The Pittsburgh Steelers got their 2022 season back on track with a hard-fought victory at Acrisure Stadium over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. After being a huge underdog at home, there were a number of Steelers players who stepped up and helped lead this team to victory.
But who gets the game ball?
Each win for the Steelers 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. After the case has been made, you all decide which player takes home the honor.
There has only been one game ball given out this season way back in Week 1. The winner for that game was Minkah Fitzpatrick. Not only did Minkah Fitzpatrick get the Steelers first touchdown of the season on a pick-six in the first quarter, he led the team in tackles with 14. But another play which doesn’t show up on the stat line is the blocked extra point with 0:02 left in the fourth quarter to send the game to overtime.
I will remind everyone of the rules from last year that it is individual players who will be in the running. 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.
So here are the nominations in no particular order:
Wreaking havoc in the middle of the Steelers defense, Larry Ogunjobi had what many would consider his best game with the Steelers. His stat line reads five tackles with one for loss and two quarterback hits, but Ogunjobi was part of the defensive front that created several errant third down passes from Tom Brady due to the pressure. Larry O. also had a big tackle for loss on a second and goal from the 1-yard line which ultimately led to a Buccaneers field goal instead of a touchdown.
Coming in for an injured Kenny Pickett, Mitch Trubisky got things going for the Steelers offense to secure the victory. Completing 9 of 12 passes for 144 yards and a touchdown, Trubisky also added a couple key runs late in the game. Most importantly, Trubisky led the offense in converting four of four third downs in the fourth quarter. Add in his recovery of a bad snap and Trubisky went all out to get the Steelers the win.
Coming through for both Steelers quarterbacks in a big way, Chase Claypool caught all seven of his targets for 96 yards and a touchdown. Claypool also added an 8 yard run on the day. Despite having the first touchdown by a Steelers wide receiver this season, the most impressive part of Claypool’s day were a 17-yard catch on third and 15 and a 26-yard reception on third and 11 on the Steelers final offensive possession to help keep the ball out of Tom Brady‘s hands and secure the victory.
The Steelers secondary was down Minkah Fitzpatrick and their three top cornerbacks. The only regular starter in the game was Terrell Edmunds. While it was great play across-the-board from all the players called upon in this game, Edmunds stands out the most as he led the team with ten tackles including a tackle for loss. It was also Edmund‘s leadership and communication to help the Steelers young secondary throughout the game which can’t be ignored.
Getting some splash in the return game was also big for the Steelers. Steven Sims had the longest kickoff return in Steelers history that did not go for a touchdown. With an 89-yard kick return to start the second half, the special teams should get the kudos for the three points on the board for that drive. Additionally, Sims had a nice 24-yard punt return during the game. In all, Sims averaged 37.3 yards on his three kickoff returns and 7.7 yards on his three punt returns.
So what do you think? Who deserves the game ball for the Steelers this week? 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 Week 6 win over the Buccaneers?
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