Back home after a brutal weekend in the mile-high city, the Pittsburgh Steelers are preparing to take on the Los Angeles Chargers tomorrow night. After a disappointing loss that saw the Steelers turn the ball over four times, there is sure to be a lot of fluctuation in this weekend’s stock report. Here are all the latest stock movements after a shocking loss to the Denver Broncos.
QB Ben Roethlisberger – Stock Down
Most players in Ben Roethlisberger’s case would see their stock rise, completing over 70-percent of his passes for 462 yards against any NFL defense is very impressive. Unfortunately, his two interceptions, one coming in the end zone during the game’s final seconds just cannot be ignored. Roethlisberger has now thrown five interceptions over the last two games, the first time he has thrown multiple interceptions in back to back weeks since week’s 16 and 17 of the 2015 season. With the Chargers, Patriots and Saints coming up, Ben will need to do a better job at protecting the football.
WR JuJu Smith-Schuster – Stock Up
Another week and another incredible performance by Steelers’ wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster. The second-year receiver caught 13 passes for 189 yards and a touchdown against the Broncos’ secondary, including another 97-yard touchdown pass. Smith-Schuster has now caught 24 passes for 383 yards and two touchdowns over the last three games. He has also racked up 78 or more yards in four consecutive games. Though only in his second year, Smith-Schuster is showing maturity and production beyond his age.
RB James Conner – Stock Down
Oh, James. Running back James Conner was enjoying a quiet afternoon in Denver, until a late fumble changed the course of Sunday’s game. Conner’s fumble sprung the Broncos to victory as the running back has struggled since returning from his concussion. While he escaped any significant backlash last week after dropping a sure touchdown against the Jaguars, Conner was not so lucky this week. The running back now has four fumbles this season on 235 touches, giving him a fumble on every 58.7 touches. With December and playoff football right around the corner, Conner will need to toughen up his ball security skills.
OT Chukwuma Okorafor – Stock Up
Coming into last weekend, an overwhelming concern was pointed towards whether rookie tackle Chukwuma Okorafor could handle Broncos’ pass rusher Von Miller. Well surprise, surprise, Okorafor handled Miller for majority of Sunday’s game. While he received help on more than a few occasions, the rookie tackle definitely performed better than expected. Miller was able to notch one sack on Roethlisberger and a few pressures but considering the circumstances – a rookie making their first start against a Super Bowl MVP and six time Pro Bowler, you have to be impressed. Consider this one a win for Okorafor and another win for offensive line coach Mike Munchak.
CB Joe Haden – Stock Down
A rough showing for veteran cornerback Joe Haden last Sunday, as he was beat numerous times by former Steelers’ receiver Emmanuel Sanders. It was an otherwise unusual performance for Haden as Sanders beat him on at least two occasions by just blowing past him. After an otherwise solid season to date, it will be interesting to see if Haden can bounce back.
WR James Washington – Stock Sinking
Three targets, zero catches against the Broncos, including a poorly misjudged dropped ball. Three targets, one catch against the Jaguars. Zero targets, zero catches against the Panthers. Five targets, two catches against the Ravens. It has not been a good month of November for rookie wide receiver James Washington.