The Heroes and Villains of the Steelers' Season: 5 players saving the day, 5 causing mayhem

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett (8)
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett (8) / Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
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Steelers third best-performing player: Kwon Alexander

Another quietly productive group is the off-ball linebackers. Completely overhauled this offseason, the group was lacking an elite name to help rebuild this group into a solid force. Cole Holcomb was the proverbial prize while Elandon Roberts was brought in to stop the run. Both have played well, but neither has stood out as a great player.

Instead, this defense has found a surprising leader in Kwon Alexander. While he was added late to the roster and has only played roughly 50 percent of the defensive snaps, he seems like the most capable player on the team. While Roberts is a tad better against the run and Holcomb is slightly better against the pass, Alexander has been the best overall player.

He seems to pop up all over the field on defense, from filling gaps against the run to making key plays in coverage. The group as a whole is leaps and bounds better than it has been over the past two seasons, and Alexander seems like one of the more underrated additions that this defense made this season.

Considering how big of a liability linebacker had been for the past few seasons, having a stable trio of starters is welcome. Of the three, Alexander seems to be the most complete and impactful name on the team. He has helped the rebound of this positional group this season, and I am excited to see his strong play continue this season.