Steelers Week 16: Winners and Losers against the Saints

The Pittsburgh Steelers may be winding to a screeching halt following a heartbreaking loss within the final minutes of their trip to New Orleans on Sunday. The Saints are one of the best, if not the very best team in the NFL. The Steelers hung tall, but couldn’t come out with the victory.

In place of Tommy Jaggi this week, I offer my version of the winners and losers from Sunday’s game.


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Ben Roethlisberger

Big Ben had another big game for the ages. After having Saints DE Cameron Jordan state that Ben wasn’t “Hall of Fame” material, Roethlisberger outdueled his future HOF counterpart Drew Brees by going 33/50 for 380 yards and three touchdown passes., good for a 108.8 QB rating.

Roethlisberger carried the team to four scoring drives of 66 or more yards, including a critical 15-play, 97-yard touchdown drive in the third quarter.

Antonio Brown

The Saints had no answer for AB, who quite frankly had his best game of the 2018 season when the Steelers needed it most.

Brown would catch 14 passes for 185 yards and two touchdowns, while also coming down with some incredible highlight-reel catches, including a toe-tapping fourth-down conversion which kept the Steelers hopes alive during the final drive of the game.

JuJu Smith-Schuster

Unfortunate fumble aside, JuJu played through a groin injury which threatened his status on Sunday to the tune of 11 receptions for 115 yards. He moved the chains often and was a rock in the Steelers offense.

I can’t ding him for technically not being down by contact while being bent in half on the untimely fumble lost which ended the game: that could’ve happened to anyone.

T.J. Watt

Taking his sack total to a full dozen, Watt was disruptive and a huge influence on the Steelers defense’s success Sunday. His presence helped force Drew Brees into bad throws and he also had an impact on L.J. Fort’s blocked field goal.

Sean Davis

The Steelers safety had some huge plays after going mostly unnoticed throughout the season’s stat lines.

Davis not only had the center-fielder-like interception on Brees, but also jarred a ball loose on a questionable “no catch” call when he put his helmet right through the football. His play usually goes silent, but it spoke volumes on Sunday.


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Stevan Ridley

Unlike Smith-Schuster fighting for extra yards while playing through an injury, Ridley may have seen his last snap as Pittsburgh Steeler, and in the NFL, after fumbling during a short-yardage play where his only job was to secure the ball and gain a first down.

Ridley would carry the ball three times for a grand total of four yards: which may signal the end of his NFL career following a terrible game.

Roosevelt Nix

Nix was flagged for a hold on one of the Steelers early kick returns, sending them back ten additional yards and placing the ball on the Steelers own ten-yard line to start their third possession of the game.

However, that wasn’t the most memorable moment of Nix’ night, where the fullback took a direct snap on a fake punt play and failed to get the necessary yardage to convert a first down. Nonetheless Nix thought he got the necessary yardage and proceeded to celebrate: the ball would turnover on downs back to the Saints.

Joe Haden

It pains me to put Haden in this category and honestly, he doesn’t belong here. Regardless, he ends up as a “loser” by being on the wrong side for two different fourth-down pass interference calls which were likely called in error.

Haden was also covering Saints WR Michael Thomas while the latter caught the game-winning touchdown… after he held and pushed off of Haden to gain separation and make the catch.

It was a bad night for Haden and for all of the wrong reasons, since he played a tremendous game and couldn’t have done anything else to change the outcome of those plays.

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