The Pittsburgh Steelers got their sixth win of the 2022 season with another road victory, this time in Carolina against the Panthers. The Steelers offense once again got things going with the ground game while the defense bounced back and shut down the Panthers rushing attack.
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 have now been five game balls given out this season with the most recent being in Week 13. The winner for that game was Matthew Wright. Going four-for-four in field goal attempts in the game, Matthew Wright had three kicks over 40 yards with two coming from 46 and one from 48. Adding on the extra point on the Steelers touchdown, another significant contribution from Wright was what he did on kickoffs. Avoiding the dangerous Cordarrelle Patterson, Wright used both direction and depth in order to keep Patterson from getting his hands on the ball for a return.
I will remind everyone of the rules 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:
With his most rushing attempts of the season with 24, Najee Harris ran for 86 yards including a touchdown. Harris had an average of 3.6 yards per carry. But more than just the numbers, Najee Harris ran hard and with an attitude to establish the Steelers run game early and help maintain it throughout the day.
Returning home to the Charlotte area, Alex Highsmith was very involved with the Steelers defense. With four tackles on the day, Highsmith also had a sack. Additionally, on a key play down close to the goal line, Highsmith had a tackle for loss that was also a forced fumble despite the Panthers recovering.
After giving up three interceptions the previous week when called on to come into the game, Mitch Trubisky bounced back in Week 15 by playing a very clean football game. Completing 17 passes on 22 attempts, Trubisky had 179 yards through the air. Additionally, Trubisky had six rushing attempts for 9 yards including a kneel down to end the game. Trubisky had a quarterback sneak for a touchdown and converted several third downs with sneaks as well.
Targeted 10 times in the game, Diontae Johnson brought in all 10 passes for 98 yards. Coming through with some key third-down receptions, Johnson also added a 15-yard personal foul penalty which could have been quite costly. But if it had not been for Johnson’s third-down conversion he would not have been celebrating. The Steelers overcame Johnson’s penalty and still scored a touchdown on the drive, with Johnson adding another reception for 9 yards to help set up the score.
Another player returning home to the Charlotte area, Larry Ogunjobi helped establish the Steelers dominant run defense early in the game. A tackle for 1-yard loss on the opening play the game helped set the tone as well as Ogunjobi getting pressure on quarterback Sam Darnold on third down. On the game, Ogunjobi had five tackles, two of which were for loss, and a quarterback hit.
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 15 win over the Panthers?
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