Steelers’ “Studs and Duds” from Week 11 against the Jaguars
Steel City Underground’s “Studs and Duds” takes a look at the winners and losers from each of the Pittsburgh Steelers games during the 2020 season. Check with us after every game each week for our list, and to also see who climbed, or fell, down the rankings.
The Steelers put pressure on Jake Luton all game, and edge rusher Bud Dupree was a big reason why. He often won his matchups and came away with one sack in the game. Dupree could have easily had a monster game against the Jaguars with his two quarterback hits nearly resulting in sacks. He also barely missed Luton’s arm while trying to force a fumble, but still forced an incomplete pass on the play.
Edge rusher T.J. Watt continues to bring consistency week in and week out for the Steelers. He may not have recorded a sack in the game, but his presence was felt by the Jaguars’ offense. He made several plays against the run, picked up two quarterback hits, freed up other defenders to get to the quarterback, and drew at least one holding call in the game. Had the Jaguars not gotten away with several holding penalties that probably should have been called, Watt more than likely would have come through with at least one sack.
Safety Terrell Edmunds had one of his best games of the season, and career, in the Steelers’ 27 to 3 win over the Jaguars. He gave up a few plays in coverage, but finally created some turnovers for the Steelers’ defense, picking off rookie quarterback Jake Luton twice in the game. The second interception, in particular, is exactly the type of athletic play the Steelers wanted from Edmunds when they drafted him in 2018.
Fellow safety Minkah Fitzpatrick also had one of his best games of the season against the Jaguars. Minkah was a sure tackler, stopping several Jaguars plays that could have burned the Steelers for long gains. He also came away with two “splash plays” that he’s become known for in the league, intercepting two passes from Jake Luton. One interception came in the end zone off of a tipped pass and kept the Jaguars off the scoreboard. The other was an impressive catch for a defensive back, managing to maintain control of the ball while keeping it from hitting the turf.
This was another game where you could feasibly name every player on the Steelers’ defense a stud because they really imposed their will on the Jaguars’ offense. Defensive end Stephon Tuitt played a huge role in the Steelers’ run defense that held rookie running back James Robinson in check, despite giving up a few “chunk plays” on the ground. Tuitt picked up a sack in the game as well, and tipped a pass at the line of scrimmage that Minkah Fitzpatrick intercepted in the end zone.
Ben Roethlisberger targeted wide receiver Diontae Johnson all game and the second-year player caught most of the catchable passes thrown his way. He finished the game with 12 receptions for 111 yards and made one of the biggest plays of the game for the Steelers’ offense, coming down with an acrobatic catch for 23 yards that set the Steelers’ offense up on the goal line. Johnson now has back to back games with over 100 receiving yards and will look to keep that streak going against the Baltimore Ravens on Thursday.
Rookie wide receiver Chase Claypool continues to make plays for the Steelers’ offense in just about every game. He caught a respectable 4 passes for 59 yards against the Jaguars, but also drew a long pass interference flag that set the Steelers up in the red zone. Claypool also got into the end zone again this week on a 31-yard reception, bringing his season touchdown total up to 10, which is an impressive fete for a rookie.
Running back James Conner did not get a lot of touches against the Jaguars, but he made the most out of the carries he did get. Conner rushed for 89 yards on 13 carries, and added 3 receptions for 10 yards to his stat line as well. The running game looked effective, for the most part, with Conner on the field and he probably would have had a monster game if the Steelers had given him more carries.
The Steelers really did not have any dud performances against the Jaguars. A few players, such as JuJu Smith-Schuster and Anthony McFarland, had quiet afternoons but the Steelers handled their business against the Jaguars and no player had a particularly bad game.