Steelers vs. Bears: Winners and losers from the Week 9 win
By Andrew Falce
Steelers winner: The Edge rushers
With the Steelers trading Melvin Ingram for a late-round pick at the trade deadline, there was a lot of talk about how the edge rushers would respond. Suddenly, T.J. Watt and Alex Highsmith would have to play the majority of snaps and Taco Charlton would be the primary backup. If the group showed anything this week, it’s that they have two starters that deserve to be playing most of the defensive snaps.
Watt was his usual dominant self, posting three sacks and just generally disrupting the offense. Highsmith didn’t have any gaudy numbers to point to, but his quick get-off the edge allowed him to regularly beat his tackle. Both were dominant, and while Highsmith’s personal stats don’t look amazing halfway through the year, his tape has been extremely impressive.
Even Charlton looked fine as a reserve and rotational edge rusher. While having Ingram was a benefit to the depth and versatility of the team, he wasn’t needed as long as the starters stay healthy. That is a big if, as if either Watt or Highsmith goes down, it won’t be good. That said, when everyone is healthy, this room is as good as any in the league.