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”.
Just when you think Brown can’t get any better, he goes and does something like he did on Thursday Night Football at Heinz Field. Ten receptions, 144 yards and three touchdowns. The last touchdown might be one of the greatest of his career, and he’s had plenty to choose from. Fans should enjoy watching his greatness week in and week out.
I have taken some heat for putting Roethlisberger on this list for a rather mediocre performance, but I don’t think many will argue with him being here after Week 11. He completed 30 of 45 passes for 299 yards and 4 touchdowns. It was a vintage Ben performance, especially when the team utilized the no-huddle offense. Hopefully, this is a stepping stone for Roethlisberger and the offense.
Heyward has been absolutely dominant this season, and so he was again on Thursday. His two sacks, three tackles, two tackles for losses and three quarterback hits epitomized his overall season. If Heyward isn’t in the Pro Bowl, there’s something wrong with the process. Then again, I think the Steelers will be busy during the Pro Bowl.
The Steelers’ defense has had its hands on some footballs, and have seen quite a few of them fall to the turf. But this wasn’t the case in Week 11 when they intercepted Marcus Mariota four times. Mike Hilton, Coty Sensabaugh, Sean Davis and Robert Golden all got their hands on the football, and it was a huge factor in the game.
The Steelers might not have a player with double-digit sacks this season, but they’re getting pressure from a variety of players. Stephon Tuitt (1), Cam Heyward (2), L.T. Walton (1) and Vince Williams (1) added to their sack totals (and the team’s) by sacking Mariota. But they also hit Mariota nine times. Solid outing for the pass rush.
I don’t want to hate on Burns too much, but his play the past few weeks has been mediocre at best. Despite having a pass break-up which resulted in an interception, Burns’ play needs to improve throughout the final seven weeks if the team wants to have a truly dominant pass defense.
Third Down Offense
The Steelers’ offense was 4-for-12 and below .500 again on those key plays. This just isn’t good enough, and if you combine it with the red-zone struggles, it magnifies why the team’s offense just hit 30 points or more for the first time this season in Week 11.
Another first half with horrid tackling. Players in position, and nothing but arm tackles which were broken for big plays. The Steelers’ defense is good, but they surrender the big play, both on the ground and through the air, more than they should. Still plenty to improve on in this area.