The Pittsburgh Steelers were extremely close to defeating the Seattle Seahawks in Week 12 of NFL action, but when all was said and done it wasn't enough. With the Steelers now 6-5, and amidst a throng of other 6-5 teams, it is time to look back the game that was and announce the 'Winners' and 'Losers' from the contest. Take a look...
Offensive Line - Throughout the game, Villenueva, Foster, Wallace, DeCastro and Gilbert were able to win battles at the line of scrimmage and for the most part maintain space for Ben Roethlisberger to work his game.
Markus Wheaton - nine catches for 201 yards and a touchdown. Wheaton took flight today when Pittsburgh needed him. Despite getting held like most of the Steelers' receivers, he and Roethlisberger established a rhythm that we were not sure would ever develop with Martavis Bryant and Antonio Brown also on the roster.
Cameron Heyward - Another blocked kick, plus a sack, adds to Heyward's stellar season so far. He contributed a lot to pressure and the group of plays which the defense were able to make against the Seattle Seahawks.
Ross Cockrell - For the first time all season, Ross Cockrell looked like an undrafted free agent pickup. Russell Wilson targeted him early and often and put up huge numbers off the people he targeted. I'm not sold on replacing Ross Cockrell after the many plays he's made.
Antwon Blake - Deja vu, Blake has worked his way to the loser's list. He has been the but of burned toast jokes quite a few times this season and today he paired with Cockrell as to being problems for the Steelers rather than answers.
Martavis Bryant - Despite his amazing speed on the touchdown run he had and the 69 yards he accumulated, he dropped several balls today and left plenty of big plays on the field. Even on the last offensive plays for the Steelers, Landry Jones delivered a pass that bounced off Bryant's pads before it was intercepted by Kam Chancellor.
Will Allen - Looked out of place and was part of the problem when Wilson attacked the Steelers' defense through seams.
Landry Jones - The early interception he threw was an absolute killer. Looking back at the play, Villenueva had space early in his route to convert the first down, and also had a lot more space down the field. But the duck that Jones threw was the only way which the Seahawks could have intercepted the play and that's exactly how it played out.
Heath Miller - Despite having to leave the game due to injury, Miller went to town early with his five catches for 45 yards. Had he not been injured, he could have seen a lot more targets and had a phenomenal game with Roethlisberger in the middle of the field.
Jesse James - A catch for eight yards that involved some serious trucking of Seattle defenders as well as key blocking in the running game and pass game showed some progression for the rookie from Penn State.
Vince Williams/Sean Spence - These two guys filled in for Ryan Shazier in a big way that helped limit Seattle's ground game. Though the defense was scorched today, it was not due to any bad play from these two guys who personify Mike Tomlin's "next man up" standard.
No, Ben Roethlisberger is not a loser today. I'm one to call Ben out when a loss is on his back, but he also fought to keep the team in the game and did just that despite taking several serious hits after the play and throw the most yards of anyone against this Seahawks defense. The first interception from the ball slipping out of his hands was his fault, but his second interception came as a result of Richard Sherman tossing Antonio Brown to the ground well down the field.