Five Steelers earn game balls in short-handed loss to Chargers
Missing key pieces on offense and defense for the Pittsburgh Steelers was too much to overcome in a close loss to the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday Night Football. Even though a few big names didn’t play, there were a few Steelers that had standout performances worthy of earning a game ball in Week 11 of the 2021 NFL regular season.
Even though Najee Harris didn’t “pop” on the stat sheet, he still deserves a game ball. He played hard even though, I feel, he was underutilized in this game. Harris finished the night with 39 rushing yards on only 12 attempts, one rushing touchdown, and 20 receiving yards.
Alex Highsmith made up for the missing pieces of T.J. Watt, Minkah Fitzpatrick, and Joe Haden with six total tackles and 1.5 sacks. It’s really great to see Highsmith coming into his own as a leader of this defense.
It’s been really fun to watch Cameron Sutton this year, and this game was no different. Sutton was a presence felt on defense with 10 tackles and one interception off of a tipped ball at the line of scrimmage by Cameron Heyward.
It shouldn’t be a surprise that Diontae Johnson is getting a game ball with seven receptions for 101 yards and one touchdown. Johnson once again led all Steelers receivers by bringing in some tough catches, including the touchdown catch.
Despite not practicing at all this past week because of COVID-19 protocols, Ben Roethlisberger marched into SoFi Stadium and put up 273 passing yards, three passing touchdowns, completed 28-of-44 pass attempts, and finished with a passer rating of 103.7.
Assuming this is Ben’s last season, let’s try to enjoy watching him take the field and play, the good and the bad.
The AFC North is a loaded division and this year is no different. The other three teams (Baltimore Ravens, Cleveland Browns, and the Cincinnati Bengals) are all above .500. The Steelers can’t lose many more games if they hope to win this division. Let’s hope key players return soon so the Pittsburgh Steelers can get some steam going and rattle off some wins.