There are days where the Steelers game plan can be questionable to say the least. Last night was one of those nights. Playing deep safeties, and light in the box so that the Seahawks receivers wouldn’t beat them deep was a strange strategy. Particularly when you consider the quarterback was backup Geno Smith, and not super star Russell Wilson. It lead to the Seahawks gashing the Steelers run defense in the second half to the tune of over 150 yards. The offense didn’t help the cause either going completely dormant in the second half. Luckily the Steelers defensive stars managed to bail them out from what would have been a devastating defeat.
Despite the second half slide by the defense, there were just enough great individual performances to secure an overtime win for the Steelers. It starts with Cam Heyward having one of his patented dominant games. He led the team with nine tackles, to go along with a sack, and two tackles for loss. https://www.espn.com/nfl/boxscore/_/gameId/401326421 Heyward was the most consistently disruptive player for the Steelers on the night.
TJ Watt saved his best for last as he ended the two Seattle overtime drives with sacks. His second was a strip sack that ultimately won the game for the Steelers giving them the ball well within field goal range. Watt finished the game with seven tackles, two sacks, three tackles for loss, and another three passes defended. After a slow start coming back from injury, TJ Watt appears to be back to his Defensive Player of the Year form.
We would be remiss if we did not bring up Alex Highsmith and his 1.5 sacks and 4 quarterback hits on the night. He had one of his best performances as a Steeler on Sunday. While certainly not a star yet, Tre Norwood had some huge third down stops last night. He also had his best game as a Steeler against Seattle.
The Pittsburgh Steelers will need more of these outstanding defensive efforts going forward. The struggles on offense will continue as this patchwork offensive line takes time to gel. Top five concerns for the Steelers heading into the 2021 season. Any post season run for this team will be on the backs of the multiple stars they have on defense. Without these incredible performances, this team would have no shot at the post season.