After each game, there are some players who impress and others who disappoint. This is where our weekly Winners and Losers column was born. Sometimes being labeled a loser is a bit harsh, but invariably there are players in each game who simply don’t measure up to “the standard”.
I feel like I say it every week, but Antonio Brown is the best receiver in the game. Don’t believe me? Re-watch the final 10-minutes of the game vs. the Packers. What he does is incredible. Just incredible.
Despite two interceptions, Roethlisberger didn’t get much help from his receivers on Sunday night. He finished with another 4 TD outing, and looks poised, and improved, ready for the stretch run. If the Steelers can always play at Heinz Field, which is a possibility when the games matter the most, Roethlisberger is wicked good in the Big Ketchup Bottle.
Yeah, I cursed him after the failed P.A.T., but nailing the 53-yard field goal to win it all makes up for it. Boswell has been clutch, and hasn’t missed a field goal at home this entire season.
When the Steelers were without JuJu Smith-Schuster, Bryant had a big 38-yard kickoff return to start the game, and followed it up with several big catches, none bigger than the fade touchdown pass which helped tie the game up in the second quarter. Progress is what we are seeing with Bryant on a weekly basis now. Good news for the Steelers, bad news for opposing defenses.
When people overlook him for the Pro Bowl, and they will, Heyward is having a career year. Two more sacks were added to his yearly total Sunday night, but nothing would make Heyward happier than to tell the Pro Bowl to shove it because the Steelers are busy that weekend preparing for a bigger event — the Super Bowl.
The fumble hurt, but his 4.8 yards per rush was a good stat line to see. 20 carries for 90 yards, and 12 receptions for 88 yards was vintage 2014 Bell. We all would like to see the team be a bit more balanced on offense, but Bell is doing his part as a dual-threat player.
Receivers not named Brown dropping footballs
Roethlisberger had 7 incompletions in the first half. 6 dropped passes, and an interception. The Steelers shot themselves in the foot repeatedly by dropping key receptions, some of them touchdowns, which could have totally altered the outcome of the game.
Burns has had a rough second-half of the season, and don’t think other NFL teams aren’t noticing. Until Joe Haden returns, the Steelers’ secondary is certainly more of a weak link than a strength. Burns looked lost in coverage on multiple occasions Sunday night, and he looks as if he’d rather swim across the Ohio River than try and tackle someone. Burns has a ton of potential, but getting the basics down would be a great start.
On the Packers’ 55-yard screen play which turned into a touchdown, watch the play again, but focus on Sean Davis (No. 28). That is all you need to see.
Big play defense...not in a good way
When people talk about big-play defenses, they’re usually talking about teams that take the ball away at a ridiculous clip. The Steelers are giving up a ton of big plays...not what the team really needs coming down the home stretch. In the past three games, the Steelers have given up a huge touchdown on the opponent’s first drive of the second half. The past three games. This is almost becoming laughable, but it better get rectified soon, or else it’ll be the end of the team’s winning streak.