After an 11-0 start, the Pittsburgh Steelers has struggled mightily in the last two games, with injuries, offensive production, and overall consistency on both sides of the ball. Their defeat at the hands of the Buffalo Bills, may indicate a team that is declining at the wrong time. Even with the consolation of clinching their first playoff appearance in two seasons, the Steelers have a long way to go if they have any hopes of earning a playoff bye.
Here are the three Steelers we chose as the most impactful players of the game.
DB Mike Hilton
One of the few positives for the Steelers in their last two games, has been the play of Mike Hilton. Despite having his share of struggles, he has done everything one can ask for in a player at his position. In this game, he was ubiquitous to say the least. In addition to his interception early in the contest, he made splash plays such as a screen pass stop early in the 2nd quarter; and a pass breakup in the end zone. He was arguably their most visible player on defense and he will be well needed as they reach the final stretch of the season.
CB Cameron Sutton
If Steelers fans have taken notice, Cameron Sutton is more than just a reserve cornerback.
It seems that each time he plays, he accounts for one or more splash plays. At one point this season, he forced either a fumble or interception in three consecutive games. In this game, he accounted for an interception/forced fumble, in addition to breaking up three passes. Even when Haden returns, the Steelers have the luxury of knowing that they can insert Sutton at any given time, and receive the type of production that could help them get back to winning games.
DT Cameron Heyward
There are occasions where a person's impact cannot be quantified in numbers. For veteran defensive lineman Cameron Heyward, he succeeded in affecting the game in ways which did not show on the stat sheet. In the first two quarters, he was dominating the Bills offensive line, to the point that he forced quarterback Joshua Allen out of the pocket several times. As the game went on and defense was seemingly getting weaker, Heyward continued to win one-on-one battles and make it into the backfield. Despite having knee issues, he still managed to finish the game and showed why he is the leader of their defense.