Pro Football Focus Gives Steelers Linebackers Positive Grades In Week 3 Loss

Ezra Shaw - Getty Images

According to play-grading web site Pro Football Focus, the Steelers' linebackers scored positively in Oakland's 34-31 win over Pittsburgh in Week 3.

Pro Football Focus, a player evaluation web site, didn't pin fault on the Steelers' inability to get the Raiders off the field on third downs in their 34-31 loss at Oakland squarely on the linebackers.

In fact, according to them, Lawrence Timmons, LaMarr Woodley, Chris Carter, and Larry Foote all played reasonably well, against the run in particular.

They tracked the quintuplets as having 12 stops and having missed only one tackle.

Outside of a Darren McFadden 64-yard touchdown run in the first quarter, the Raiders only rushed for 55 yards on 20 carries - incidentally, only one more yard than the Steelers rushed for on the same amount of carries.

The big difference was McFadden's run, obviously, and while that can't be discounted in the grand scheme, the run defense was solid throughout the game.

The defensive line, on the other hand, received grades a bit lower. Ziggy Hood and Casey Hampton were called out, and perhaps fairly so. The defensive line failed to get much of a push into the backfield, and between Hood, Hampton and Keisel, they only had one solo tackle (Hood) and one assisted tackle (Hampton).

Keisel did not log a stat, except an offside penalty on 4th-and-goal that was wrongly assigned to Hood on the field.

The group didn't play well in this game, but did alright in the Steelers' previous two games. With Hampton having missed nearly all of training camp, his stamina is a concern. Without that presence in the middle causing much impact, teams are free to double-team Hood and Keisel, with which they are struggling.

The players have four days off starting today, then it's on to preparations for Philadelphia in Week 5.

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