Now that the Pittsburgh Steelers are deep into the season, it’s time to take stock of where the team stands. Specifically, where Steelers players stand individually based on what we have seen and are seeing over the course of the regular season as it plays out. A stock evaluation can take a couple of different approaches and I’ll try to make clear my reasoning for each one. In some cases, it will be based on more long-term trends. In other instances, it will be a direct response to something that just happened. Because of this, we can and will see a player more than once over the course of the season as we move forward.
Player: S Minkah Fitzpatrick
Stock Value: Up
Reasoning: Already named a Pro Bowler for the 2022 season, veteran safety Minkah Fitzpatrick is looking to button up a third nomination to the first-team All-Pro team after helping the Steelers shut the door last night on their chief rivals, the Baltimore Ravens. His team-high nine tackles preceded a game-sealing interception, his sixth of the season (tied for the most in the NFL and a new career high).
I could have easily given the first honors of the week in this series to quarterback Kenny Pickett or running back Najee Harris. Both of them would be deserving, and there would be plenty of others as well. But I believe this game belonged as much to the defense as to the offense, the former being responsible for keeping things in position for the latter to finish things out.
And even after the offense went ahead with under a minute to play, it was the defense that slammed the door shut, with veteran safety Minkah Fitzpatrick recording the only turnover of the game of either side on effectively the last play of the game, intercepting Ravens quarterback Tyler Huntley with 20 seconds to play.
Yet that was just one part of his night. He also finished with a team-high nine tackles, which included two third-down stops, one a tackle of Huntley on a scramble. His nine tackles are his most on the season since the opener when he finished that game with 10.
He now has 86 tackles on the year through 14 games, having missed two, with six interceptions and 11 passes defensed. He has as many interceptions this season as he had in the past two combined, including in back-to-back games.
I didn’t even mention the fact that he was injured early in the second half of the Ravens’ opening drive. He returned to play a short time later and finished out the day in spite of the fact that he had suffered a fairly significant ankle injury that caused him pain.
He deserves to be one of the three stars of the game alongside Harris and Pickett, certainly. After all, it was those three who made the plays in the final minute that proved the difference between a win and a loss.