The Pittsburgh Steelers got their first victory of 2019 under their belt by defeating the Cincinnati Bengals by a score of 27-3. Everything is always much better following a Steelers’ victory. Waking up for work is much easier, the morning coffee tastes a bit better, rush hour traffic does not bother as much. The positive energy is back in the city of Pittsburgh and its very much reflective in this week’s stock report as well.
Here are all your latest stock movements as the Steelers prepare to take on the Baltimore Ravens.
CB Mike Hilton – Stock Up
Alex Kozora said it first but Mike Hilton really was that guy on Monday night. The slot corner made plays all over the field against the Bengals. Whether it was a tackle for a loss in the backfield, a pass breakup near the sideline or a narrowly missed interception in the middle of the field, Hilton was everywhere. Playing like a man on fire, Hilton is red hot as he heads into a very important matchup against the Ravens receiving core which features the likes of Marquise Brown, Willie Snead and Miles Boykin.
LB Mark Barron – Stock Up
Does it ever feel great to write ‘Stock Up’ next to Mark Barron’s name. Over the last three weeks, I sometimes doubted if I would ever get the chance in the future to compliment Barron on a good showing but here we are. Barron not only put together the best performance of the season but he showed the ability to battle back and stay patient. The Bengals targeted Barron constantly in coverage on their first drive and they went after him again on a crucial 4th and goal. Barron was ready this time and came down with his first interception of the season. The veteran linebacker also recorded 11 tackles which is his highest tackle total in a game since October 8 2017.
WR Ryan Switzer – Stock Down
I really struggled to find a player worthy of the ‘Stock Down’ tag and had to settle for a player that played zero offensive snaps. Since playing 46 offensive snaps in the season opener, Switzer has not played an offensive snap since the Steelers’ week two loss to the Seattle Seahawks. Not only has Switzer seen his play time drop with the offense but he was also relieved on special teams for a brief moment by Johnny Holton on kick returns and Diontae Johnson on punt returns. The receiver eventually took over punt return duties towards the end of Monday’s game but it is obvious that he is falling out of favor with the Steelers’ brass.
RB James Conner – Stock Up
James Conner desperately needed a bounce back performance after an uninspiring performance against the San Francisco 49ers. Luckily, a bounce back performance is just what Conner delivered as he put up 125 yards from scrimmage, the most he has recorded since week nine of last season. Conner and Jaylen Samuels found an abundance of success running from the wildcat formation and it will be interesting if the team goes back to it this Sunday against the Ravens.
DE Cameron Heyward – Stock Up
Oh captain my captain.
The Steelers’ defensive captain schooled the Bengals’ offensive line on Monday night as Cameron Heyward recorded 2.5 sacks. Heyward does not only get high honors for finishing 0.5 sack off his career best but also because he consistently shows what it means to captain a defense. Never one to take any plays off, Heyward was shown hustling down the field to make numerous tackles even as the Steelers had the game sealed. That is the kind of effort and heart that makes Heyward one of the more irreplaceable pieces on this defense.
OLB Bud Dupree – Stock Up
Bud Dupree recorded just one sack against the Bengals but it was arguably the most impressive sack of his career. Showcasing an impressive bend around the edge, Dupree was able to get around Bengals’ tackle Andre Smith before stripping the ball right from Andy Dalton’s hands. Dupree’s strip sack also came while the Bengals were driving in Steelers’ territory and was an instrumental piece that ensured the Steelers never gave an inch of breathing room to the Bengals’ offense.
Entire Offensive Line – Stock Up
After getting dominated in both pass and run protection by the 49ers’ defensive line, the Steelers offensive line responded with their best showing of the season. The group kept Mason Rudolph’s jersey clean all night, as they failed to allow even a single quarterback hit or sack. They also paved the way in the running game as Conner and Samuels combined for over 200 yards from scrimmage.