It’s always so much better to write a story like this after a win. It generally means that there was a good effort by multiple players on offense and we all understand with the NFL, that every week it can be a new team, and a new player, and with a home win against the Philadelphia Eagles, the Pittsburgh Steelers had some tremendous individual efforts that culminated with a team victory.
The easy choice and the obvious one is quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. He was efficient, while not outstanding, and did an excellent job running the Steelers offense, and while he didn’t account for any touchdowns, he also didn’t account for any turnovers. Against the Eagles, ball security is key and he was very important in winning the turnover battle.
Finalist number 2 is wide receiver Antonio Brown. While his fellow receiver Mike Wallace has continued to struggle to get traction after his extended holdout, Brown have been in mid season form. Making plays all over the field, running different routes, has really improved the physical side of his game. A quality candidate for certain.
My final finalist is running back Rashard Mendenhall. After returning 9 months after tearing his ACL, Mendenhall looked sharp. I tweeted at one point after a long run by Mendenhall, that ironically was called back on a penalty that there is no other player on the roster that brings to the table what he does. He finished the game with 101 total yards and a touchdown, and even as he was spelled later in the game by Isaac Redman, you could tell that he could have kept running.
Did I make it obvious enough who I am picking? Of course it’s Mendenhall. This is a different team with him back on the field, and I’ve been a critic of him in the past. He may not be back next season, and I can accept that, but if the Steelers want to win this year, they will need many more performances like the one he had this week. Mendenhall ran with power and speed and vision, and it’s sort of like high school, when you a player who’s just better than the other players, it’s obvious. When you saw what Mendenhall did this weekend, compared to the other backs, it was really that clear.
Who’s your player of the week, Steelers fans? Come find me on Twitter @nfldraftbaord and tell me how wrong I am.