Trying to determine studs and duds for an individual game is often a relatively simple endeavor, but the Steelers tried their very best to make it hard to find positives in their Week 1 clunker against the 49ers. After a significant amount of hype had been building all throughout the offseason and preseason, the offense in particular accomplished next to nothing and the defense did little to help them out.
It was an ugly performance from start to finish, and I almost don't even want to give any player of this team praise even if they weren't part of the problem. This was a team loss, from top to bottom. However, there is one player who did all he could to try and keep the Steelers in the game despite all odds.
Steelers Stud: T.J. Watt sacks his way into history
Who else but T.J. Watt? If any player on the Steelers was going to find a way to leave their mark on a game where seemingly nothing could go right, it would be the former DPOY and NFL sack leader. He finished the day with a monster three-sack, two forced fumble, five QB hit performance that tied him with James Harrison for the Steelers' all-time sack record.
Watt is now at 80.5 sacks for his career, the most since he entered the league in 2017. He also has the most forced fumbles in the NFL during that time with 25.
He is the ultimate game-wrecker and probably saved the Steelers from getting 40+ hung on them in this game. The rest of the defense (more on them later) didn't show up with him for the most part, but this performance will hopefully be the start of a potential DPOY campaign for Watt. He will need much more help from the rest of his defense if it's going to matter for the Steelers season, however.