Pittsburgh Steelers pass rusher Cam Heyward had two sacks in the game against the Green Bay Packers. That took him from seven to nine on the year, which is a career high for him. With that personal best in the books, he’s now been named the AFC Defense Player of the Week for his efforts in the 31-28 win on Sunday, per NBC’s Josh Alper.
It wasn’t just sacks that helped him net the award. He also had 6 tackles.
Plus, one of his sacks was huge. The Packers were trying to work their way into field goal position, already winning by a touchdown. They could have gone up by 10 as the game grew late. Then Heyward dragged quarterback Brett Hundley down for a three-yard loss. That pushed the field goal to 57 yards and Packers kicker Mason Crosby missed it. The Steelers got the ball back and a short field, which they used to march down and score a tying touchdown.
That’s the type of impact play that can literally change a game. The Steelers have been getting great production out of Heyward, who has multiple sacks in three games in 2017 alone, and they’re seeing it show up in the win-loss column. With his help, they’ve now won half a dozen games in a row.
The Steelers already knew their offense was going to be good. The big question, both late in the season and in the playoffs, will be the defense. With Heyward’s standout play, they could find nice balance on both sides of the ball and make a deep run at the Super Bowl.