PITTSBURGH, PA - DECEMBER 24: Isaac Redman #33 of the Pittsburgh Steelers runs with the ball in the second half against the St. Louis Rams during the Christmas Eve game on December 24, 2011 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
The St. Louis Rams did not play a very good defensive game, at least not compared to some of their more recent outings. It's hard to say when a team has or hasn't given up, and with 53 players on the roster, each one is putting in various levels of effort on a weekly basis. I don't know what the Rams defense had going on last week against the Steelers, but it just wasn't a very good unit, certainly not compared to how well they've played prior to this game.
Oh yes, you're wondering about this post. Yeah, I left it in the queue unfinished, but it turned out to be quite revealing, no?
This is a pretty weak list, but contractual obligations and all that jazz are forcing my hand here. This would be a great series for a team that actually won games.
The Steelers were held to just a field goal on their first series. Two plays made a big difference, both coming after Rashard Mendenhall broke away for a 35-yard run on the Steelers' second snap of the game.
James Laurinaitis, a Pro Bowl alternate, stopped Mendenhall after a three-yard gain on second-and-five. On the next play, from the Rams' three-yard line, Rod Hood covered Mike Wallace forced an incomplete pass, with help from Charlie Batch.
With just three and a half minutes left in the first half, Stewart broke up a deep pass on third-down for Heath Miller. That kept the score at 10-0 after two quarters, but that's too deep a hole for the Rams offense to climb out of. Stewart was terrible against the run, missing tackles and taking bad angles, It earned him some bad grades from Pro Football Focus. Stewart looks like a good third safety to me.
The top defensive play was Josh Gordy's second interception in two games. Good job by the kid who looks like a keeper as a third or fourth cornerback.
The best player from the Rams defense in Week 17 was?
James Laurinaitis (30 votes)
Josh Gordy (20 votes)
Darian Stewart (8 votes)
Rod Hood (3 votes)
61 total votes