When the Steelers spent a second-round pick on Pat Freiermuth, they did so with the idea they were adding the best two-way tight end available in the 2021 NFL Draft. On Monday night against the Bears, Freiermuth delivered as both a blocker and a receiver in a 29-27 victory over the Chicago Bears.
On the receiving end, Freiermuth finished with five catches for 43 yards, and while those statistics seem pedestrian when viewed with no context, his production as a receiver had a significant impact on the outcome of the game. Two of Freiermuth's catches went for touchdowns – one for 4 yards and another for 10 yards – and the second of those came on a play when he technically wasn't open, but Ben Roethlisberger trusted him enough to deliver the ball anyway and allow him to make a play, which he did. Not coincidently, Freiermuth's two catches helped the Steelers finish 3-for-3 in the red zone in a game where settling even for one red zone field goal could have turned victory into defeat. And a third of his five catches was a diving, 13-yarder that provided the final yards for Chris Boswell's 40-yard field goal that decided the outcome.
In addition to his contributions as a receiver, Freiermuth also was involved as a blocker when he was helping create space for some of the yardage the Steelers managed with their running attack, with their jet sweeps, and with some of the quick throws to the sideline to wide receivers. Freiermuth is the Steelers Digest Player of the Week.
Also considered were Chris Boswell, who kicked field goals of 54, 52, and 40 yards, and recovered a fumble that was forced by James Pierre on a kickoff return; T.J. Watt, who had seven tackles, three sacks, and a pass defensed; Cam Heyward, who had two tackles, three hits on the quarterback, and an interception; and Minkah Fitzpatrick, who led the team with eight tackles.