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JuJu is Digest Player of the Week

Posted Dec 31, 2017

JuJu Smith-Schuster had receptions of 34, 20, and 46 yards vs. the Browns.

JUJU SMITH-SCHUSTER
Wide Receiver

If you’re an NFL wide receiver, particularly an NFL wide receiver who’s employed by the Pittsburgh Steelers, doing something that hasn’t been done since Antonio Brown did it puts you in elite company. Welcome to the club, JuJu Smith-Schuster.

In a 28-24 victory over Cleveland that sent the Steelers into the playoffs with a 13-3 record and sent the Browns home as only the second team in NFL history to finish a regular season 0-16, Smith-Schuster was a star in two of the game’s three phases.

On offense, Smith-Schuster led all receivers with nine catches for 143 yard (15.9 average) and a 20-yard touchdown. He had catches of 34, 20, and 46 yards. And then on special teams, on the kickoff that followed a Browns touchdown that tied the game, 21-21, early in the second half, Smith Schuster returned it 96 yards for a touchdown that gave the Steelers a lead they never surrendered.

Smith-Schuster is the Steelers Digest Player of the Week.

It was the first kickoff returned for a touchdown by the Steelers since Sept. 19, 2010, when a rookie named Antonio Brown returned the opening kickoff 89 yards for a touchdown in what turned into a 19-11 victory over the Tennessee Titans. Coincidentally, that was the first time Brown touched the football in a regular season NFL game and served as a harbinger for a career that has had Brown already establish himself as the best receiver in franchise history.

Also considered were Tyson Alualu, who finished with eight tackles, including four for loss, plus two sacks, the second of which was the team’s 56th of 2017 to break the single-season franchise record for sacks in a season; Landry Jones, who completed 23-of-27 (85.2 percent) for 239 yards, with one touchdown, one interception, and a rating of 100.5; Sean Davis, who had three tackles, a sack, and an interception; Stevan Ridley, who had 80 yards on 17 carries (4.7 average) and a 4-yard touchdown; T.J. Watt, who had eight tackles, including two for loss, and a sack; Vince Williams, who had four tackles, a sack, and two hits on the quarterback; and Tyler Matakevich, who had two tackles on special teams and tipped a punt by Britton Colquitt.

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