Kelvin Beachum, Cameron Heyward get top grades in Steelers win over Lions

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sport

A solid all-around performance was highlighted by Beachum, Heyward and Cortez Allen, who all scored well, according to the play evaluation web site.

Going by the judgment of Pro Football Focus,

Steelers left tackle Kelvin Beachum played the best game of his career Sunday.

Beachum earned a 2.1 grade by the play evaluation web site, the highest mark of his two-year career, besting his 2.0 grade against Baltimore in Week 7. Beachum was part of an overall protection scheme that allowed just one sack of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, allowing him to complete 64 percent of his passes and throw for 367 yards.

Defensively, Cameron Heyward shined for the Steelers, earning a 3.3 grade. Heyward has been one of the best Steelers' defenders this season, and his 8.8 overall grade in 2013 is the 14th highest among 3-4 defensive ends, as noted by PFF.

The Steelers defeated Detroit 37-27 in a must-win game that keeps their fading playoff hopes very much alive. They trail the conference's sixth seed, the New York Jets (5-5), by one game.

Surprisingly, though, Steelers right guard David DeCastro received a -3.1, the lowest on the offensive side of the ball. He shared that distinction with left guard Guy Whimper. It's the first negative game DeCastro has had this season, and the second-lowest grade of his 13-game career (Week 16 of 2012 against Cincinnati, he earned a -5.2).

Cornerback Cortez Allen scored a 2.9 for his efforts in the win. William Gay was thrown at six times, not allowing a completion and was credited with a pass defensed.

Troy Polamalu, who was used largely as an inside linebacker in this game (although PFF is, as of Monday, listing him as a safety), received a -4.4.

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