There was plenty not to like Sunday in the Pittsburgh Steelers 27-24 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and after rolling through the tape two full times, here is just a small sampling of some winners and losers for you to discuss. Feel free to add your own in the comments below.
Heath Miller – This may have very well been Miller’s best all-around game in three years. Not only did he have a career-high 10 catches in the game, but he also run blocked well in addition. He doesn’t offer much after the catch these days and he did drop a ball that looked like it was tipped, but I will take that performance he had every Sunday.
Antonio Brown – I really have mixed emotions about Brown coming out of this game as his celebration penalty and late drop on the flea-flicker are bothersome. However, without his seven catches for 131 yards and two touchdowns, the Steelers aren’t even in the game. Let’s not forget his completed pass to Le’Veon Bell, either.
Ben Roethlisberger – Roethlisberger finished the game 29-of-40 passing but there were at least four passes that were dropped. One of those should have been caught for a touchdown by Justin Brown, who we will get to later.
Lawrence Timmons – While Timmons’ play Sunday was far from being Pro Bowl worthy, he appeared to be the team’s most reliable tackler on defense.
Marcus Gilbert – While Roethlisberger was sacked five times in the first half, none of them can be pinned on Gilbert and that alone should be enough for a gold star. Gilbert also had nice blocks on several of the long runs in the game.
Cortez Allen – Allen’s interception in the game was a gift as Mike Evans injured himself on the play. The young cornerback gave up several catches in the game including an early touchdown to Evans. He also was flagged once in the game.
Kelvin Beachum – A few sacks and pressures allowed combined with a holding penalty that negated a touchdown is enough to land Beachum on the loser list this week.
Justin Brown – Brown’s early drop in the end zone on third down during the Steelers third offensive possession resulted in the team having to settle for a field goal. He absolutely has to make these plays as they can be difference-makers. Brown’s lone reception in the game also probably should have been challenged and ruled a drop.
Sean Spence – Spence missed a few tackles in this game and finished with only three total. The young linebacker also let Buccaneers tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins run away from him in the fourth quarter and that play resulted in a 21-yard catch on 2nd and 23.
Maurkice Pouncey – Not one of Pouncey’s better showings. A lot of his shotgun snaps were low and his penalty during the final drive for a false start really put the offense in a hole at the worst possible time.
Brad Wing – Wing picked the worst possible time to uncork a 29-yard junior varsity punt.