Though the Pittsburgh Steelers certainly had their struggles offensively in 2022, the black and gold had two plays from a 9-8 season land inside the NFL’s top 25 plays of the year Tuesday night.
They are two plays that you wouldn’t expect to land inside the top 25 from the Steelers in the NFL from last season.
Second-year running back Najee Harris’ stiff-arm against the Atlanta Falcons in Week 13 came in at No. 15 in the rankings, and then his hurdle of a Las Vegas Raiders’ defender in Week 16 landed at No. 10 overall in the rankings.
No George Pickens catches along the sideline, no Kenny Pickett magic late in the game against the Raiders or the Baltimore Ravens, either.
Two remarkable Harris plays.
The stiff arm against the Falcons on the road inside Mercedes-Benz Stadium occurred in a 19-16 Steelers’ win.
Not only was Harris’ run one of the top 25 plays of the season, it was also a finalist for the NFL Network’s “Angry Run” of 2022 from Good Morning Football host Kyle Brandt.
The run and subsequent stiff arm from Harris occurred against Falcons’ safety Richie Grant in Week 13, bouncing him off the turf like a basketball. Here’s a look at Harris’ angriest run.
Harris had a strong performance against the Falcons, rushing for 86 yards and averaging over five yards per carry in the 19-16 Steelers’ win. It summed up Harris’ really strong second half of the season, as he looked fully healthy and ran well behind his pads, leaning into his frame and power.
A few weeks after his highlight-reel play against the Falcons, Harris added to it in Week 16 against the Raiders, hurdling a Las Vegas cornerback Nate Hobbs on the second play from scrimmage in the fourth quarter.
Harris caught the ball out of the backfield on a check down from quarterback Kenny Pickett and picked up 17 yards on the play after hurdling Hobbs in space. The play converted a second and nine and eventually helped lead to a 40-yard Chris Boswell field goal on Christmas Eve, pulling the Steelers within 10-6 in the fourth quarter of a game they’d ultimately come back in to win 13-10 in the final minute.
Hopefully with another year under Matt Canada as the offensive coordinator, the Steelers’ offense can add some more explosive plays to the docket, giving them more options in the year-end plays of the year countdown.