Well…here you go.
Le’Veon Bell: I’m sure he is tops on everyone’s list. Bell needed to be involved in this offense and he was to the tune of 31 touches. He has the uncanny ability to set up blocks, show patience, and then dart upfield. He ran tough, crushing corners and safeties, with the same explosiveness he’s had the past few seasons. There was, unfortunately, no game-breaking play from him, however, though that really isn’t his fault.
Cobi Hamilton: Hamilton took the next man up motto to heart today and made two spectacular grabs on third down. He finished the day with three catches for 36 yards including those two conversions. He was out there for almost every snap with Sammie Coates’ broken hand still a problem and Eli Rogers apparently dealing with some tightness.
Jarvis Jones: Jones had one of the better games of his career. Still no sacks but he dominated Nate Solder, showed great effort in the run game, and forced a fumble on the first play of the game. Unfortunately, the Steelers couldn’t capitalize. He finished the day with 7 tackles, one for a loss, and a quarterback hit.
Stephon Tuitt: Said the Steelers’ interior line would have to play at a high level today and Tuitt did his part. Penetrated on a couple of runs, drew one or two holds, and beat Shaq Mason in pass protection several times, including one that led to a holding call. It was one of the better games he’s played all season.
Alejandro Villanueva: It’s tough for me to judge an offensive line the first time through but Villanueva seemed to do a nice job on Landry Jones’ blindside today. His stunt pickup looked impressive too. For a guy who has legitimately been struggling, on the surface, it looked like a bounce back performance. You could probably say similar for David DeCastro, who did an excellent job on the gap runs they love to run with him.
Darrius Heyward-Bey: For making a legitimately awesome touchdown catch, twisting and turning to get both feet in, and for nearly having another only to be negated be penalty. It would’ve been the first two TD game of his career.
Robert Golden: No one can shutdown Rob Gronkowski one-on-one in coverage but it’s hard to ignore two of the back-breaking plays in this one. A 36 yard touchdown and a 37 yard big gainer that would set up another. Each came against Golden and Gronk came alive in the second half.
Chris Hubbard: It is unfair to circle just one play in a linemen’s body of work, I totally get that, but still, his hold of Jamie Collins negated a would-be tying touchdown by Heyward-Bey. From there on out, the Steelers played catch-up. His run blocking seemed just ok, too. Nothing great.
Rush Defense: Can put this one a lot of guys, as it usually goes. Ryan Shazier, Artie Burns, etc. New England ran for over 140 yards, averaged five yards a pop, and the Steelers allowed another 100+ yard rusher. LeGarrette Blount went for 127 and scored twice. Just not acceptable for where this defense is usually at and one that ranked 5th before the Miami Dolphins’ stinker.
Jesse James: Limited impact as a receiver, just two grabs today, and he seemed to struggle as a run blocker, whiffing pulling on those counter trey runs. His play, for lack of a better word, has sorta plateaued. When he isn’t a threat near the goal line, and Pittsburgh didn’t really get close today, his impact is forgotten.