I missed these lists. Missed football. Both are back tonight, highlighting the winners/losers in the Pittsburgh Steelers 20-12 win against the New York Giants.
T.J. Watt: Though his two sacks were some of the easier he’ll ever get, as Mike Tomlin admitted, sacks are still sacks. He nearly recorded a third, batted a pass down, and showed top level effort across the field. Most impressive was his conditioning. Tasked to play on several special team units and defense, Watt’s play never dipped. Only one game in but so far, so good.
Arthur Moats: It’s no surprise that Moats was as dominant as the stat sheet tells you. But with the team being thin at OLB, only having three active, he did his part. Three sacks an interception and six total tackles. Keion Adams better get on the field ASAP.
Cobi Hamilton: While Hamilton has had a difficult camp, he shined tonight. He helped get Josh Dobbs going with a snag over his head for a 44 yard gain. The two hooked up on a 28 yard touchdown late in the first half. His path to the 53 is still a Mt. Everest type climb but he played well tonight.
Mike Hilton: Hilton Fever continues. He recorded a sack on a slot blitz, played the run tough, and recovered a fumble on special teams. As I’ve said throughout camp, he is not a lock, but is doing all he can to make the 53 man roster.
Jake McGee: McGee was a mid-training camp add and doesn’t offer much as a receiver. Instead, he profiled as a blocker and proved it tonight. McGee’s lead block on Terrell Watson’s touchdown was critical and he threw a similar one earlier on the same drive. He also may have been playing over Phazahn Odom, which is something to monitor.
Knile Davis: While Davis’ stats don’t look pretty, he ran tough, was able to create, and showed burst. A better runner in camp and tonight than I pegged him for when he was signed.
Keith Kelsey: The UDFA linebacker from Louisville was an asset on special teams, recorded a breakup, and had a textbook tackle before leaving with a shoulder stinger. Hopefully he can go next week against Atlanta. Worth another look.
Jerald Hawkins: To be fair to him, it’s hard to judge an offensive linemen at first glance. But Hawkins seemed slow in his recognition, allowing free rushers off the right side. His run blocking looked only marginally better. Certainly not the start, in camp or tonight, he expected.
JuJu Smith-Schuster: It’s obviously not his fault. Smith-Schuster suffered a concussion chasing down a Dobbs’ pick in the first quarter. Still, it’s a missed opportunity to push for playing time, especially after a strong start to training camp. We’ll see if he can get on the field next weekend.
Brandon Dixon: Dixon was called for pass interference twice tonight. Not a good way to get your name announced. With Hilton playing well, and Brian Allen showing up late, Dixon was on the short end of the stick.
Bart Houston: He may have flashed an arm, and showed decent command of the huddle, but his accuracy was poor tonight. He missed Marcus Tucker on a flag route and deep ball, the latter of which would’ve been a touchdown. He finished the day 2/7 for 24 yards.