The Pittsburgh Steelers won’t have their best player on the field to start the playoffs.
Star EDGE rusher T.J. Watt suffered a grade 2 MCL strain and will be out for at least the first two postseason games, assuming the Steelers win.
Nonetheless, even though not having Watt is obviously a massive issue for the Steelers’ defense, he’s not the only stellar pass rusher they have on the roster.
As shown by the team on Twitter, Alex Highsmith has improved every single season, logging more QB pressures in every campaign that goes by, going from 21 in 2020 all the way to 69 in 2023.
Things you love to see 📈 pic.twitter.com/C3vD3ExUum
— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) January 10, 2024
Watt gets most of the credit and recognition and rightfully so, but we cannot ignore the fact that having Highsmith next to him has also given him plenty of freedom to go after the opposing quarterback on almost every single snap.
Highsmith is one of the most overlooked and underrated players in the league, mostly because of the fact that he has to share the spotlight with arguably the best defensive player on the planet.
The Steelers are 9.5-point underdogs ahead of their postseason debut vs. the Buffalo Bills, and that’s going to be a relentless battle in the blistering cold.
Needless to say, the odds aren’t in Mike Tomlin’s team’s favor, and it’ll take a perfect team effort to overcome Watt’s absence and get the job done in this matchup.
That will take a stellar performance from Highsmith, a breakout game if you will, and he definitely has the potential to do so.