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Varsity & JV: Winners & losers from the Steelers’ win over the Bengals

Winners and losers from the Steelers’ Week 16 win

NFL: DEC 23 Bengals at Steelers Photo by Mark Alberti/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Steelers scored their most points in a game since 2021 when they defeated the Cincinnati Bengals 34-11 in Week 16. So many guys came to play, so let’s get into this week’s Varsity and Junior-Varsity performers.

Varsity

QB Mason Rudolph

Statistically, Rudolph played the most complete game for a Steelers quarterback since 2019. He put up the team’s season high for yards, touchdowns, and passer rating, and also had the most air yards of any completion for the Steelers this season. He made all the right throws, he pushed the ball downfield and it paid off on multiple occasions. Good for Rudolph for a huge performance- he should be the starter in Week 17

WR George Pickens

I think all of us (myself included) were quick to make an enemy out of a 23 year-old guy who let his emotions get the best of him. After a week full of noise and criticism, Pickens racked up nearly 200 yards receiving, including an 86 yard touchdown on the second play from scrimmage for the Steelers. After a rough week, and really a rough season in terms of outside noise, this performance was great to see.

LB Myles Jack

Genuinely, that was his best game as a Steeler. He filled in for an injured Elandon Roberts and put on the green dot in his first game of the season and played very well. He had six tackles, including a sack and very nearly intercepted a pass. Jack was everywhere patrolling the middle of the field, and the Steelers have needed that kind of performance from their depth at the off-ball linebacker spot.

EDGE Alex Highsmith

Outside of Week 2 against Cleveland, this was Highsmith’s best game of the year. He had a sack and a tackle for loss, and was constantly getting pressure on Jake Browning. He also batted a pass and recorded an additional hit on Browning. A really nice all-around showing for No. 56.

EDGE T.J. Watt

Watt hit Browning four times, getting his 17th sack of the season in the process. The duo of Watt and Highsmith was in full force and made life hell for the Bengals’ offensive line and their quarterback who was in the respective crosshairs of the Steelers’ pass rush.

S Eric Rowe

In his first game as a Steeler, Rowe recorded an interception, which was the second of the day for Browning. His interception set up the Steelers’ third touchdown of the game.

K Chris Boswell

He continues to make the case that he is the best kicker in the NFL at this moment. Boswell went 2-for-2 on field goals, including a 50 yarder. He was also 4-for-4 on extra points.

Junior-Varsity

OT Broderick Jones

Jones was beat constantly in pass protection. Rudolph maneuvered in the pocket really well, and luckily only one sack was yielded, but Jones had his worst game since becoming a full-time starter.

Pass defense

Even though the defense picked off Browning three times, they still allowed him to throw for 335 yards and eight yards per attempt. Tee Higgins also ate up the pass defense and had 140 yards on five catches. The turnovers helped kill off drives, but there were still plenty of moments where Cincinnati was able to find big yards.

Overall, this was exactly what the Steelers, and their fans, needed. We have been begging for a dominant win with a lot of points scored. It would be nice if this became more of a norm, but getting one like this right before Christmas was pretty special.