Winners and losers from the Pittsburgh Steelers 28-10 loss to the Baltimore Ravens.
Benny Snell: Snell ran like he’s run all season. Tough, physical, showing off his vision and playing to his downhill nature. Pittsburgh had no qualms with making him the bellcow back, Kerrith Whyte Jr. nor Jaylen Samuels were involved much, and it’ll be exciting to see Snell take the leap in his sophomore season.
TJ Watt: Though he was called for three penalties, which is usually enough to get you on the losers list, he forced another turnover, the 37th by this defense this season. Week after week, he finds ways to make impact plays and give the offense as much help as possible. Which is good, because they needed all they could get in a season like this.
Steven Nelson: Steelers best free agent signing ends 2019 on a high note. End zone breakup, solid tackling, nearly had a pick but was broken up by a Ravens’ WR forced to play DB. He and Joe Haden make up and impressive duo on the outside.
Minkah Fitzpatrick: Didn’t have much splash today but his tackling and physicality were on display. It’s been there all season but simply overshadowed by the interceptions, forced fumbles, etc. Bit of a quieter end, didn’t record an INT in his final seven games, but that doesn’t he stopped making big plays.
Mark Barron/Terrell Edmunds: Two of the defense’s weakest links getting exploited today. On the same drive, Barron missed an open field tackle on Justice Hill, allowing Baltimore to convert on 3rd down. A few plays later, Hill bowled over Edmunds on his way to the end zone. The entire run defense got chewed up and the Steelers simply didn’t seem prepared to stop a predictable gameplan they’ve defended well before. Not a good showing for Keith Butler, either.
JuJu Smith-Schuster: A quiet, disappointing end to a quiet, disappointing season. Smith-Schuster caught only two passes, had a drop, and just doesn’t look anything resembling healthy. Just time to turn the page and forget about this miserable season.
Blitz Pickup: Annoyingly showing up again, like your cousin who crashed on the couch for three weeks this summer. Still not handled well, leading to a free blitzer on Hodges’ fumble that changed the course of the first half. Horrible way to end the year.
Randy Fichtner: A season-long award, for being the only offensive coordinator not to lead his offense to an opening possession touchdown. Pittsburgh had only six points, two FGs, on such drives this year. The Devlin Hodges first-half fumble was a TE screen that turned out to be a disaster, just as it was when he called it last week against the Jets.
Jordan Berry: Who I nearly omitted from the list in my attempt to forget this game existed. Dropped the snap on a 4th quarter punt, led to a Ravens TD. Can’t remember a punter having as bad a stretch as he has the last month.