Throughout the course of any NFL football game, there are players who make significant plays which might not be noticed by television cameras nor be recognized on the stat sheet. This was certainly the case in the Pittsburgh Steelers' 24-20 victory over the San Diego Chargers on Monday Night Football.
Looking at the film, here are a few players not listed in our Winners and Losers column following the game, yet deserving of recognition.
Heath Miller - So Miller only had three receptions for 46 yards, but it was the timing of at least two of those catches which put him on this list. Miller's willingness to fearlessly catch the football over the middle and to absorb one of many illegal hits that he has experienced in his time in a black-and-gold uniform. As great as his clutch catches are, his play in the running game is one of the more unheralded traits of his game. Miller was his usual unselfish self on Monday night and he delivered a big play when it mattered most.
Darrius Heyward-Bey - Prior to the game on Monday night, we published an article stating DHB would have a big game. With Martavis Bryant held out of the lineup, Heyward-Bey didn't explode and score a touchdown, but he made plays when it mattered. Heyward-Bey had two catches for 24 yards, but those catches came in crucial junctures of the game. Michael Vick certainly feels comfortable throwing to DHB, and DHB has been making plays for his quarterback.
Stephon Tuitt - The defensive front was dynamic and, when I say defensive front, I mean Cameron Heyward and Stephon Tuitt. Tuitt had four tackles, but continues to show the hustle and "high motor" which made him a steal of a second-round draft pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. Tuitt continues to be disruptive along the defensive line and he has the look of a bookend star opposite to Heyward for years to come in Pittsburgh.
Roosevelt Nix - For a player many thought would be a practice-squad player or even on the short end of the 53-man roster breakdown, Nix has been active and has been making plays when he gets the chance. Nix had a special teams tackle in the team's win on Monday night, but his blocking ability in specific situations, like his pancake block on Le'Veon Bell's game-winning touchdown, make him a valuable part of this 2015 team. When the team needs to release a player once Martavis Bryant returns to the lineup, they'll have to release someone. Nix might have just saved his job with his performance on Monday Night Football.
Antwon Blake - Tough to suggest that a player grabbing a 70-yard interception and returning it for a touchdown would be an unsung hero, but Blake had a rough night other than this one spectacularly jovial jog into the end-zone for a huge score. Blake had several missed tackles, but one play can turn everything around for any given player, and that is exactly how Blake finds himself on this list of unsung heroes following the Steelers' 24-20 win on Monday Night Football.