As the Pittsburgh Steelers begin their quest to put their 43-19 loss to the Buffalo Bills behind them, it is worth looking back on the data and analyzing individual performances. There weren't many bright spots for the black and gold in up-state New York, but there were some.
On the offensive side of the ball it was none other than Martavis Bryant who capped off his day with 3 catches, 138 yards and a touchdown with the highest offensive rating with +2.8, according to ProFootball Focus' grading system. Despite being the highest rated offensive player, this rating seemed a bit on the low side considering Bryant also caused two big defensive pass interference penalties which aided drives.
Other than Bryant, there were only two other offensive players who made it over the 1.0 plateau. Those players were DeAngelo Williams who had a +1.9 rating and David DeCastro who saw a +1.1 in run blocking plays. However, DeCastro's overall grade was a +1.0.
There were negatives on the offensive side of the ball as well. Chris Hubbard and Alejandro Villanueva tied for the worst ratings as both had (-2.2) ratings on the day. To make matters worse, Cody Wallace, the man expected to fill in for Maurkice Pouncey, was next in line in terms of poor rating with (-2.0). Wallace graded a -1.7 in pass blocking and a -.3 in run blocking.
On the defensive side of the ball, you can imagine how ugly the ratings might look, and you would be right. There were only two defensive players who rated over +1.0 overall, and they were Shayon Green (+3.7) and James Harrison (+1.1). Other than those two outside linebackers, the Steelers defensive grades were pretty bad.
Leading the way, in terms of negative grades, was safety Jordan Dangerfield. Dangerfield graded out as a -2.5, but fellow safety Shamarko Thomas had another poor outing as his grade for the Bills game was -2.2. Not to be outdone, Gerod Holliman and Kevin Fogg also graded out at -2.2 for the game.
There weren't many positives to come out of this second-to-last preseason game for the Steelers, but there were some. Luckily for the Steelers, this performance wasn't during the regular season. As Mike Tomlin says they will evaluate the tape and work to get better. The best part about this point in the preseason is some of the ongoing issues won't even be a member of the team after Tuesday when the team has to trim their roster from 90 to 75 players.
The Steelers next, and final, preseason game is Thursday against the Carolina Panthers at Heinz Field.