The result may have been a loss, but the Steelers got outstanding performances from wide receiver Antonio Brown and safety Troy Polamalu from evaluation web site Pro Football Focus.
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.
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- 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
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