Week 8 Bama Pro of the Week: Isaiah Buggs
Isaiah Buggs had a rocky day in Baltimore, stepping in for an injured Tyson Alualu at nose tackle. Despite early struggles, Buggs made a handful of clutch plays in the fourth quarter to help his Steelers seal a 28-24 victory over the rival Ravens.
Buggs normally sees around ten snaps a game for Pittsburgh, but Alualu's injury on the first drive of the game opened the door for the former Alabama defensive lineman. Buggs recorded 34 snaps and hit a career-high in tackles with five and hit the quarterback for the first time in his career, though he came just short of registering his first sack.
When Buggs first stepped in the game, he was overwhelmed, particularly in the run game. But as the Steelers offense created a lead, Buggs was able to get going in the passing game, building confidence along the way.
For what it's worth to Buggs, compared to his fellow Steelers linemen, he's a bit undersized to play nose tackle effectively in the run game. That didn't stop him from making one of the plays of the game on a crucial 4th & 3 for Baltimore in the red zone.
Buggs and linebacker Vince Williams paired together to stop Lamar Jackson short of the line to gain, forcing a fumble for good measure.
Though Buggs earns our weekly award, he still has some improving to do. He may be called upon for another week or two as Alualu nurses a knee injury. As is the Steeler way, head coach Mike Tomlin dished out some tough love to his defensive lineman.
Thanks to his Alabama roots and unexpected playmaking which kept his team undefeated, we'll give Buggs some proper love as the Week 8 Bama Pro of the Week.
Now for our honorable mentions:
- Tua Tagovailoa, Dolphins: 12-22 for 93 yards, his first NFL touchdown and his first career win
- Damien Harris, Patriots: 16 carries for 102 yards and his first NFL touchdown
- Julio Jones, Falcons: seven receptions for 137 yards
- Trevon Diggs, Cowboys: seven tackles and two interceptions with 33 return yards
- Minkah Fitzpatrick, Steelers: seven tackles and a game-sealing pass deflection on the game's final play
Be sure to tune back into tide1009.com each Tuesday to see the Bama Pro of the Week throughout the NFL season.