In the NFL, it’s often not only what a player does but when he does it. That describes Cam Heyward during the Steelers’ 16-13 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals at Heinz Field.
Heyward was credited with only two tackles, but both were sacks of Jeff Driskel, both of which came in the second half when the Steelers battled back from a 10-3 halftime deficit to win and end their regular season at 9-6-1. Heyward’s first sack came with 9:48 left in the third quarter and played a significant role in forcing the Bengals to punt on their second offensive possession of the half. But it was the second one that may have saved the game for the Steelers.
A 47-yard field goal by Matt McCrane had given the Steelers a 13-10 lead, and on the Bengals’ ensuing possession, a 51-yard run by Joe Mixon on the first play had the Bengals deep in Steelers territory. On third-and-2 from the 7-yard line, Heyward broke through and sacked Driskel for a 7-yard loss that forced the Bengals to settle for the tying field goal rather than have a chance at a go-ahead touchdown. Based on the Steelers escaping with a 16-13 win, that four-point swing was a huge factor in the game.
Heyward is the Steelers Digest Player of the Week.
Also considered were Ben Roethlisberger, who passed for 287 yards to become one of seven quarterbacks in NFL history to pass for over 5,000 yards in a season; T.J. Watt, who had seven tackles, a sack, and two forced fumbles; Coty Sensabaugh, who had two tackles and broke up two passes; Anthony Chickillo, who had one tackle on defense, one-half sack, and two tackles on special teams; and Matt McCrane, who was 3-for-3 on field goals, including the one for 35 yards with 1:56 left in the fourth quarter that was the difference in the outcome.