The Pittsburgh Steelers lost 40-23-Sunday night to the Chicago Bears and below is my list of winners and losers from the game. Feel free to add your own in the comments below.
Antonio Brown – Brown had nine catches for 196 yards and two touchdowns Sunday night and it included a one-handed circus-type catch late in the third quarter that pulled the Steelers within seven points of the Bears. The facemask penalty during his punt return is easy to get past being as they still wound up scoring on the drive. As far as his unnecessary roughness penalty late in the game following the final interception, I am sure he will receive a demerit from the league office for that, so I won’t dock him for it.
LaMarr Woodley – Woodley’s third quarter sack, his second of the season and 54th of his career, moved him into fifth place on the Steelers all-time sack list as he passed Greg Lloyd. The Steelers outside linebacker provided a few pressures on Bears quarterback Jay Cutler throughout the game and he has been one of few bright spots during the 0-3 start.
Jonathan Dwyer – It’s not the 39 yards on 12 carries or the 25 yard run through a gaping hole that got Dwyer on this list, it was his excellent blitz pickup on both touchdown passes to Brown that got him here. Dwyer showed up ready to play Sunday night and seems best suited to play on third downs once rookie Le’Veon Bell is ready to return.
Heath Miller – Three catches for 35 yards in his first game back from a serious knee injury suffered late last season is worthy of a gold star in my book. His snaps were limited by design but his play was anything but limited.
Troy Polamalu – Outside of one blown coverage, which may or may not have been on him, Polamalu played well. Not only did he record three tackles, he also blocked an extra point when it would have been easy to just go through the motions after the Bears final touchdown.
Ben Roethlisberger – Pressures are going to happen and Roethlisberger has to do a better job of protecting the football. He lost two fumbles in the game and nearly a third. Being as he was responsible for four of the five turnovers in the game, his 400 plus yards passing and two touchdown passes really mean nothing. The Bears scored 24 points off of turnovers.
Ryan Clark – Clark continues to miss tackles at crucial times and he missed another one Sunday night on the 55-yard run by Bears running back Matt Forte. If memory serves me, it wasn’t his only missed tackle in the game.
William Gay – Instead of just tackling Forte on the long run, Gay went for the strip unsuccessfully. Had he just tackled the Bears running back, that drive might very well have ended in three points and not seven.
Mike Adams – Adams continues to struggle at left tackle and he found himself replaced by Kelvin Beachum for a while as a result. Adams not only likes to lunge, but overset in addition and he left the gate open several times.
Marcus Gilbert – See Mike Adams above.