Steelers Player of the Week against the Browns in Week 8
By Scott Long
The Steelers faced a tough opponent in Week 8 in a divisional bout against the Browns, but a clutch performance from Pat Freiermuth helped the team come out on top.
While several Steelers players are deserving of recognition during the gutty Week 8 victory over the Browns, Pat Freiermuth takes home the player of the week honors.
Freiermuth turned seven targets into four catches for 44 yards and a touchdown. While he didn’t have the best stat-line for anyone in this game, Freiermuth’s presence was felt and his touchdown showed tremendous concentration after being knocked loose by Ronnie Harrison. After it was knocked loose, Freirmuth was able to still regain possession of the ball while getting two feet down in bounds. The touchdown gave the Steelers a 15-10 lead that they wouldn’t look back from.
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Freirmuth’s role on the offense has continued to grow as the season has progressed, and this game showed even more progression, as with Eric Ebron out with an injury, Pat Freiermuth was the undisputed top tight end.
After Juju Smith-Schuster suffered a season-ending injury many expected James Washington to fill the void. However, it’s ended up being Freiermuth who has filled that void, with Washington not seeing the field nearly as much as expected. According to Pro Football Reference, Freiermuth has 14 targets in the team’s past two games and has turned that into 11 catches for 102 yards and a touchdown.
Several other players deserve recognition for their performances against the Browns, the first of which is Joe Schobert. Schobert had arguably his best game of the year, totaling nine total tackles, six solo tackles and a key forced fumble to stop the Browns from driving in the fourth quarter. Additionally, Najee Harris continued his impressive rookie season, tallying 91 yards and a touchdown on the ground, while also adding three receptions for 29 yards.
Diontae Johnson added six catches on 13 targets for 98 yards, while T.J. Watt added six total tackles, a tackle for loss, 1.5 sacks, and a fumble recovery.
The Steelers will look to extend their winning streak to four games next Monday night, in a primetime clash at home against the Chicago Bears. Pat Freiermuth will likely continue to be an integral part of Pittsburgh’s offense next week, and for the rest of the year, as he’s clearly become a trusted weapon for Ben Roethlisberger.