Winners and losers from the Pittsburgh Steelers 16-10 loss to the New York Jets Sunday afternoon.
Mason Rudolph: Though he left the game with a shoulder injury, he held the fort down in replacing Devlin Hodges. Showed good velocity on his throws and was decisive in his reads. Willingness to air the ball out and had great placement on his first half TD to Diontae Johnson.
Diontae Johnson: Johnson was the Steelers’ best offensive weapon on a day where injuries surrounded the team. His quickness, change of direction ability, and helped chew into the net yardage on a few Jets’ punts. Says he’s feeling the rookie wall but his play doesn’t show it.
TJ Watt: Watt made the play of the half to give Pittsburgh new life, hitting Sam Darnold below the belt (accidentally) to knock the ball out. His 14th sack and 7th forced fumble of the year. The impact plays needed on a day like today.
O-line communication: Still didn’t make enough adjustments to handle Gregg Williams’ creative, blitzing scheme. Matt Feiler again seemed to get himself in trouble by coming off his blocks and in general, the pass protection looked confused and not communicating well enough. Really disappointing given how bad things were. Problems that weren’t fully corrected.
BJ Finney: Back to the line. Filling in for Maurkice Pouncey, who left with a left knee injury. Stepped on Mason Rudolph’s foot, which led to him being knocked out with a shoulder injury. On the next drive with Hodges in the game, a low and away snap on 3rd and 16 officially knocked Pittsburgh out of field goal range and a chance to tie the game. Tough spot to be in mid-game but those were two very costly moments.
Jordan Berry: Pretty bad stretch for him. Averaged just 39.9 yards on seven punts and while some will be counted for landing inside the 20, they were caught around the 15-20. Some yards definitely left on the field.
Devlin Hodges: Two first half interceptions was enough to pull him. As it should be. One thing the offense can’t do is turn the football over. But Pittsburgh did it again, shooting themselves in the foot, and if they miss the playoffs, this will be the reason why.