In the regular season opener, the Steelers defense came up with what will be referred to here as 12 significant plays – 7 sacks, 4 interceptions, and 1 fumble recovery. Those proved to be a significant component of what ended up being an overtime victory over the Bengals in Cincinnati. That recipe for victory – an opportunistic defense compensating for an offense breaking in a new starting quarterback – appeared to be what the Steelers would need through the early stages of this season.
Against the Patriots, a defense without T.J. Watt came up far short of the dozen significant plays it authored in the opener, and the Steelers lost to New England, 17-14, at Acrisure Stadium.
The Steelers defense managed just one significant play vs. the Patriots, and that was a first quarter interception by Minkah Fitzpatrick. In addition to the lone takeaway, Fitzpatrick also tied for second on the team with six tackles. He is the Steelers Digest Player of the Week.
Also considered were Myles Jack, who led the team with 13 tackles; Najee Harris, who had 15 carries for 49 yards (3.3 average) and caught 5 passes for 40 yards to finish with 89 yards from scrimmage; and Chris Boswell, who was 2-for-2 on field goals, from 36 and 52 yards.