Updated: Oct 19, 2021
(Photo by Shelley Lipton/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
T.J. Watt - Watt deserves every penny of his four-year, $112 million contract extension that includes $80 million guaranteed. Watt absolutely took over in overtime and won the game for the Steelers by strip-sacking Geno Smith that resulted in a recovery by Devin Bush. The turnover set up a 37-yard game-winning field goal by Chris Boswell. On the drive before the turnover in overtime, Watt also had a huge sack on Smith for a loss of 13 yards, which forced the Seahawks to punt. In total, Watt had seven total tackles, six of those being solos, two sacks, three tackles for losses, three passes defended, a forced fumble and two quarterback hits. Watt should receive AFC Player of the Week honors for his performance against Seattle.
Cameron Heyward - Heyward recorded his 60th career sack tonight. He is now tied for fifth in Steelers history (Joey Porter) and third among active defensive tackles (17th among all active players). Cris Collinsworth mentioned during the broadcast that Heyward is a future Hall of Famer. Well, Heyward certainly is in the right direction, as he's been dominant over the last five years. Against the Seahawks, Heyward recorded nine total tackles, six of those being solos, a sack, two tackles for a loss, two passes batted at the line of scrimmage and a quarterback hit.
Alex Highsmith - Like Watt and Heyward, Highsmith was a handful for the Seahawks offensive line to handle. Highsmith had seven total tackles, two of those being solos, 1.5 sacks, two tackles for a loss and four quarterback hits. On Highsmith's full sack, he beat left tackle Duane Brown clean off the edge.
Tre Norwood - The seventh-round pick out of Oklahoma was all over the field tonight. Norwood had three total tackles, with one of those tackles being a tackle for loss, as he sniffed out a screen pass. Norwood also had an impressive pass breakup. For being just a seventh-round pick, Norwood has been making an impact. The Steelers really might have found a steal in Norwood.
Pat Freiermuth - Freiermuth put up career highs with seven receptions for 58 yards on seven targets. Ben Roethlisberger said on Wednesday that he needed to do a better job of getting Freiermuth involved in the offense, and Sunday night was a good start. Freiermuth is just going to continue to get better as the season goes on. The sky's the limit for the second-round pick out of Penn State.
Najee Harris - Harris rushed for 81 yards on 24 carries (3.4 average), so it wasn't a standout performance by any stretch. And a lot of that had to do with the Seahawks keying on Harris with playing strong safety Jamal Adams in the box a lot. However, Harris had over 100 yards from scrimmage, as he racked up six receptions for 46 yards (7.7 average) and a touchdown. Watch Harris fight for seven extra yards here on third-and-15 late in the fourth quarter. Due to Harris' efforts, Boswell's kick was good from 52 yards out to give the Steelers a 23-20 lead. That could have been a 59 yarder instead of a 52-yard field goal. That's a big difference, and that's all because of Harris.
Chris Boswell - Boswell was clutch for the Steelers on Sunday night, converting on all three of his field-goal attempts. Boswell has yet to miss from 50 yards out or longer this year and his 52-yard field goal with 1:35 remaining in regulation put the Steelers up, 20-17. Boswell also had the game-winner in overtime, a kick that went through the uprights from 37 yards out. Boswell is so consistent and is certainly one of the best kickers in the league.
Dan Moore Jr. - Moore really struggled against the Seahawks, as he was constantly getting beat off the edge and getting Roethlisberger hit. With Zach Banner now activated off injured reserve. You have to wonder if the Steelers consider moving Chuks Okorafor to left tackle and put Banner at right tackle. Moore got injured in the second half and didn't return. Joe Haeg was his replacement and did a solid job. In the short time, Haeg was better than Moore, to be honest.
Run Defense - The Steelers' run defense was abysmal against the Seahawks, especially in the second half, which is when Seattle's offense came to life. The Seahawks as a team, rushed for 144 yards on 27 carries, an average of 5.3 yards per game. And 101 of those yards came from running back Alex Collins on 21 carries. Collins also had a 2-yard rushing touchdown. The Steelers led 14-0 at halftime, but the Seahawks came out of the half committed to the run and scored touchdowns on back-to-back drives.
Tackling - Sunday night was the worst that I've seen the Steelers tackle in quite a long time. On two plays, the defense gave up gains of 27 and 41 yards due to miss tackles. The inability to tackle was also an issue in the run game, as Collins gashed the Steelers for 101 yards. Not being sound in gap assignments was also an issue, however. Hopefully, the Steelers can clean up some of the fundamentals during their bye week.