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

Winners and losers from the Steelers Week 17 win

Pittsburgh Steelers v Seattle Seahawks Photo by Conor Courtney/Getty Images

The Steelers won their second straight game, and did so by scoring 30 points in consecutive games for the first time since 2020. Who stood out the most? Here are this weeks Varsity and Junior-Varsity performers

Varsity

QB Mason Rudolph

The Steelers haven’t had a quarterback play this well in back-to-back games since No. 7 was in his prime. Rudolph went 18-of-24 for 274 yards and posted a passer ratting of 112.2. It’s the first time a Steelers quarterback had consecutive games with a passer rating north of 100 since Ben Roethlisberger in 2021. He’s made several throws over the last two weeks that Kenny Pickett and Mitch Trubisky simply could not, including the 34-yarder to George Pickens yesterday in the fourth quarter that extended the Steelers’ drive and led to a field goal. The comeback story of Rudolph has been a pleasure to watch. Is he the future of the franchise? I doubt it. But at the very least, he’s shown that he is a very capable No. 2 option in the NFL.

RB Najee Harris

The Steelers rode Harris Sunday. He had 27 carries for 122 yards and two touchdowns. Amongst those runs were several hard, angry runs that will almost certainly earn him a t-shirt and staff from Kyle Brandt this week on Good Morning Football. The run game has really taken off over the second half of the year, and it’s been great to see Harris get these kind of performances under his belt.

RB Jaylen Warren

Don’t worry, Jaylen Warren got his, too. Warren put up 75 yards on 13 carries with a touchdown, and added 23 yards receiving, as well. The 1-2 punch of Harris and Warren has been vital for the Steelers’ offense, and they have balanced each other out very well.

WR George Pickens

Over the last two games, Pickens has 11 catches for 326 yards and two touchdowns. He had seven of those 11 catches against Seattle for 131 yards. Pickens had two catches that changed the course of the game- the aforementioned 34-yarder, and the first play of the Steelers’ final drive where they surprisingly went to the air. Rudolph hit Pickett on a slant, where he picked up 22 yards and helped put the game on ice for the Steelers. He’s become Pittsburgh’s top target, and has shown that the sky is the limit when he has competent quarterback play to get him the ball.

Offensive line

The entire unit did a great job bullying the Seahawks in the trenches, leading to 202 yards on the ground for the Steelers. Mason Rudolph was also kept clean for the most part, eating just one sack on the day. Broderick Jones and James Daniels were the standout performers for the offensive line, but Isaac Seumalo and Dan Moore had solid outings, as well.

S Eric Rowe

Rowe has gone above and beyond over the last two weeks. He led the team with 10 tackles on Sunday, and very nearly had his second interception in as many games in the first quarter when he made a great read on Geno Smith. The Steelers were in a panic and had to sign Rowe off the street, and he has played fantastic since stepping in.

LB Myles Jack

Jack has done a great job over the last two weeks, and yesterday in particular in his first game starting in place of Elandon Roberts. He had eight tackles, and helped shut down the underneath passing game of the Seahawks. He has been such a good insurance policy since coming out of retirement and joining the Steelers.

S Patrick Peterson

Peterson may have found a full-time role at safety. He looks much more comfortable in that spot at this point in his career. We’ve seen several players make the transition to safety full-time at the late-stages of their playing careers. I think Mike Tomlin sees a lot of Ronde Barber in Peterson, which means a safety tandem of Minkah Fitzpatrick and Peterson is a possibility I wouldn’t hate in 2024.

EDGE Alex Highsmith

Highsmith pressured Geno Smith seven times on Sunday, which led the team. He continues to prove he was worth the big extension in the offseason.

EDGE Markus Golden

Golden led all Steelers with three hits on the quarterback. Pittsburgh’s depth at edge rusher has been evident all season.

DT Keeanu Benton

Benton had two hits on Smith from his interior spot on the defensive line. He’s been a force this season at disrupting plays.

EDDGE Nick Herbig

Brian Baldinger must have sprung from his chair when Herbig found his way to Geno smith for the strip-sack and fumble recovery. Herbig has always shown up with the reps he’s been given this season, and looks like a guy that can be rotational piece for years to come.

CB Joey Porter Jr

Porter locked down D.K. Metcalf when he was in man-coverage, especially in the red zone at the tail end of the game, forcing two incompletions and preventing a touchdown.

K Chris Boswell

Another big day for the “Wizard of Bos.” He went 3-for-3 on field goals, and made all three extra points, as well.

Junior-varsity

C Mason Cole

This is redundant at this point, but his snaps are frequently terrible, and Jarran Reed ate him alive in multiple run-block situations.

Pass defense

This one comes with a built-in asterisk because the Steelers were playing almost all backups and reserve players on the back end. That said, D.K. Metcalf had a huge day overall, and Noah Fant tore up the middle of the field.

Overall, the Steelers played one of their most complimentary games all season. They’ll need to do it one more time against a Ravens team, that will likely be resting starters on Saturday.