The Pittsburgh Steelers will be streaking into Heinz Field this Sunday as they get set to take on the Los Angeles Rams. Winners of three in row, this Steelers team is red hot and will look to add to their win streak against Sean McVay’s Rams. It will not be easy though and the Steelers are going to need major contributions from everyone listed below if they plan to defeat last year’s NFC champions.
S Minkah Fitzpatrick – Stock Up
Minkah Fitzpatrick has had quite the week. It started with two interceptions on Monday night against the Miami Dolphins and ended with another interception, this one a pick six against the Indianapolis Colts. The Steelers’ free safety has now recorded four interceptions this season as he became the first Steelers’ defensive to record four or more interceptions since 2010. If there was any leftover doubt about the first-round price tag used to acquire him, Fitzpatrick has certainly ended that conversation.
Fitzpatrick is just one of 13 first round picks since 2010 to record six or more interceptions through their first two seasons. With 319 selections in the first round since 2010, that means that just four percent have put up numbers like the Steelers’ new free safety.
QB Mason Rudolph – Stock Down
Looking at Mason Rudolph’s stat line, it may seem confusing why his stock is headed down. He completed over 70-percent of his passes, threw a touchdown with one interception, though that came on a dropped pass. Well to be frank, Rudolph’s numbers do not tell the whole story as the Steelers’ quarterback looked rattled and hesitant in the pocket all afternoon last Sunday. In fact, the quarterback checked down so often that Jaylen Samuels set the franchise record for most receptions in a game by a running back. If the Steelers want to really make some noise down the stretch, they are going to need Rudolph to be more aggressive.
OLB Bud Dupree – Stock Up
Bud Dupree matched his career high in sacks last Sunday and it only took him eight games to do so. In what may have very well been the best game of his career, Dupree recorded two sacks, three quarterback hits, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery. The Steelers’ outside linebacker has showed up big during his contract year and with five sacks over his last five games, Dupree has put the Steelers and many other potential suitors on notice.
WR JuJu Smith-Schuster – Stock Down
JuJu Smith-Schuster has not seen a lot of balls come his way but up until Sunday’s game, he had been making the most of his opportunities. Smith-Schuster put up just three receptions for 16 yards against the Colts but it was a catch that he did not make that is getting the most buzz. On the Steelers’ opening drive, a pass went in and out of his hands and fell into the hands of Colts’ defensive back Kenny Moore. It was Smith-Schuster’s first drop of the season and it was a costly one.
DE Cameron Heyward – Stock Up
Cameron Heyward has been having a season to remember, even if his stats won’t lead you to believe it. The heart and soul of the Steelers defense, Heyward continued his tour of dominating opposing offensive linemen by taking it to one of the NFL’s best guards in Quenton Nelson. Heyward drove Nelson back on more than one occasion as he flashed his grown man strength on a former first team All-Pro selection. With nine quarterback hits over the last five games, Heyward has been on fire recently.
RB Jaylen Samuels – Stock Down
Jaylen Samuels had a record setting day but he put the cap on it with an almost back breaking play. Samuels set the franchise record with 13 receptions last Sunday but that 13th and final reception almost gave the Colts enough ammunition to come out victorious. On his final reception of the day, Samuels fumbled and the Colts recovered, scoring a go-ahead touchdown in the process. While the Steelers came out with a victory at the end, Samuels’ costly fumble definitely would have been heavily scrutinized should the outcome have gone a different route.