Today was a good day, you guys.
Ben Roethlisberger: Five touchdowns. Five incompletions. It was a remarkable night for Roethlisberger even by his franchise-QB standards. He got the party started early with a 47 yard completion to Sammie Coates and only poured it on from there. One of the best games he’s played in years.
Le’Veon Bell: It’s so good to have 26 back. The numbers in yardage weren’t super gaudy until late in the game, but he averaged eight yards per carry while being an important cog as a receiver. Early on, he was split out more often than he lined up in the backfield. He looked like the exact same, best-back-in-the-league guy. The fact his name might not immediately jump to ind for this list speaks to how much the Steelers’ dominated tonight.
Darrius Heyward-Bey: Antonio Brown caught two touchdowns in typical AB fashion but I was even happier to see DHB succeed. He’s been a core special teamer since he signed and made a tackle on a kickoff that pinned the Chiefs inside their five. He was also left wide open for a 31 touchdown, the first points before the floodgates opened up.
He wound up leaving with a shoulder injury but he’s the kind of guy you can’t help but root for.
Antonio Brown: Of course, I can’t leave AB off this list entirely. Two touchdowns, taking advantage of lining up away from Marcus Peters, and instead, picking on D.J. White and Steven Nelson. Just another day at the office.
B.J. Finney: You can give the whole offensive line credit for tonight, they were solid across the board, but Finney was the biggest question mark and arguably the biggest standout. He played with a lot of nasty and power as a run blocker, recording at least one pancake, and held serve in pass protection.
Keith Butler: The pass rush has been revived like Frankenstein. That’s thanks to game circumstance, individual effort, but also Butler, who finally unleashed the hounds this week. In the first half, he blitzed early and often, and it usually worked. It took an ugly loss to spur a change but hey, there was a change.
Cam Heyward: When you think of individual effort, it starts with Heyward. He finished the day with two sacks, part of the three total the Steelers had on Alex Smith tonight. Butler let these guys play a lot more freely and the results followed.
James Harrison: Harrison didn’t officially record a sack but got to the quarterback several times and was, yet again, a headache for left tackle Eric Fisher. It forced the Chiefs to help him with backs and tight ends. Vintage game from Deebo.
Vince Williams: His numbers were gaudy and the actual play matched it. 16 tackles, 14 solo, a sack, and two tackles for loss. He was a big hitter, a reliable tackler, all the hallmarks we’ve expected from him.
Artie Burns: Fans got a good look at why the Steelers took him in the first round. He showed his speed, length, and ability to recover when beat. He looked good playing the pocket and nearly broke up a pass for Chris Conley along the sideline. A big 180 from where he was last week.
Mike Mitchell: Like Chris Collinsworth said during the broadcast, Mitchell is an enforcer. He popped several Chiefs’ players, including Jeremy Maclin, and finished with six total tackles (5 solo). His play isn’t always quantifiable but there’s a presence he has in the secondary you can bet receivers are all-too aware of.
Jordan Dangerfield: A brief nod to a guy not only making his first career start, but his first ever defensive snaps in a regular season game. He was solid showing off the impressive tackling ability he always flashed in the preseason.
Yeah…I got nothing. That’s a first.