This was the kind of game the Steelers of recent vintage would lose because their defense would play 50-plus minutes of excellent football and then let them down in the end. But not this season. Not this defense.
The Steelers are now 5-4 after defeating the Los Angeles Rams, 17-12, today at Heinz Field, and the defense not only played excellent football for 50-plus minutes, but then the unit iced the outcome with a takeaway with less than 30 seconds to play.
Joe Haden was the one who got his hand on Jared Goff's final pass attempt and deflected the ball into the air where Minkah Fitzpatrick was on the spot to make the interception and seal the deal. In addition, Haden had four other passes defensed, plus an interception, a fumble recovery, and seven tackles. Haden is the Steelers Digest Player of the Week.
Also considered were T.J. Watt, who had five tackles, two sacks, and one forced fumble; Cam Heyward, who had three tackles, one of the four sacks, three hits on Goff, and two passes batted down at the line of scrimmage: Fitzpatrick, who had that game-clinching interception, two passes defensed, four tackles, and a fumble recovery that he returned 43 yards for the touchdown that gave the Steelers a 14-7 lead; Javon Hargrave, who had seven tackles, and the sack-strip that Fitzpatrick returned for the score; Terrell Edmunds, who had eight tackles and broke up a fourth-down pass in the end zone with 90 seconds remaining in the game; Mark Barron, who led the team with 10 tackles and broke up a pass; James Washington, who caught six passes for 90 yards and a touchdown; and Mason Rudolph, who completed 22-of-38 (57.9 percent) for 242 yards, with one touchdown, no interceptions, and a rating of 85.6.