Being .500 past the halfway point of the season probably wasn’t what many Steelers fans anticipated back in September. But given the logjam that is the AFC North, that record is more than manageable in a division in which eight or nine wins could earn a playoff spot.
Despite the average overall record, Steeler Nation has many extraordinary individual efforts to wave their Terrible Towels at this season.
Through 10 weeks, here are some of the best of those (limiting ourselves to listing a player just once).
DeAngelo Williams vs. Washington (Week 1)
Great teams have a next man up mentality, and without Le’Veon Bell suspended in Week 1, DeAngelo Williams proved himself to be that man.
In his most productive performance since last November, WIlliams collected 143 yards on 26 carries (5.5 average) and two touchdowns. The second of those was a 15-yard effort in the fourth quarter that put the game away.
Ben Roethlisberger vs. Kansas City (Week 4)
After suffering the franchise’s worst loss in nearly decades the Sunday prior, Big Ben unleashed his frustration on a Kansas City defense that had no answer for his arm. By the time the game was over, the future Hall of Famer had completed 22 of 27 passes for 300 yards and threw 5 touchdowns for the fifth time in his career.
Roethlisberger spread the love around in the blowout, issuing TDs through the air to Markus Wheaton, Darrius Heyward-Bey, Jesse Games, and two to Antonio Brown.
Cameron Heyward vs. Kansas City (Week 4)
Cameron Heyward was perhaps inarguably the team’s defensive MVP the first half of the season and many blame his absence since then (torn pectoral) for the defense’s mid-season skid.
In that Week 4 waxing of the Chiefs, Heyward terrorized the Kansas City offensive line. The team’s sack leader the previous two seasons, Heyward recorded three more that Sunday along with 7 total tackles and two passes defended.
Sammie Coates vs. New York Jets (Week 5)
Although in recent weeks he’s seen most of his snaps playing on special teams due to having broken fingers, receiver Sammie Coates had such a great start to the season that it made some question if he could overtake Antonio Brown’s role as #1 target by season’s end. Coates had a 40+ yard catch in each of Pittsburgh’s first five games and through that span his 421 yards were just 26 off the pace of Brown.
Against the Jets in Week 5, the Auburn alum brought in six catches for 139 yards and 2 TDs, including a 72-yard bomb on Pittsburgh’s first drive of the game. That very same game he suffered a laceration in his hand and while he might not be lining up out wide the rest of the season, the promise he’s shown should last long into next year.
Le’Veon Bell vs. New England (Week 7)
With backup Landry Jones starting in place of Roethlisberger, Le’Veon Bell needed to step up in a big way. Although it wasn’t enough in the end to survive with a win, nothing more could have been asked from the back that displayed his immense versatility and then some in the loss.
While the Patriot defense did a decent job at bottling him up on the rush, Bell still managed 81 yards on 21 carries. He really shined though when receiving dump passes from Bell, catching 7 passes for 106 yards.
Ryan Shazier vs. Baltimore (Week 10)
The Steelers and Ravens matchup in Week 9 was expected to be so close, that most online sportsbooks didn’t even issue a point spread for the game. That is why online sports betting and gambling has become very popular – no one can predict what will happen! Whether it’s in play sports betting or taking part in an online casino game like slots. Who can guess the outcome? But if you are the lucky person that is willing to take on the challenge, the rewards overpower the risk factor. Now that online gambling is available in nearly every country including the USA and Canada, everyone has a chance to get involved!
The game ultimately wasn’t as close as the 21-14 final score indicated, but the losing effort was not reflective of the parts that Ryan Shazier and really most of the linebacking corps played. As a unit they held the Ravens to 50 yards of rushing, no touchdowns on the ground, and sacked Joe Flacco three times. Shazier in particular had a noteworthy day, recording nine tackles (6 solo), 2.5 TFL, half a sack, and a hit on Flacco.
Stephon Tuitt vs. Cleveland (Week 11)
A week after his defensive unit was lambasted by the press as being one of the worst in recent team history, defensive end Stephon Tuitt silenced his critics with a career day. Sure, it was only against the Browns, but Tuitt’s 2.5 sacks, 2 TFL, and 4 hurries were the highlight of an overall dominant performance from the defense that had 8 total sacks and allowed just 33 rushing yards on the entire day.
Tuitt’s performance specifically caught national attention, particularly for the way he treated Browns QB Josh McCown. The ferocious downfield hit he laid on him the fourth quarter forced McCown out of the game (and possibly the season) with a concussion.
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