The Pittsburgh Steelers were part of the unthinkable. Going into M&T Bank Stadium and taking down the Baltimore Ravens wasn’t out of the question for the Steelers. The bigger issue was having the Jacksonville Jaguars defeat the Indianapolis Colts to give the Steelers a fantastic chance of getting into the postseason with anything other than a tie against the Chargers and Raiders on Sunday Night Football. But what’s most important is the Pittsburgh Steelers took care of business on the field with an overtime win which sent the Baltimore Ravens in the last place in the AFC North.
So who gets the game ball?
Each Steelers win this season, I will set forth nominations to receive the BTSC game ball. It does not necessarily have to be the best player on the field, but who really stepped up their game this particular week. It may not even be their best performance, but perhaps overcoming some adversity or making one big play will also put someone in consideration. After the case is been made, you all decide which player takes home the honor.
Highlighting the results of the previous week’s Game Ball, let’s check out the winner…
Week 17 Game Ball Winner: Ben Roethlisberger & T.J. Watt
This was a very close race with Roethlisberger and Watt barely edging out Ben and Najee by 1% of the vote. Ultimately it came down to the Future Hall of Famer in his final game at Heinz Field coupled with Watt’s four sack performance which edged Harris’ 188 rushing yards.
I’m very grateful we are back to the positive side of things for the second-straight week and get to hand out a game ball. I will remind everyone of the rules that it is individual players who will be in the running (mostly). Although it could be applicable, it will not be either position groups or coaches who are eligible for this designation as they are more in line for Jeff Hartman’s Winners and Losers article. I know I broke my rules in previous ‘Dud” articles, but we’re getting back on track just like the Steelers did... mostly. So here are the nominations in no particular order:
The Steelers quarterback did it again. After a rough first half, Roethlisberger’s second half stats were 22 of 29 for 178 yards and a touchdown for a 102.4 quarterback rating. It was also Roethlisberger’s 57th game-winning drive (including playoffs) in either the fourth quarter or overtime, putting him all alone in second place in that category only behind Tom Brady.
Even though one was not ruled so and another 0.5 was taken away via penalty, T.J. Watt still got his sack to tie the NFL single-season record. Watt also continued his dominance with five tackles, one of which was for loss, a pass defensed, three quarterback hits, and a forced fumble.
After getting injured on the first driver the game, the Steelers went back to Harris late in order to help orchestrate a comeback and put the game away in overtime. It was Harris’ 15-yard run on 2nd & 10 with just over two minutes left in the extra period which set up Chris Boswell’s game-winning field goal from a much better distance.
Speaking of game-winning field goals, Chris Boswell was there once again to come to the Steelers’ rescue when the situation called for it. Boswell went three for three in field goals with a long 40 as well as an extra points. But the most important kick of all, Boswell was money from 36 yards to end the game.
With a big interception in the first half, Terrell Edmunds also had three passes defensed to go along with three tackles. When he was matched up on tight end Mark Andrews, the Ravens biggest offensive weapon, he got the job done.
This is really going to ruffle the feathers of some Steelers’ fans, but Ray-Ray McCloud at least gets a mention for his fourth down reception to keep the Steelers hopes alive in overtime. In 20 years, when the trivia question comes up of who was the recipient of Ben Roethlisberger‘s final regular-season pass, it will be McCloud on fourth down for a 10-yard gain and a conversion.
If looking at single plays that really made a difference, Cam Sutton making a great read to intercept Tyler Huntley in the end zone took points off the board which made a big difference in this game. In all, Sutton also had five tackles in the game.
The Jacksonville Jaguars
For the first time all season, a non-player is up for the BTSC game ball. That’s right, the Steelers postseason hopes would have been dashed had it not been for the Jacksonville Jaguars coming through with a dominant performance of the Indianapolis Colts. For at least one day, all of Steelers’ Nations were Jags.
So what do you think? Who deserves the game ball for the Steelers this week? As much as I would like to nominate so many more players, I simply had to cut it off where I did because it made sense. Make sure you vote in the poll as this is how the winner will be determined. And of course, feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments below.
Who gets the BTSC game ball in the Steelers 16-13 win over the Baltimore Ravens?
This poll is closed
The Jacksonville Jaguars