Steelers winner: Alex Highsmith
This was exactly the type of game Alex Highsmith needed. Despite being one of the most consistent and talented pass rushers on the team, many were looking past him because his individual stats weren’t there. While a regular at pressuring the quarterback, it took until week six for him to lodge a sack. That said, he was once again extremely effective at getting after the quarterback this week and it finally paid off with 1.5 sacks.
Highsmith has shown to have a potent get-off right after the ball is snapped. While he can win in a variety of ways against opposing tackles, his speed off the line is what constantly puts him in a good spot to get pressure. This was hindered with his earlier groin injury, but with that now mostly healed, he is once again shooting out of his stance after the snap. His timing and speed are remarkable for a player his age.
Considering he is only a sophomore right now just means he will continue to get better as well. While not the elite talent that T.J. Watt is yet, Highsmith has the potential to form one of the best edge duos in the game with him. Add in the good play from Melvin Ingram and this pass-rusher group is extremely deep and talented. Highsmith finally got the individual stats going this week, and he has continued to be a strong presence off the edge each week.