What We Saw: Week 9

The QB List staff catches you up on everything you missed during Week 9 of the 2020 NFL season.

Steelers @ Cowboys


Just like we all predicted, this game came down to the final play, as the Pittsburgh Steelers held on to beat the Dallas Cowboys 24-19 in order to remain undefeated. There were concerns over whether Ezekiel Elliott would play this week and whether his workload would be limited if he played. There was also an injury concern during the game with Ben Roethlisberger going to the locker room early before halftime after being rolled up on and injuring his knee. Luckily for Steelers fans and fantasy managers, he was able to return to the game.


Pittsburgh Steelers




Ben Roethlisberger: 29/42, 306 yards, 3 TDs | 1 carry, 8 yards


Ben Roethlisberger did not exactly look like himself early in the game as he struggled to complete many of his deep ball attempts. Things looked even worse for him in the second quarter after being rolled up upon and immediately grimacing and grabbing his knee. He stayed in for the rest of that drive before pump faking and throwing a ball to the back of the endzone to James Washington for the touchdown. Immediately after that pass, he limped to the sideline and directly to the locker room to get treatment. When he came back, Roethlisberger seemed to look more like himself but still struggled to connect on the deep ball. He did find Juju Smith-Schuster over the middle for a touchdown with an out route later in the game which Eric Ebron turned and ran in after that. The knee injury did not seem to bother Roethlisberger after halftime, a sigh of relief for this Steelers fan.



Running Backs


James Conner: 9 carries, 22 yards | 2 targets, 2 receptions, -2 yards

Benny Snell Jr.: 3 carries, 1 yard 

Anthony McFarland Jr.: 3 carries, 7 yards | 2 targets, 2 receptions, 15 yards


In what should have been a great matchup for James Conner, Conner was very ineffective in both the passing and rushing game, even being taking out during major situations on later drives. There did not seem to be an injury to Conner or anything that the broadcast picked up, but it was interesting to see Anthony McFarland Jr. get more work in this game, coming in to spell Conner on certain drives and being involved in both the rushing attack and the passing game.


Wide Receivers/Tight Ends


Diontae Johnson: 10 targets, 6 receptions, 77 yards | 1 carry, 4 yards

Juju Smith-Schuster: 7 targets, 6 receptions, 93 yards, 1 TD

Chase Claypool: 13 targets, 8 receptions, 69 yards

James Washington: 2 targets, 1 reception, 17 yards, 1 TD

Eric Ebron: 6 targets, 3 receptions, 22 yards, 1 TD


In this matchup with the Dallas defense, it was a rare situation where the Steelers were able to get all three of their receivers very involved in the offense. It was clear that early in the game, Roethlisberger wanted to try and hit Chase Claypool on the deep ball. However, their timing on that route was just a bit off on Sunday, with Claypool dropping one as well. Claypool could have had an even better game if not for a few other drops throughout the game. With the struggles to hit on that pass, in crucial situations on a much-needed touchdown drive, Roethlisberger leaned heavily on Juju Smith-Schuster, a clear repertoire that the two have when needed. That drive was capped off by a 20-yard strike over the middle with Smith-Schuster working his way into the endzone, along with multiple 20-yard receptions and runs after the catch.



Then came the last drive where Roethlisberger spread the ball out a bit more and got the ball to Diontae Johnson for a long run after the catch, helping to set up the game-winning touchdown pass to Eric Ebron. While the timing may have been off with Johnson as well, with him having a drop or two, it was clear Roethlisberger wanted to go his way as well in crucial situations.



Dallas Cowboys




Garrett Gilbert: 21/38, 243 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, 2 sacks | 3 carries, 28 yards


For a player making his first career start, Garrett Gilbert did not look like the 4th option at quarterback in this game. While the Steelers defense attempted to get pressure on him throughout the game, his offensive line remained strong enough. He even avoided a few sacks in the process and broke off some nice runs. Now, his interception did come where the Steelers were able to get pressure at him on the goal line, causing the ball to float long enough for Minkah Fitzpatrick to pick it off.



On the other hand, he was able to lead the Cowboys on some long drives, including a touchdown pass nicely thrown to CeeDee Lamb. When he got the time in the pocket he was able to make things happen, but when the pass rush was able to get to him that’s where the troubles came. He impressed enough that I would like to see him get another shot for Dallas after the bye.



Running Backs


Ezekiel Elliott: 18 carries, 51 yards| 3 targets, 2 receptions, 18 yards

Tony Pollard: 9 carries, 57 yards | 2 targets, 1 reception, 1 yard


The big question coming into this game was whether or not Ezekiel Elliott would play, as he was battling a hamstring injury all week. He was able to play and did at times display that burst of speed we expected from Elliott, breaking off a few runs on first down and reminding us of the kind of runner he could be. The injury did not seem to hamper him too much, with the Cowboys keeping him fresh by mixing in Tony Pollard. On his own end Pollard looked just as good, if not better, than Elliott in this game, breaking off some long runs of his own.


Wide Receivers/Tight Ends


Amari Cooper: 6 targets, 5 receptions, 67 yards | 1 rush, 8 yards

CeeDee Lamb: 7 targets, 4 receptions, 71 yards, 1 TD

Michael Gallup: 7 targets, 3 receptions, 36 yards

Dalton Schultz: 7 targets, 4 receptions, 48 yards


With Garrett Gilbert at the helm, the pass catchers for Dallas displayed signs of life, looking more like the receivers we have come to know. Early in the game, the Cowboys were able to get Amari Cooper involved, with Gilbert keeping drives alive and moving the ball with him. Throughout the game, CeeDee Lamb looked like the best receiver for Dallas, with Gilbert hitting him for the lone touchdown and keeping an eye on him in their red zone opportunities and late-game drives. He did have a crucial fumble towards the end of the second half, allowing the Steelers to put up a field goal before going to the half.



However, that fumble did not make Gilbert lose faith in Lamb, with Lamb acting as a key receiver on the final drive by keeping his feet in bounds to help set up a shot to win the game late.



Dalton Schultz was also looked to by Gilbert in order to keep the drive going and was a key part of those late-game drives, targetted just as much as these previously mentioned wideouts.


— Callen Elslager (@callen_elslager on Twitter and Reddit)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.