The Pittsburgh Steelers have continued their winning ways, having now won three straight games for the first time this season, and after their Week 13 win over the New York Giants their record is 7-5 and they remain in prime position to win the AFC North.
After every game there are players who deserve praise, and some who deserve to be tagged a 'loser'. See who falls into which category as the team now heads into Week 6 of the NFL regular season.
Ladarius Green - Remember when fans were suggesting Ladarius Green was contemplating retirement and the reported headaches would equate to him never stepping foot onto Heinz Field in a black and gold uniform? His coming out party couldn’t have come at a better time. 6 catches for 110 yards and a touchdown? Yeah, that’ll do.
Killer B’s - Ben Roethlisberger, Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown were at it again. Roethlisberger went 24/36 for 289 yards, 2 touchdowns and an interception. Le’Veon Bell rushed 29 times for 118 yards while adding 6 receptions for 64 yards. Antonio Brown’s 6 catches for 54 yards and a touchdown continue his solid season. Just another day at the office for the Killer B’s.
Sean Davis & Mike Mitchell - The new safety tandem has been making plays. In Week 12 it was Mitchell with a timely turnover. Week 13 saw Sean Davis make his first interception. And before the “he should have just knocked it down” crowd gets loud, if the return wasn’t called back by a phantom block-in-the-back call, he would have been well past the line of scrimmage. Mitchell brings the pain from the secondary, and Davis has become an impact player. Don’t look now, but the Steelers safeties look pretty darn good.
Red-Zone Defense - The Giants were in the red-zone a lot Sunday, but came away with a 2-4 tally. In fact, take away the Sterling Shepard garbage time touchdown and the Steelers were stout in the red-zone...again. Don’t look now, but the Steelers’ defense is becoming a very viable part of the team’s plans moving forward.
Randy Bullock - Chris Boswell goes down with an abdominal injury on Saturday. Bullock, who keeps a bag packed for situations like this, goes to Pittsburgh and goes 3-for-3. The Steelers needed every one of those points, and if Bullock is only with the team for a week, he certainly did his job and deserves a spot in the winner’s column.
Lawrence Timmons - Timmons has been a bit of a door mat this season. Father Time doesn’t slow down for anyone, but Timmons made a tremendous play when the Steelers needed it the most. His interception of Eli Manning, and 58-yard return, was a turning point in the game. Good to see the “Law Dog” make a big play in a big game again.
Ongoing Penalty Issues - There wasn’t much to complain about in this game, but the penalties are getting out of control. I can live with in-game penalties, but the dead ball and pre-snap penalties are what drives people insane. Illegal formations, false starts, etc. are the penalties which kill drives. The Steelers were penalized 12 times for 115 yards. Horrible, and something which must be addressed if this team has big aspirations.
Jordan Berry - Again, not a lot to complain about after the win, but Berry wasn’t at his best Sunday. His long of 44 was low for him, and he had a couple chances to really let loose in Week 13. Maybe I’m nit picking, but Berry has been better.