Brown was given the game ball even in the defeat, for both his statistical performance (nine catches for 196 yards and two touchdowns). He received a +5.1, by far the highest of his career, and one of the highest grades ever given to a wide receiver by PFF.
Polamalu received a +4.0, pushing his overall grade through three games to +7.4 - tops in the NFL for safeties who have played more than 200 snaps.
On the down side, cornerback Ike Taylor was given a -1.9 grade, the lowest on the defense. It's not entirely clear how that's justified. Outside a 41-yard completion from QB Jay Cutler to WR Brandon Marshall, Taylor didn't miss a tackle, but, according to PFF, was targeted nine times, allowing seven receptions and 79 yards. Perhaps the grading is the result of expecting more out of a cornerback playing in zone defense - Pittsburgh's defense allowed 5.3 yards per pass attempt, and held the Bears to 258 yards of offense.
That might explain why Taylor and free safety Ryan Clark (-1.2) were the only Steelers with negative grades on the defensive side of the ball.
OLB LaMarr Woodley (+3.9) had another outstanding game, notching his second sack of the year and scoring five total hurries on Cutler. ILB Lawrence Timmons earned a +3.3 grade in the loss.
Offensive tackle Mike Adams (-3.0) had the lowest grade on the offensive side of the ball.
More from Behind the Steel Curtain:
- Bears vs. Steelers Postgame News and Updates
- Should Gilbert have been benched?
- Alan Faneca isn't walking through that door
- Brown, Polamalu receive highest PFF grades
- Bears vs. Steelers upon further review
- Bell will play against Vikings
- Reflecting back on a butt-kicking
- Antonio Brown got the damn ball
- Turnovers are the only statistics that matter
- Mel Blount and Donnie Shell speak on new NFL