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 best-performing players: the edge rushers

Despite this team underperforming through the first five weeks, the edge rushers have shown up every week and have played at an elite level. This group was pegged as a deep one heading into the season, but they have proven to be even more talented than anyone could have imagined.

T.J. Watt has been his usual self, wracking up an impressive eight sacks through the early portion of the season. While his pace will likely slow, he has still rebounded from his injury-riddled season a year ago. He is one of the defensive MVP front runners and has been impossible to stop off the edge so far.

While not as statistically impressive, Alex Highsmith has also had a strong season off the edge. Stat trackers are quick to scoff at his two sacks, but he is constantly winning off the edge and applying pressure. The stats will come if he keeps this up, and his play has taken a step forward as a run defender.

The backups aren’t missing out either. Markus Golden has been as advertised. His veteran presence allows the starters to rest when needed and for the play to not drop much. He also has two sacks to his name. Rookie Nick Herbig hasn’t had a lot of chances, but even he has looked good so far when on the field.

This group won the week two game against the Browns and their constant barrage of pressure has aided the team every week. There isn’t a weak player on this unit right now, and you have to be happy with the production this team has gotten off the edge. While not a singular player, this group has easily been the best-performing unit this year even considering their high expectations.