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Varsity & JV: Winners & losers from the Steelers’ loss to the Colts

Winners and losers from Week 15

NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers at Indianapolis Colts Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

It’s not getting better, folks. The Steelers are now 7-7 and their playoff hopes have all but vanished. At the end of the day, we are the ones who lose out the most for having to watch this team week in and week out, but that’s neither here nor there.

For the third straight week, there is a lack of truly great play to highlight. With that said, here are the Varsity and Junior-varsity performers from Week 15

Varsity

TE Conor Heyward

Heyward blocked a punt that set the Steelers up at the one yard-line, which led to a Diontae Johnson touchdown to put them up 13-0.

LB Nick Herbig

Herbig recovered the blocked punt, very nearly scoring. he also added two tackles on defense.

EDGE T.J. Watt

Watt now leads the NFL in sacks after piling up two more on Saturday. He was one of the few Steelers that actually showed up.

Junior-Varsity

QB Mitch Trubisky

There’s a reason Trubisky is a backup. I can appreciate his willingness to go deep with the ball, but when he air mails several passes, two of them being intercepted, it does more harm than good. Mason Rudolph should start against the Bengals simply because you can’[t keep trotting Trubisky out there. Hell, dress Trace McSorley- I’m rooting for the chaos of it at this point.

RB Najee Harris

Harris looked like old Najee Harris in Week 15. Not seeing gaps, running directly into hoards of people after gaining two yards- it wasn’t good. He finished with just 33 yards on 12 carries, and he also declined to speak to the media afterwards, which is getting truly old. Show some maturity and do your job. It’s in the CBA that players have to speak, and this just makes him look worse.

WR George Pickens

The lack of effort in run blocking, if you can call it that, on a Jaylen Warren run where he was stopped at the one yard-line is inexcusable. And while the Trubisky long ball wasn’t perfect, Pickens is expected to win those jump balls. Only having three catches isn’t all on him, obviously, but his lack of effort is this Steelers team in a nutshell.

Offensive line

Trubisky was sacked three times, and the Colts established consistent pressure with DeForest Buckner, Dayo Odeyingbo, and Grover Stewart all night. Not only that, the Steelers had nowhere to run the ball, totaling just 74 yards on 3.1 yards per carry. This was an embarrassing performance from the offensive line, and arguably the worst since Broderick Jones became a starter.

Run defense

The dagger in the throat for the Steelers was a 15-play drive from the Colts that stretched from late in the third quarter to the middle of the fourth quarter. They ran the ball 13 consecutive times, and the Steelers had zero answers for it. They knew it was coming, and they couldn’t stop it- that is how you know the opponent has zero respect for your ability to slow them down. The Steelers surrendered 170 yards on five yards per carry, the majority of those yards coming from backups Trey Sermon and Tyler Goodson. This also can be said about the underneath pass game that was eaten alive by D.J. Montgomery and Michael Pittman. Just an uninspired performance

HC Mike Tomlin

If you haven’t already seen the light, then you never will. This thing has reached its end, and hindsight being 20-20, it reached its peak in 2017. Why on God’s green Earth are you punting the football down 11 when Chris Boswell is your kicker, he hit a 56 yard field goal last week, and he’s been money all season? That was Tomlin waving the white flag, and that was him doing what he does best- living in his fears. Opting for the punt is far from the only issue- he’s lost the locker room. There’s an obvious disconnect, and that can’t be overstated. Pittsburgh needs to clean house, and it starts with the head coach. Enough is enough.