Trying to find a silver lining in the Steelers 30-9 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars today at Heinz Field was as difficult as finding a ray of sunshine during what was a cloudy, gray, drizzly afternoon in Pittsburgh.
But even the weather was a bright spot compared to the Steelers' performance, and their issues touched each of the three phases of the game to some degree. The offense turned the ball over five times, and two of those turnovers ended up in the end zone; the defense allowed 231 yards rushing, with a 90-yard run by Leonard Fournette in garbage time ending up in the end zone; and if there wasn't much to complain about regarding special teams there wasn't really anything to celebrate, either.
If there was anything that could be labeled as something other than awful, it was the play of the defense through the first three quarters, but even that contention seems to be something of a stretch right now.
Until Fournette's 90-yard run, the Jaguars running game managed 141 yards on 36 attempts (3.9 average) and the game's first touchdown. It was physical and hard-hitting work dealing with Jacksonville running backs Fournette and Chris Ivory, and there were some individual Steelers defenders who appeared to hold their own throughout much of the game.
Leading that pack was Vince Williams, who finished with eight tackles, including one for loss, one of the Steelers' two sacks, and two hits on quarterback Blake Bortles. Williams is the Steelers Digest Player of the Week.
Also considered were nose tackle Javon Hargrave, who led the team with 10 tackles; inside linebacker Ryan Shazier, who had eight tackles and an interception; safety Mike Mitchell, who had nine tackles and didn't back down from a physical confrontation all afternoon; outside linebacker T.J. Watt, who had six tackles, including two for loss, and the team's other sack; and Antonio Brown, who caught 10 passes for 157 yards.