The Pittsburgh Steelers were victorious in Week 8 vs. the Miami Dolphins and advanced their record to 3-4 on the season. While the game wasn’t always pretty, there were some remarkable performances from the home team in front of an anxious crowd.
There are the obvious players who performed well, but when it comes to players who might not get the accolades as other, this is where Pro Football Focus comes in. While many don’t agree with their grading system/philosophy, they do a lot of work when it comes to not just watching film, but looking at the analytics of the game.
See what the fine folks at PFF put together this as a knee jerk reaction to the Steelers’ Week 8 victory over the Dolphins.
Mason Rudolph targeted JuJu Smith-Schuster on an out route, but John Jenkins pushed Maurkice Pouncey into Rudolph as he threw the ball. Dolphins veteran cornerback Xavien Howard intercepted the pass on the play. Later in the game, Rudolph threw behind James Washington on a crossing route and hit Howard in the chest, but he wasn’t able to hold onto the interception. Rudolph’s best throw of the night was a beautifully placed go route to Smith-Schuster down the right sideline for a gain of 34 yards.
Rookie wideout Diontae Johnson turned a shallow crossing route against a blitz into a 45-yard touchdown at the end of the second quarter. Smith-Schuster made the play of the game on a vertical route where he had to turn back and pluck the ball off the helmet of Chris Lammons for a touchdown.
T.J. Watt dominated Miami right tackle Jesse Davis all night. He came up big in the fourth quarter too, forcing two fumbles on Ryan Fitzpatrick, one of which he recovered himself while the other was to end the game. Pittsburgh’s defensive line put forth a good effort against a poor Miami offensive line unit, with Bud Dupree and Cam Heyward having big nights, as well.
Minkah Fitzpatrick showed out against his former team, picking off two Ryan Fitzpatrick passes. One of these was a pass that ricocheted into the air after a drop, while the other was on an overthrown deep ball.
As for regular positional grades, for those who might not know how PFF grades, a 100.0 would be considered a perfect game. No mistakes, no flaws. So, if a player is graded in the 90s, they had themselves a tremendous game.
Take a look at the players on the Steelers’ offense who graded out the highest:
Now, check out the defense:
Watt’s 94.7 is a tremendous grade for the third year edge rusher out of Wisconsin, and just shows other people, not just Steelers fans/media, are starting to see just how impressive he is on a weekly basis.
What do you think of these grades? Do you agree, or disagree? Do you feel someone was graded too high, or too low? Let us know in the comment section below and be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the black-and-gold as they prepare for the Indianapolis Colts at Heinz Field in Week 9.