(Photo by Emlee Chinn/Getty Images)
Ben Roethlisberger - Roethlisberger didn't put up gaudy numbers, but he led the offense down the field to set up a 40-yard game-winning field goal by Chris Boswell. It was Roethlisberger's 50th career game-winning drive, which is tied for third all-time with Tom Brady. Roethlisberger finished the game completing 21 of 30 passes (70.0%) for 205 yards, two touchdowns, no interceptions, and a quarterback rating of 111.1. During the Steelers' four-game winning streak, Roethlisberger has a 6-0 touchdown-interception ratio. According to ESPN Stats and Info, it's the first time in Roethlisberger's career that he's won four straight games without an interception.
Pat Freiermuth - Roethlisberger's two touchdown passes went to Freiermuth. And both touchdown receptions came in the red zone. Freiermuth didn't have a single red-zone drop at Penn State and he's been a reliable target in the red zone for Roethlisberger this season. All four of Freiermuth's touchdown receptions have come in the red zone, and three of those touchdowns have come in the last two games. Roethlisberger and Freiermuth have built solid chemistry and the latter has showcased Heath Miller-type of talent. In fact, Freiermuth is the first Steelers' rookie tight end with two touchdown catches in a game since Heath Miller against the Ravens in Week 8 of the 2005 season. Freiermuth also had a 13-yard reception that set up Boswell's 40-yard game-winning field goal. The Steelers got themselves a special talent in Freiermuth.
T.J. Watt - Watt had another standout performance with seven total tackles (four solos), three sacks, three tackles for a loss, three quarterback hits, and a pass batted down at the line of scrimmage. In just 6.5 games this year, Watt has produced 11.5 sacks. Only Browns' defensive end Myles Garrett has more sacks than Watt this year with 12, and Garrett has played in eight games. Watt reached 60 career sacks in just 69 games, which is the fourth-fewest games to that total in NFL history. The three players who reached 60 career sacks faster than Watt are Reggie White (50), J.J. Watt (66) and Derrick Thomas (67). With three sacks against the Bears, Watt now has 61.0 career sacks, which ranks fifth in Steelers history.
Cameron Heyward - In the second quarter, Heyward batted Fields' pass at the line of scrimmage and the ball deflected into Heyward's hands for an interception. It was Heyward's second career interception. The Steelers capitalized off Heyward's interception and Roethlisberger connected to Freiermuth for a 4-yard touchdown to give the Steelers a 14-0 lead. Heyward also had three quarterback hits.
Chris Boswell - Boswell missed an extra point late in the third quarter and the mishap almost came back to haunt the Steelers. However, Boswell was clutch on all three of his field-goal attempts from 54, 52, and 40 yards, which was the game-winner. Boswell also recovered a fumble on a kickoff in the fourth quarter. Boswell is the first player in NFL history to make two 50-plus yard field goals, make a game-winning field goal and recover an opponent's fumble all in the same game.
Ray-Ray McCloud - McCloud nearly lost the game for the Steelers, as he fumbled on a punt return in the fourth quarter which was scooped up by DeAndre Houston-Carson and returned for a 25-yard touchdown. The Bears cut the Steelers' lead to 23-20 with 6:31 remaining because of McCloud's costly fumble. McCloud just simply can't cough up the ball at that moment. After the game, Mike Tomlin said “I don’t care what it was, it was unacceptable" in regards to McCloud's fumble.
Offensive Line - The offensive line had a rough night, as they struggled to get any movement up front in the run game and Roethlisberger was sacked four times. Left tackle Dan Moore Jr. continues to be below the line in pass protection, as the rookie fourth-round pick allowed two sacks. The Steelers got stuffed on numerous short-yardage situations, as Kendrick Green and Kevin Dotson were getting dominated by Eddie Goldman and Akieem Hicks. Right guard Trai Turner also missed inside linebacker Roquan Smith on a blitz late in the fourth quarter, and Roethlisberger got sacked because of it. Najee Harris rushed for
62 yards on 22 carries and averaged just 2.8 yards per carry.
Pass defense - The Bears came into Monday night's game with the league's worst passing offense, averaging just 127.4 yards per game. Rookie quarterback Justin Fields managed to throw for 291 yards, however, and had four completions that went for 20 yards or more. In total, the Steelers allowed the Bears to compile 414 total yards of offense. That's just not good enough, especially for the expectations with this defense. And the Bears' offense is horrendous. Slot cornerback Arthur Maulet got roasted on back-to-back plays late in the fourth quarter -- allowing a 39-yard reception to Allen Robinson and getting beat by Darnell Mooney for a 16-yard touchdown, which gave the Bears a 27-26 lead.