Every game there are players who deserve recognition, but might not get it because they don't necessarily have the "star power" of others. Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown and DeAngelo Williams would hardly ever find their names on this list, but there are players on a weekly basis who deserve credit for a job well done, and this is how we give the proverbial tip of the cap to those players.
The Steelers have a new "ironman", and he wears No. 81 for the team. James has played 100-percent of the team's offensive snaps in 2016, and the second year player is doing a fine job with the duties vacated by Heath Miller. James has a ways to go before he reaches Miller's status, but what he is doing is making key plays for the team when they need them. James brought in 3 catches for 29 yards in Week 2. Modest numbers by anyone's standards, but sometimes it is when and where the catch is made which makes the biggest impact. James' red-zone touchdown and incredible sideline catch both were pivotal plays in the success of the team in this AFC North grudge match, and why "The Outlaw" found himself on this list.
Many suggested Burns might have to wait a while before he actually saw the field with any regularity. Well, try two weeks rather than "a while". Burns wasn't starting, but he is the 4th defensive back on the field for the defense's dime package, which was used a lot last week. On top of seeing the field more, Burns made two tackles and one nifty pass defense, which saved a touchdown in the waning minutes of the first half. He did take a poor angle on the Giovani Bernard touchdown reception, but Burns is acclimating himself to the pro game much faster than most expected.
Driving rain and windy. Not ideal conditions for any kicker, but Chris Boswell and Jordan Berry made it look easy. Of Berry's 8 punts, 5 were downed inside the 20-yard line, and only 1 was a touchback (which was intentional at the end of the game). Berry continually flipped the field position for the Steelers, and pinned the Bengals in their own end repeatedly. Whoever said punters don't matter didn't watch this past Sunday's game at Heinz Field.
Remember how difficult it is to kick field goals at Heinz Field? The Wizard of Boz certainly has put his stamp of approval on the big ketchup bottle. A 49-yard field goal into the open...okay, semi-open...end of the field with a driving rain is no small feat. Boswell made it look easy. On top of that, Boswell is showing he has the leg to continually kick touchbacks and negate a potential return. What will be interesting to see is if the team will eventually kick the ball high and short on purpose to try and pin the return team inside the 25-yard line.