Sunday’s 17-14 loss to the New England Patriots at Acrisure Stadium was quite deflating for all involved offensively in the Steel City as the Pittsburgh Steelers struggled to generate any sort of momentum offensively.
It’s becoming a real problem in the second season under offensive coordinator Matt Canada as the Steelers have just two offensive touchdowns through two games and sit at 1-1 on the season.
There was something positive, albeit small and inconsequential, to come out of Sunday’s performance though, that being star second-year running back Najee Harris winning his third career “Angry Runs” Scepter Stick from Good Morning Football’s Kyle Brandt for his play late in the third quarter Sunday against the Patriots.
On a short dump-off from Mitch Trubisky inside Patriots territory, Harris tossed fellow Alabama Crimson Tide product Mack Wilson to the side, and then hurdled veteran defensive back Devin McCourty for a gain of 8 yards, giving the Steelers’ offense some life on a drive that resulted in the lone touchdown of the day for the black and gold.
Harris, who won twice as a rookie for his play against Las Vegas safety Jonathan Abram and a host of Cleveland Browns late in the season, found himself up against Kansas City’s Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Indianapolis’ Johnathan Taylor for the Scepter Stick Tuesday on Good Morning Football.
Turns out, it was Harris who earned the Scepter Stick, something he called the “Harry Potter Stick” last season as a rookie.
GMFB co-host Kyle Brandt was so impressed by Harris’ play.
“I have seen many, many strong stiff-arms. I have seen many leaps, which aren’t necessarily an angry maneuver. I have never seen throwing the man out of the way, and then jump and punch through your own legs at a member of the family at the table,” Brandt said, crowning Harris the winner Tuesday on GMFB, according to video via the GMFB Twitter page. “This thing is going to the Steel City, Najee Harris wins his third scepter, or his Harry Potter stick.
“I said you’re in Gryffindor, but you’re a bad mother, Najee. You’re in Slytherin, and this thing is coming to Slytherin.”
In just his second season in Pittsburgh, plays like the one Harris put together against the Patriots are becoming almost expected at this point. He plays with such a reckless abandon with the football in his hands (in a good way) that he’s going to make a defender or two look silly, whether that’s chucking them to the side with an awesome display of strength, running right over them, or leaping high to avoid the tackle.
On the day, Harris forced four missed tackles against the Patriots, two of which came on this play alone. It remains a slog for the Steelers offense right now, but with Harris creating on his own like he did here, dishing out some punishment, the offense might be able to find a way to move the football once again.