The scoreboard for this game is not indicative to how close the game really was. That’s not to say that the game was particularly close by any means, as the Colts were absolutely outmatched on both sides of the ball. However, the defense of the Steelers allowed the Scott Tolzien led Colts offense to drive down to the 1- yard line more than once. Combined with an Adam Vinatieri miss, the score could easily have been in the range of 28-24 instead of 28-7. With that being said, the defense did make several goal line stands, holding as a true ‘bend but don’t break’ unit. Its hard to argue with a win, but the game was not perfect. Several players had good days, while others, did not. Here’s a list for you to decide.
Antonio Brown: It would be hard to not list a guy who catches 3 touchdown passes as a ‘winner’. AB put on a show against cornerback Vontae Davis, who got absolutely embarrassed. The Colts were forced to give Davis safety help, presenting opportunities for the rest of the offense.
Javon Hargrave: extended his streak of impressive games to two. The rookie looked like he was involved in every play, pushing offensive linemen into the backfield. He also made an exceptional shoe string sack on Scott Tolzien that forced a 3rd and 15. All around, this was a good game from Hargrave and he will certainly look to build on this performance.
Mike Mitchell: A lot of people don’t like Mike Mitchell, often pointing to his arrogant attitude and tendency to go for the big hit over making a play on the ball or safely wrapping up the ball carrier. But Mike Mitchell is the enforcer for this defense. In some sense, it’s his job, and he did it well last night. Mitchell laid several big hits on receivers last night, saving a touchdown on one of them. He also recorded his first interception of the season, making an impressive return to top it off.
Ladarius Green: Pittsburgh fans have waited all season to see Ladarius Green get significant snaps on offense. Although he did continue to split snaps with Jesse James, he did see his role increase. Fans were finally able to witness his big play ability, hauling in two passes that went for 35 and 32 yards. Not a huge game by any stretch of the imagination, but it is nice to finally see Green assimilated into the offense.
Sean Davis: Sean Davis played every snap on defense, a testament to the progress he has made since he was demoted several weeks ago. Davis played the run and is being used more as a traditional safety instead of s slot corner. Its nice to see him finally settling into his role as the starting safety moving forward.
David DeCastro: David DeCastro, admittedly, did not play terribly. However, he did continue a disturbing trend regarding penalties. He is uncharacteristically one of the most, if not the most, penalized players on the team. His holding penalty in the 4th quarter took away an excellent run from Le’Veon Bell on a drive that the Steelers eventually had to end with a punt.
Lawrence Timmons: The fact that Lawrence Timmons is being listed as a ‘loser’ for the game is more of an indictment on coaching than it is on him. Although still very athletic, Timmons does not possess the ability to carry wide receivers, especially ones as fast as T.Y. Hilton and Donte Moncrief, down the middle of the field. He was burned throughout the game and would have given up at least one touchdown had it not been dropped by Phillip Dorsett.
Sammie Coates: Broken fingers or no broken fingers, when Sammie Coates is thrown to, he needs to catch the ball. Twice, Coates had an opportunity to make a play; one deep down the right side line and another on the left on 3rd and 12. He dropped both. Sammie Coates needs to figure out how to catch the ball again if he has any hope of remaining a Steeler for long.
Jarvis Jones: Jarvis Jones was almost non-existent against a beat up offensive line that wasn’t that good to begin with. Having already lost his job to 38- year old James Harrison, Jones failed to register any statistics and didn’t pass the eye test. He was consistently stood up and stone walled throughout the game, giving Scott Tolzien plenty of time to make key throws.
Robert Golden: Robert Golden isn’t on this list for anything he did on the field. Its the lack of him being on the field at all which is what landed him on this list. Golden has steadily been losing snaps at the strong safety position to rookie Sean Davis. Golden hardly saw the field at all this week, which definitely qualifies as a ‘loss’ for him.