Ugh. That one was rough, guys. Pittsburgh Steelers winners and losers.
Ben Roethlisberger: I didn’t love some of his throws on quick outs to the sideline but Roethlisberger was largely excellent today. The lone miscue, the INT, did appear to be at least partially due to some defensive holding on Antonio Brown. Even the second INT was off such a weird play where it didn’t feel like he had much of a chance.
Not a perfect day or his best but he routinely moved the offense down the field. Other guys just couldn’t finish.
JuJu Smith-Schuster: All he does is catch 97 yard scores. Tough, faster than you think, he has the uncanny ability to bounce back immediately from negative plays. Great release, route, and finish on his big score.
Chukwuma Okorafor: Steelers gave him a lot of help today, sure, but the rookie more than held his own in his first start against Von Miller. Can nitpick some things to improve, called for a false start, had one rough drive, but impressed overall with the job he did today.
Javon Hargrave: Hargrave picked up where he left off last week. Getting penetration in the run game, pressure in the pass, while playing more snaps this week than last because of Denver’s zone scheme. Interesting to see the division of labor when Stephon Tuitt returns, hopefully next weekend.
Chris Boswell/Alejandro Villanueva: Gotta credit both dudes for the fake field goal. Awesome call and conversion. Apparently have had that play in their back pocket for awhile.
Joe Haden: What happened to Haden today? Know he isn’t the fastest dude around but he ran step for step with Josh Gordon in Week One. But he struggled immensely with Emmanuel Sanders, who dusted him time and time again. Would’ve allowed even bigger gains had Sanders caught an early on.
Terrell Edmunds: Edmunds wasn’t great today. Looked hesitant with his reads, not as physical as he needed to be (a consistent problem in his game), and didn’t make plays on the football. Better feel for his game watching the All-22
James Conner: Ugh, Conner. He ran the ball well enough when asked to but that fumble…that one hurts. A lot. Weird play too. Defender didn’t come anywhere near touching the football or even Conner’s upper body. Needed a nice game out of him after the Jags game and how that one ended for him. Instead, the dominoes begin to stack up.
Xavier Grimble: Ugh, Grimble (an unfortunate theme in this game). Perfect playcall got him wide open, running to the pylon and…he fumbles out of the end zone. A killer. Don’t care if he’s stuffed at the one there. Just has to secure the ball. A bad omen to the rest of the day.
Red Zone Playcalls: Fichtner with some rough calls late. Shovel pass. Again? The pop pass late. Meh, don’t like it. Gotta come up with a new plan.