At this juncture, the Pittsburgh Steelers and its collective fanbase would like to forget the first half of the 2019 season. Yet despite the 2-4 record, there have been several notable performances. In this piece, we will explore some of the players that have posted impressive individual numbers, either in a game or after a series of games played.
Linebacker Devin Bush: Total Tackles Per Game
Few rookies in the NFL this season, have made the type of impact, linebacker Devin Bush Jr. has made in his defense. Since week one, Bush Jr. has been a model of consistency; whether he is creating turnovers or making tackles, Bush Jr. has proven to be a natural at making plays. After four games this season, Bush Jr. averaged over nine total tackles per game, in addition to his three fumbles recovered at that time. In all, Bush jr. has accumulated a total of 52 tackles, two interceptions, three passes defended, four fumbles recovered, and a touchdown against Los Angeles Chargers.
Running Back Jaylen Samuels: All- Purpose Yards vs. the Cinncinati Bengals
In week four against the Cincinnati Bengals, third-year running back Jaylen Samuel put together the best all-around performance of his short career. Not only did he produce as a running back and as a receiver, he also made his successful debut as a 'wildcat' quarterback. His final numbers included, 26 rushing yards, 57 receiving yards, and 31 passing yards with a perfect completion percentage. In case anyone forgot about Samuels' versatility, his performance on this night was a reminder why he was considered one of the most versatile players from the 2018 draft class.
Linebacker TJ Watt: Quarterback pressures
Pro-Bowl linebacker rusher Tj Watt, continues to be a consummate threat from the edge. In 16 games last season, Watt posted 38 pressures, to go along with his 13 sacks. At the midpoint of this season, Watt is already on pace to surpassing that total by a wide margin. In addition to his pressures, he is on pace to surpassing his numbers in quarterback hits and tackles for loss.
Receiver Diontae Johnson: Yards Per Reception vs. the Cinncinati Bengals
Rookie receiver Diontae Johnson has been a revelation to many this season. Few had expected Johnson to make an immediate impact on offense due to his size, and considering the challenges they have had producing points on offense. Following a breakout performance in week three which saw him average 17.3 yards per reception, Johnson followed it up in week four against the Bengals, with an impressive 77 yards on just six receptions, which included a 43-yard touchdown reception. In total, Johnson sits second among Steelers offensive players, with 20 receptions, 212 receiving yards.
Cornerback Cameron Sutton: Pass Rating Allowed
If there is one player on the Steelers roster who has not received the attention he deserves, it is third-year cornerback Cameron Sutton. For much of his career, Sutton was inserted in the game when injuries have plagued the secondary. What is becoming a trend, is his ability to lock down receivers and making splash plays. performance in week six against the Chargers was a sample of how much of a difference-maker he can be in the secondary. One should expect Sutton to receive more playing time during the second half of the season