Defense is Digest Player of Week


The typical procedure is to pick an individual, but when it comes to the performance of the Steelers defense against the New England Patriots last Sunday at Heinz Field, that's just not possible.

No James Farrior. No James Harrison. LaMarr Woodley injured a hamstring and missed the last 20 minutes of the game. Ike Taylor played through an injury. So did Keenan Lewis. Ryan Clark, too.

So many individuals made key contributions. Before he was injured, Woodley had two sacks. Larry Foote played a solid game and handled Farrior's duties as the quarterback of the unit. Taylor's coverage was solid all day. So was William Gay's. Troy Polamalu was flying around. Ziggy Hood was mixing it up along the line of scrimmage. And when the defense needed somebody to make a play to close it out, Brett Keisel stepped up with a sack/strip.

The Steelers allowed the NFL's No. 1 offense only 213 net yards, they allowed the Patriots to convert just 30 percent on third down, they held Wes Welker to six catches for 39 yards, and they limited Tom Brady to only one play of more than 20 yards.

The members of the Steelers defense are the Steelers Digest Players of the Week.

Also considered were Ben Roethlisberger, who completed 36-of-50 for 365 yards, with two touchdowns, one interception and a rating of 97.5; Heath Miller, who caught seven passes for 85 yards and was a big part of the offense converting 63 percent on third downs; and Antonio Brown, who caught nine passes for 67 yards and a touchdown.

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