pressing celebration was almost an entire team celebration, and was fantastic. The celebrations are winners for me.
Not Playing James Harrison
On a night when it seemed the team couldn’t get much pressure on Stafford without sending a blitz, James Harrison was chilling on the sideline with Antonio Brown. I know the team wants to save him, but if you aren’t going to use him, why dress him? To me, putting a fresh Harrison in the game in the second half of a game against a tired offensive line certainly would make sense. Then again, we are just fans...
Bryant had to be thinking what the offense would look like without him, and it didn’t set the world on fire, but it certainly showed it can still make plays. JuJu Smith-Schuster looked solid on the outside, as well as the slot, but Bryant had to watch the team move on without him, for one week, and Smith-Schuster go bonkers on the Lions defense.
So, about that top-ranked pass defense. It is likely they won’t find themselves in that same position heading into Week 9 after allowing Matthew Stafford to throw for 423 yards. But, the team did stand tall when it mattered most. It is easy to make corrections after a win.