The Steelers got some big performances from some of their top players against the Colts, but here are three players who quietly impressed.
The Steelers squeaked out a win over the Indianapolis Colts thanks to a botched field goal by Adam Vinatieri. The offense had another sluggish day, but Pittsburgh’s defense continues to impress.
Some of the names you would expect to see ended up leading the Steelers to victory. Players like T.J. Watt, Minkah Fitzpatrick, and Bud Dupree were the stars of the show. But here are three players who aren’t being talked about enough for their performances against the Colts in Week 9:
If you are to simply look at the box score, 4 catches for 69 yards doesn’t exactly scream ‘player of the game.’ However, not many other receivers would have been able to be as effective with their targets.
Washinton got hit early on the first of his targets on a comeback route. However, he had the focus to bring the ball in. He also managed a 40-yard grab down the field. However, his most impressive catch was a one-handed snag on a pass that was thrown well behind him.
James Washington hasn’t gotten a ton of opportunity this year, but he is starting to make the most of his looks.
Hargrave’s performance may have been overshadowed by the dominance of players like T.J. Watt and Bud Dupree, but that doesn’t mean that he wasn’t making a difference. While he didn’t record a sack, a tackle for a loss or a quarterback hit, Hargrave could be seen knifing through the Colts offensive line and forcing quarterback Bryan Hoyer to bail from the pocket.
Javon Hargrave has just two sacks in half a season, but the tape shows that he is more valuable to the team than many fans realize.
The second-year pass rusher (who turned just 22 years old in September) flashed on tape against the Colts. Though he saw the field for limited action on defense, he showed off his bend and dip around the edge. He and Cam Heyward provided the pressure on Hoyer’s pass that went for a Minkah Fitzpatrick pick-six. We may continue to see him steal more snaps from Anthony Chickillo moving forward.
These guys weren’t necessarily the most valuable players against the Colts, but their play does deserve recognition. If they can continue to improve, it will give the Steelers some reliable depth moving forward.