With one quarter of the Pittsburgh Steelers 2015 season now in the books, it’s time for us to hand out some awards and we’ll start things off with the offensive side of the football.
Offensive MVP – Ben Roethlisberger – While he’s only managed to play in two and a half games so far this season, Ben Roethlisberger has easily shown why he should be considered one of the top three or four quarterbacks currently in the league. He completed 75.3% off his 89 pass attempts for 912 yards and four touchdowns prior to injuring his left MCL in the Week 3 game against the St. Louis Rams. Roethlisberger’s absence Thursday night in the team’s 23-20 overtime loss to the Baltimore Ravens was clearly evident and the hope is that he’ll only miss two or three more games before returning to action.
Offensive MVP Honorable Mentions – Antonio Brown & Marcus Gilbert – While Antonio Brown’s long 5 for 50 streak finally ended Thursday night against the Ravens, he has managed to catch 34 passes for 478 yards and two touchdowns in the team’s first four games. He’s virtually uncoverable at this point of his career.
Quietly, right tackle Marcus Gilbert has had a great first quarter of the season. He hasn’t given up a sack as of yet and the offense is averaging 5.60 yards per carry on the 10 runs that have gone to right tackle. Gilbert has also only had one penalty called against in him so far this season and that came way back in Week 1.
Biggest Disappointment – Kelvin Beachum – The first quarter of the 2015 season hasn’t gone well at all for Kelvin Beachum, the team’s starting left tackle. While the two sacks that he’s given up so far isn’t overly alarming, his five penalties through the first four games are. Three of those resulted in stalled drives. Additionally, his five penalties resulted in 56 nullified yards of offense. Beachum will hopefully turn it around moving forward.
Biggest Improvement – Darrius Heyward-Bey – With wide receiver Martavis Bryant forced to sit out the first four games of the 2015 season with a suspension, Darrius Heyward-Bey has filled in admirably in his absence. The former first-round draft pick of the Oakland Raiders currently has the second-most receptions on the team with 15 good for 185 yards and two touchdowns. More importantly, Heyward-Bey hasn’t dropped a pass so far this season on his 19 targets.
Surprising Stat – Sammie Coates – Rookie wide receiver Sammie Coates managed to log 33 offensive snaps during the first quarter of the season with all of then coming in the team’s last two games. While most of Coates’ snaps were mainly a result of Markus Wheaton injuring an ankle Thursday night against the Ravens, it’s good to see him getting some playing time early on in the season. With Bryant now back with the team, we’ll have to wait and see if Coates continues to get a helmet on gamedays.