WR Chris Godwin
Chris Godwin should have had more than five catches, 74 yards and a touchdown. With two drops in the end zone and a costly fumble, Godwin had the definition of an up-and-down game.
The young receiver showed why he is poised for a breakout campaign while displaying his youth with mind-boggling mistakes.
Early in the second quarter, Godwin tried to fight for extra yardage and simply dropped the football. With the Steelers already up 9-7, Tampa Bay needed to keep Roethlisberger and company off the field at all costs.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Of late, Tampa Bay hasn’t had any issues in the red zone, but on Monday night the Buccaneers left far too many points on the board. Godwin played a big part in the red zone woes.
His first drop came just before halftime. The Bucs were down 23-7 and needed a touchdown to keep within striking distance. Fitzpatrick found Godwin coming across the back of the end zone, but the Penn State product couldn’t haul it in.
Godwin’s next drop wasn’t as egregious. Three Steelers defenders were closing in on him, but the ball hit him in the chest, and it marked the end to a long, methodical Buccaneers drive.
By no means is this the time to question Godwin’s ability, he is still a tremendous weapon and should be one of the top receivers on the team.
Returning from injury, Brent Grimes was supposed to bring a much-needed boost to Tampa Bay’s secondary. Unfortunately, he made matters worse.
While the Pittsburgh receiving corps causes problems for every cornerback in the NFL, Grimes’ poor play was obvious. Both rookie cornerbacks fared better on the night as both Carlton Davis and M.J. Stewart held their own.
Again, Grimes getting his first regular season action against Brown and company is a recipe for disaster. Perhaps he can return to form against a lackluster offense led by Mitchell Trubisky next week.
Fitzpatrick may have thrown for over 400 yards again, but his first-half performance, and inability to lead a game-winning drive leaves him in the dud category. It may be harsh, but Fitzpatrick had a chance to lock down the starting job on Monday night.
With the entire country watching, Fitzpatrick threw a trio of interceptions to help build a 20-point Steelers lead at halftime.
He settled down in the second half, but when he had a chance to win the game, he nearly threw two more interceptions.
Fitzpatrick hasn’t changed. He is still someone who can steal a few wins but when the game is on the line, he cannot get it done. Look back to 2016, with a chance to send the New York Jets to the playoffs, ‘Fitz’ threw three interceptions in a heart-breaking loss.