Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton would later blame rookie running back Jeremy Hill for a tide-turning lost fumble in Pittsburgh's 42-21 win over Cincinnati in Week 14. Hill would accept responsibility on his own.
What about Arthur Moats, the Steelers' reserve outside linebacker who broke in on the play to recover the fumble? He didn't just recover it, he says he stole it.
"(Dalton) actually did have it first," Moats said, according to ESPN's Scott Brown. "I just got down there and started going to work and after that was waiting for them to blow the whistle."
Moats "went to work" throughout the entire game. In playing the most snaps (31) he has since Week 8, Moats notched two sacks, bringing him into a third-place tie with James Harrison for the most on the team. Harrison, who missed the game with a knee injury, had taken the bulk of the snaps at right outside linebacker in the absence of Jarvis Jones, who just came back from a wrist injury that had sidelined him since Week 3.
Considering the in-flux state of the Steelers' defense and Moats' ability to get to the ball in the Steelers' win on Sunday, it raises the question of whether the Steelers would consider working him in a bit on the left side, assuming Harrison returns in Week 15 vs. Atlanta. Jason Worilds has by far the most snaps of any Steelers outside linebacker this year (his 804 are the most on the defense), and he has 4.5 sacks and one forced fumble.
Wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey has two forced fumbles.
Keeping fresh pass-rushers on the field will be advantageous for the Steelers, as they'll face the pass-happy Falcons in their last road game of the regular season. Working in Jones and Moats along with Harrison and Worilds (the presumed starters if everyone is healthy) may keep a Steelers' defense known to wear down over the course of a game more fresh and able to produce big plays when they're needed.
Much like Moats did on Sunday against Cincinnati, when he and Jones had 30 and 31 snaps, respectively, and Moats' forced fumble came on a sack in the second half, as did his big fumble recovery.