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There were plenty of players who had a good game, but which one gets the coveted game ball?
The Pittsburgh Steelers got their 2022 season back on track with a hard-fought victory at Acrisure Stadium over the New Orleans Saints. The Steelers offense saw an awakening in the ground game while the defense shut it down when it came to rushing yards.
But who gets the game ball?
Each win for the Steelers this season, I will set forth nominations to receive the BTSC game ball. It does not necessarily have to be the best player on the field, but who really stepped up their game this particular week. After the case has been made, you all decide which player takes home the honor.
There has only been two game balls given out this season with the most recent being in Week 6. The winner for that game was Chase Claypool. Coming through for both Steelers quarterbacks in a big way, Chase Claypool caught all seven of his targets for 96 yards and a touchdown. Claypool also added an 8 yard run on the day. Despite having the first touchdown by a Steelers wide receiver this season, the most impressive part of Claypool’s day was a 17-yard catch on third and 15 and a 26-yard reception on third and 11 on the Steelers final offensive possession to help keep the ball out of Tom Brady‘s hands and secure the victory.
I will remind everyone of the rules from last year that it is individual players who will be in the running. Although it could be applicable, it will not be either position groups or coaches who are eligible for this designation as they are more in line for Jeff Hartman’s Winners and Losers article.
So here are the nominations in no particular order:
NOTE: I was in attendance at the game, so these observations come firsthand from what was seen in stadium.
Having a breakout performance for this year, Najee Harris rushed for 99 yards on 20 attempts against the Saints. With a long rush of 36 yards, Harris also missed some time as he was evaluated for a concussion but was able to return. While he did have one fumble in the game, the Steelers did not lose the ball and Harris was still on the field to close things out at the end.
With Minkah Fitzpatrick ruled out on Saturday after having an appendectomy, Damontae Kazee‘s first game back with the Steelers had him in the starting lineup. With four tackles in the game, Kazee also had a pass defensed and a key interception in the fourth quarter. Yes, he did have the roughing penalty at the end of the first half, but if he does not make that hit the receiver likely comes down with the pass.
Even though he had 37 yards on nine rushing attempts, Jaylen Warren added a lot out of the backfield in the passing game as well. With three receptions on three targets for 40 yards, Jaylen Warren also had some key rushes and catches on possession downs and late in the game to help seal the victory.
Although his game was far from perfect, Levi Wallace made some key plays on defense. With five tackles in the game, Wallace also had two passes defensed and his own interception in which he just muscled the ball more than the wide receiver.
Even though there was a resurgence of energy coming from the return of T.J. Watt, it was Alex Highsmith who managed to get both of the Steelers sacks in the game. With five tackles on the night, one of Heighsmith’s sacks was also a forced fumble even though the Saints recovered. Additionally, Highsmith was a part of the key fourth-down stop late in the game.
So what do you think? Who deserves the game ball for the Steelers this week? Make sure you vote in the poll as this is how the winner will be determined. And of course, feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments below.
Originally posted on Behind the Steel Curtain – All Posts