Steelers Winners And Losers – Week 15 – Cowboys

The Pittsburgh Steelers lost to the Dallas Cowboys 27-24 in overtime on Sunday to drop their record to 7-7 on the season. Below are the players that I thought had winning and losing performances in the game. Feel free to add your own in the comments.


Heath Miller – It is too bad that the Steelers couldn\’t have gotten the ball to Miller 10 more times in the game as the tight end would have likely caught every one of them. Miller was one of the few bright spots for the Steelers with his 7 catches good for 92 yards that included a 30 yard touchdown reception that tied the game at 10 just before halftime. Miller, as you would expect, was once again the model of consistency on Sunday. He now has 405 career regular season catches which now means that he joins Hines Ward (1,000) and John Stallworth (537) as the only Steelers players to reach 400 career receptions. His touchdown catch was the 8th of the season which is a new single-season career high for him.

James Harrison – Harrison forced a DeMarco Murray fumble on the Steelers own 7 yard-line which ended up being recovered by Brett Keisel. Harrison also provided a stop on 3rd down and 1 late in the 3rd quarter when he sniffed out a bootleg by Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo. He ended with game with only 4 tackles, but always seemed to be around the ball. It was far from a dominant performance by Harrison in the pass rushing category, but he was one of the few bright spots on the defensive side of the ball.

Jerricho Cotchery – Cotchery only had 2 catches in the game, but they were big ones. He was also the only Steelers wide receiver that seemed to be able to hold onto the ball as well. The Steelers veteran moved the chains on 3rd down on the first scoring possession and he skied high to snag a Ben Roethlisberger pass early in the 4th quarter for an explosive play which ultimately led to a touchdown that put them ahead in the game.

Isaac Redman – Redman only carried the ball 3 times in the game but those carries were good for 4, 14, and 22 yards. He also chipped in 14 yards on 1 reception in addition, and despite suffering what looked like an ankle injury that might keep him sidelined, he wrapped it up and got back into the game. 44 yards on 4 touches is certainly worthy of being called a winner.


Antonio Brown – Brown registered at least one drop in the game and his fumble during on 22-yard punt return after the Steelers defense had a gotten a fourth quarter stop led to the Cowboys tying the game. Brown also chose not to catch a short bouncing punt with 2:00 minutes left in regulation that wound up costing the offense 15 extra yards. If that was not enough, Brown ran out of bounds after a 3rd down catch well short of the chains with 1:02 remaining in the game that allowed the Cowboys to save a timeout.

Josh Victorian – Victorian was targeted early and often by Romo and he allowed Cowboys wide receiver Miles Austin several uncontested catches in the game. Victorian often times was opening up too quickly which allowed Austin easy catches underneath. Steelers cornerbacks are generally regarded as good tackles, but Victorian found himself either whiffing completely or only leading with his shoulder which resulted in a lot of yards after first contact.

LaMarr Woodley – Woodley failed to make a dent in Cowboys right tackle Doug Free, who is one of the worst starting tackles currently in the league. Sore ankle and all, that is inexcusable. Woodley also failed to provide good backside support on at least two runs that I observed in the game. He recorded both of his tackles on the Cowboys opening possession and was never heard from again.

Robert Golden – If there was one play and one play only that resulted in Golden being listed here it was the touchdown pass from Romo to tight end Jason Witten. On that play Golden barely moved as he was frozen looking into the backfield instead of providing the necessary help over the top as he was the deep safety on the play.

  • israelp

    No O-line?

  • Mike Carroll

    Nice job Dave. I imagine the loser list could be longer, but I agree completely with Antonio Brown at the head of it. A terrible game by him. And Woodley was so easily handled, sometimes by a single tight end, it was a joke.

    Nice catch by Cotchery. I won’t mind seeing more of him if Sanders is hurt next week, or even if he isn’t. Steelers were lucky Sanders early fumble was not ruled a fumble, even though it clearly was by the traditional meaning. Cotchery has at least some semblance of toughness, which is almost entirely lacking in the Young Money crew. And I’d have to think he has more football smarts than all of them. It couldn’t hurt to have another receiving professional, besides Heath Miller, on the field more often.

  • RedCarpetDefense

    Heath Miller is by FAR the best producing and most reliable receiver on the team. David Paulson and Will Johnson are also underutilized in the short passing game. All are good run/pass blockers too.

  • Mike Carroll

    Heath has essentially taken over for Hines Ward and done a wonderful job. Unfortunately, the Steelers need a wide receiver to step up and fill that role, in addition to what Heath brings at tight end.

  • Bradys_Dad

    Losers: the coaches for this game. Guys get sat for too many mental mistakes (penalties) and fumbles. If the coaches could only be sat when they’re calling a rotten game ………..

