The Steelers are now 4-3 after their 20-10 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars, and have another AFC South team to prepare for on a short week. Before that, though, here are the varsity and junior-varsity performers from Week 8.
LB Cole Holcomb
I’m glad the CBS broadcast highlighted Holcomb as a guy who has had a nice season. He led the team with 11 tackles yesterday, and recovered the first Jaguars’ fumble to prevent points for Jacksonville- a good showing from No. 55.
LB Kwon Alexander
The second of three linebackers we’ll see appear in the varsity section, Alexander sniffed out the shuffle pass to Even Engram and forced the fumble that Holcomb recovered.
LB Elandon Roberts
May as well complete the trio because these linebackers have been great signings. He had 1.5 sacks, two hits on the quarterback, and a tackle for loss. The linebacker position in Pittsburgh has been a black hole defensively for the better part of five years- not anymore.
S Keeanu Neal
The roughing the passer call was a joke, and certainly not on him. Aside from that, Neal stepped up and made multiple plays. He recovered a fumble, which was the Steelers’ third takeaway of the day, and had seven tackles.
DL Armon Watts
Good for Armon Watts, he had his best game of the season. He hit Lawrence twice, and recorded half a sack.
LB Nick Herbig
Four-for-four on linebackers playing well. Herbig was in on forcing the Steelers’ third takeaway by ripping the ball away from Tank Bigsby.
CB Joey Porter Jr
One of the very few bright spots from Week 8 was Joey Porter Jr. continues to look like a legitimate franchise cornerback. He locked down Calvin Ridley multiple times in man coverage and showed exactly why he was an All-American at Penn State. There is no reason or excuse to turn back to Levi Wallace.
QB Mitch Trubisky
I mean, good lord Mitch. He threw the ball into a Jaguars’ meeting room on his first interception, and that all but sealed the deal for Pittsburgh. The Jaguars got three points on the ensuing drive to put the Steelers down two scores. He is aggressive, which is nice, but he also predetermines where he’s going with the ball and stares holes through his targets.
QB Kenny Pickett
Don’t worry, though, Mitch- Pickett was bad, too. He was late throwing to Dionate Johnson in the end zone, and Johnson was visibly irritated. He had him right out of the break and was late seeing it, as he usually is. He also underthrew George Pickens on a deep ball. He has no arm strength, and continues to lack awareness of when guys are getting open. He’ll be the guy under center next season because this inept franchise always moves on from players and coaches well after they should, but it’s evident he isn’t getting better.
WR George Pickens
Maybe this will be a learning moment. Pickens was loud in the leadup to the game, saying the Jaguars’ defensive backs played “Hope” defense. Well, that hope paid off because Pickens had one catch. Albeit, it was a touchdown, but Pickens has a lot of bark and he needs to contain it.
WR Diontae Johnson
He had eight catches, but I’m putting Johnson in the JV section. He dropped two passes on the first drive, one that very well could have gone for a touchdown on the first play. Then he dropped a third down pass that would have moved the chains, and had the audacity to blame the officials for the loss.
C Mason Cole
I mean, can you get a snap out of the grass?
S Damontae Kazee
Kazee got caught biting on the Etienne touchdown, and left the back end of the field completely vacant. He had the interception in the red zone, yes, but Lawrence threw it right to him- not a great day for Kazee.
OC Matt Canada
55 consecutive games without 400 yards of offense- the second longest streak in NFL history.