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The Steelers Have Done It Again On Monday Night Football

Updated: Sep 20, 2023

Pittsburgh finally finds its way into the win column with a win on Monday Night Football over the Browns 26-22, once again getting bailed out by the defense who scored two of the three touchdowns on the night and forced four turnovers. Alex Highsmith and TJ Watt were the stars of the show. Watt became the Steelers all-time sack leader and the people of Pittsburgh got what they wanted most, a Steelers win.

The Good

The Steelers defense came to play. They had the building jumping on the first play of the game when Alex Highsmith plucked a ball out of the air and took it to the endzone to put the Steelers up seven early. The Steelers went on to force three more turnovers, all being fumbles. Larry Ogunjobi found a loose ball on a fourth down play, Cole Holcomb got a nice punch out that was picked up by Damontae Kazee, and of course, the game-sealing touchdown that was scored by TJ Watt after he picked up a ball that Highsmith knocked away from Deshaun Watson. Although they let up some lofty passes to move the stick every once in a while, they showed up when it mattered.

The offense had its spurts with the George Pickens 71-yard touchdown standing out the most. Najee Harris had 43 yards on 10 carries for an average of 4.3 yards per carry and Jaylen Warren couldn’t get much going on the ground with six carries for 20 yards but found success catching the ball where he had four receptions for 66 yards. Pickens was targeted 10 times but was only able to get his hands on four passes, still gathering 127 yards and the long touchdown.

Punter Pressley Harvin heard the outside noise and decided to have himself a night. Head Coach Mike Tomlin blasted Harvin in his press conference on Tuesday, and Harvin used it as fuel. He pinned the Browns deep a couple of times and put the defense in great situations. Chris Boswell was his normal self, knocking through two field goals and going perfect on extra points.

The Bad

To put it lightly, the Steelers offense has been bad through eight quarters of football. The play calling is stale and the offensive line has been underwhelming, two things you don’t want your young quarterback growing up around. Offensive Coordinator Matt Canada always finds a way to trip over his own feet. The Steelers were driving after two good runs by Najee Harris, including his longest run of the night of 21 yards. Matt Canada stalls the whole drive with a jet sweep to Calvin Austin. This offense is legitimately tough to watch.

Kenny Pickett hasn’t been great. It’s not a stretch to say that he’s got the yips. He’s faced two great defensive fronts so far this season that have been all over him as well, but things haven’t been pretty for KP so far in 2023. He’s still young though and to give up on him this early is crazy. If the offense struggles against the Raiders next week like they have these past two weeks, it could be time to smash the panic button on this offense.

The Ugly

AFC North football games are always warfare, but you never want to see anyone get hurt. The Nick Chubb injury was gutting. Hopefully, he can get on the road to recovery quickly and get back on the field as soon as possible. You never want to see that kind of stuff. Za’Darius Smith of the Browns also went down with an injury at some point during the game among a couple of other Cleveland Browns. Minkah Fitzpatrick was also ruled out and taken to a local hospital to evaluate the chest injury he sustained making the tackle on Jerome Ford’s 69-yard run. Hopefully, everybody can be back on the field soon.

Steelers Are On To Vegas

The Steelers will now head into Sunday Night Football next week against the Raiders 1-1. Another key AFC game against another team that is 1-1 and will be snooping around the playoff hunt later in the year. These are the games they can’t blow. Win the games you’re supposed to. Don’t be the Steelers of old and let teams hang around in games. Usher in a new era.


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