Alas, the Pittsburgh Steelers lost the AFC Divisional Playoff game to the Denver Broncos to the tune of 23 to 16. Normally we only do Steelers game ball winner polls following wins, but as this is the end of a season that saw a number of Steelers make valiant efforts, we’re doing it after this playoff loss.
- Ben Roethlisberger gets a ballot slot for the obvious reason.
Just how much Ben Roethlisberger was affected by is injury and/or the pain resulting from it will forever remain unknown. Unlike, say the Steelers Monday Night Football loss in San Francisco in 2011, there’s no question that Ben Roethlisberger should have been on the field, but he still was less than 100%.
- And while Ben did miss Antonio Brown, the man who accounted for 1/3 of his passing offense, he protected the ball.
Martavis Bryant had a monster game, both as a receiver and as a rusher. If Bryant can remain sober and sustain this development, the Steelers will have their best wide receiver tandem since Lynn Swann and John Stallworth.
Darrius Heyward-Bey and Sammie Coates also get ballot slots because of the strong games they had. (Jesse James does not, as he did have one nice catch, he did not block well on the play that Fitzgerald Toussaint fumbled on.)
On defense James Harrison gets the first ballot slot, for his excellent read on the direct snap and his sack of Peyton Manning. William Gay also gets a slot as he was a leading tackler and played well, although he did drop what could have been a game-sealing interception.
Ryan Shazier, Will Allen and Lawrence Timmons all get the next ballot slots for the defense as each put in strong games, as did Jarvis Jones.
Chris Boswell is the only special teams player to get a ballot slot for the obvious reason.
Write in Your Choice
Remember, you’re not limited to these choices for Steelers game ball winners. If you think someone deserves a vote, say perhaps Heath Miller, write their names in and vote for them.
Please check back soon for Steel Curtain Risings full analysis.