  • Maurice_hill_district

    On the Cowboys TDs by Dez & Whitten, they were so wide open it looked effortless a grandma coulda caught each if those TDs. How does a coach & safeties hav no idea Romo likes to throw it to his TE Whitten in redzone?! Inexcusibl by coach & players. And Steelers never tweeked Dez Bryant’s painful finger.

    Good luck covering AJ Green with Josh Victorian. Granted our coaches will try avoid that, but if AJ Green breaks his arm this week he’ll still lick his chops.

  • Maurice_hill_district

    Another great catch by Cotchery. As soon as he held in to it I assumed it was Cotchery. Classy vet that I wish young money crew wuld watch.

  • SteelerFanInMD

    I would add Mike Wallace to the Losers list. Even though he had 95 yards on 4 catches, he failed AGAIN to cleanly catch a ball near the sidelines and keep his feet inbounds and on Ben’s interception, he failed to immediately tackle the defender, allowing the defender to returned it 36 yards to the Pittsburgh 1 yard line. Mike is still a one trick pony. He excels on deep routes, but is average on short routes, and below average on intermediate and sideline routes.

  • Jeff

    Have Woodley & Troy been seen on milk cartons in Pittsburgh yet?

  • steeltown

    Yes, yes, yes, Cotchery is solid, always has been, I assume next year when either Wallace or Sanders or both are gone via FA that Cotchery assumes the 3rd WR spot and plays a more significant role

  • steeltown

    I know Lewis gave up a TD pass in this game, but that aside, they really need to re-sign him.. besides Ike, he is all we have. The young guys did what they could to keep the game close, but Romo was carving us up all game. Cortez Allen could turn out to be a solid player in another year or two, but right now K.Lewis is a starting caliber CB and we need to retain him. In this pass happy League and with guys like A.J. Green, Bolden and Torry Smith in our division, you need good CB’s, if they let him walk it WILL be another long season in 2013

  • steeltown

    Besides the very first play he was in on I thought Golden played OK, especially being that he was asked to play CB.. He obviously needs work, but for an undrafted guy who has not seen the field on Defense I think he played OK.

  • steeltown

    K.Lewis and Foote should both be given contracts

  • steeltown

    No love for Ryan Clark?

  • steeltown

    Not sure we do much in the playoffs, if we get there. This Team is not Championship caliber.. or atleast their mindset isnt…. me sees some changes on the horizon

  • steeltown

    Agreed.. Heath goes without saying, but Will Johnson and Paulson have both been solid. They are both under contract for a few years (very cheap) so I hope to see these guys grow into the tough dependable Steelers players that we usually are accustomed to

  • steeltown

    Funny though.. all the drops and sloppy play aside, Wallace has been the 2nd most productive player, next to Heath, Wallace will very quietly reach 10TD’s and 1,000yds by seasons end

  • steeltown

    I think Cotchery needs to be moved up the depth chart..or atleast utilized more.. If RB’s get benched for fumbling, so should WR’s… next man up!

  • alex

    not one penalty on PITT…!? too many lost opportunities..and finally, if your not gonna play plow ball, you gotta run no huddle w/ BEN cause its now or never 2 games too late..!…redman, johnson and dwyer receiving out of the backfield has not failed this year!

  • alex

    i kinda agree…wood n worilds shouldve been plattoning, but troy was cheating to the 9th string CB often…

  • Mike Carroll

    It’s tough to even come up with wishful thinking possibilities at this point.

  • Mike Carroll

    Wallace will definitely compile some good stats for the year. And by comparison, Brown and Sanders have not been very productive. But, Wallace’s numbers still must be discounted by the laundry list of things he does poorly. And keep in mind he’s the most targeted guy on the team. Much of the good he does is negated by his poor play in the same game. Compare that with Heath Miller: with Miller you get a lot of positive production and very few mistakes.

    I would say they’ve asked Wallace to be a complete player, but it’s clear he’s not. Yet, they continue to try to force him into that role. I wonder if it wouldn’t be better to play him predominantly as a long ball threat, with only occasional short routes, and targeted less in general. That might open things up more for Brown, like we seemed to see the second half of last year under Arians offense.

  • steeltown

    I couldnt agree with you more.. Wallace taking the top off the Defense with Brown/Sanders/Cotchery underneath could be deadly. Not to mention that would, in theory, open up the run game more

  • Douglas Andrews

    Mike Wallace must go that was the worst effort I have ever seen after an interception. He’s not a combat catcher he just wants to out run everyone to the ball and not get touched along the way. He is the worst receiver of our bunch and by far has the worst footwork of a receiver I have ever seen

  • Reader783

    Tough to watch a team give games away week after week. I’m sure everyone had a similar reaction when Antonio fumbled: just put their head down and realize it was happening again.