PITTSBURGH -- The Steelers' 29-27 win over the visiting Bears was not your typical Monday night showdown. After building a commanding 20-6 lead, the Steelers watched rookie quarterback Justin Fields rally the Bears to a one-point lead. That lead quickly evaporated after four Ben Roethlisberger completions set up Chris Boswell's go-ahead field goal. Pittsburgh sealed the win when Cairo Santos' 65-yard field goal attempt failed to reach the cross bars.
While the loss dropped the Bears to 3-6, it moved the Steelers to 5-3 and one game back of the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC North division standings. The win was a significant one for Mike Tomlin, who became the 21st coach in NFL history (and the fourth-fastest coach) to reach 150 career wins. And with Monday night's win, Tomlin is now four wins away from becoming the first head coach in NFL history to start his career with 15 consecutive non-losing seasons. The Steelers can get one game closer to mark with a win over the winless Lions this Sunday at Heinz Field.
Let's take a look at whose stock went either up or down during Monday night's win.
Stock up: Cam Heyward/T.J. Watt
Pittsburgh's defensive duo put their stamp on Monday's game. Heyward's interception of Fields in the second quarter set up the Steelers' second touchdown. Watt had three sacks of Fields and in the process moved to fifth all-time on the Steelers' franchise career sack list. Watt also became the fourth-fastest player in NFL history to reach 60 career sacks; the only players to do it faster were Reggie White, older brother J.J. Watt and Derrick Thomas.
This is the part where we say TURN DOWN FOR WATT 🗣@_TJWatt | 📺: ESPN— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) November 9, 2021
Bid on exclusive T.J. Watt items in the #RockSteelersStyle auction: https://t.co/EYf0uQ3AN5 pic.twitter.com/VYhHVo1ZXv
Stock down: Offensive line
The ever-improving unit took some steps backwards on Monday, both literally and figuratively. While they reached the 100-yard rushing mark, Pittsburgh averaged just 3.28 yards per carry. That number is somewhat inflated considering that Pittsburgh's receivers ran for 37 yards on six carries on jet sweeps. And while Roethlisberger did suffer the consequences of holding the ball too long on a few occasions, the line nevertheless allowed four sacks of their 39-year-old quarterback.
Stock up: Pat Freiermuth
On the field before the game, Freiermuth met Heath Miller, widely regarded as the greatest tight end in Steelers history. Freiermuth, who spoke glowingly of his pregame meeting with Miller during his postgame press conference, looked like Miller on his two touchdown receptions. The second tight end taken in the 2021 draft, Freiermuth has 20 receptions and three touchdown catches in Pittsburgh's last three games.
We know he already has a touchdown...— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) November 9, 2021
But he would like another one.@pat_fry5 | 📺: ESPN pic.twitter.com/K1VHTRuFIQ
Stock down: Pressley Harvin III
Harvin's five punts failed to net 40 yards. He was able to pin the Bears inside their own 10-yard-line in the first half, but was unable to avoid the end zone on his final punt of the half. Harvin was able to bounce back when he pinned the Bears inside their own 10-yard-line at the start of the third quarter.
Stock up: James Washington/Diontae Johnson
Washington's 42-yard catch set up Freiermuth's second touchdown that stretched the Steelers' lead to 20-6. His 12-yard run on Pittsburgh's first scoring drive helped set up Najee Harris' 10-yard touchdown run. Johnson led the Steelers with 56 yards on five receptions that included his 22-yard catch-and-run on Pittsburgh's game-winning drive.
Stock down: Ray-Ray McCloud
The usually reliable McCloud jump-started Chicago's fourth quarter rally when his muffed punt was returned 25 yards for a score. The Steelers' No. 4 receiver assured Steelers fans via social media that he will learn from Monday night's miscue.
Stock up: Chris Boswell
After spending most of the week in the concussion protocol, the Steelers former Pro Bowl kicker converted field goal attempts of 54, 52 and 40 yards in the fourth quarter. He also pounced on a fumble that was forced by cornerback James Pierre.
Chris. Boswell. Recovers. The. Fumble.— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) November 9, 2021
📺: ESPN pic.twitter.com/OREwZ3dKfR
Aside from the 2018 season, Boswell has been nearly automatic. He has made each of his 16 career field goal attempts that include a record six conversations against the Chiefs in the 2016 playoffs. Since the start of the 2019 season, Boswell has made 94% of his attempts.
Stock down: Steelers secondary
Fields deserves credit for leading the Bears' comeback, but the Steelers' secondary did little to stand in the rookie quarterback's way. On Chicago's go-ahead drive, Fields went after Arthur Maulet, who played more snaps on Monday as a result of the Steelers' plan to try to contain Fields. Maulet was on the wrong end of Fields' 39-yard completion to Allen Robinson and Fields' 16-yard touchdown pass to Darnell Mooney on the next play. Fields finished the night with a season-high 291 yards passing.
Along with the big plays allowed, the Steelers secondary failed to come up with a splash play. Pittsburgh defensive backs have recorded just two interceptions through nine games, a number that is way too low considering the talent within the unit.