clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Pro Football Focus highlights how the Steelers Week 2 game was won in the trenches

The Pittsburgh Steelers are 2-0, and PFF shows fans how it happened.

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

NFL: Denver Broncos at Pittsburgh Steelers Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers are 2-0. That by itself is something to celebrate, but after wins over the New York Giants in Week 1, and the Denver Broncos in Week 2, fans are wondering just how good this team is as they prepare for the Houston Texans in Week 3.

To answer that question, it is worth going back and taking a look at the game that was and diagnosing what went right, and what went wrong, during the Steelers’ win over the Broncos at Heinz Field Sunday.

The experts at PFF give their breakdown of the game and it further illustrates just how the Steelers won the game — in the trenches.

Take a look at what PFF had to say about the game in its entirety:


Backup quarterback Jeff Driskel was forced into action midway through the first quarter, and considering the circumstances, he certainly exceeded expectations. Just like last week, the Steelers’ offensive line was utterly dominant. The unit pressured Lock and Driskel on 28 of their combined 47 dropbacks.

They easily have the highest pressure rate of any defense in the NFL this season. Left guard Dalton Risner, center Lloyd Cushenberry III and right tackle Elijah Wilkinson all allowed four-plus pressures on the day, and every single Broncos offensive lineman allowed multiple pressures. Those poor performances correlated with dominant performances from Tyson Alualu, Cameron Heyward and T.J. Watt.

The outstanding effort from Pittsburgh’s defensive line masked Ben Roethlisberger‘s up-and-down day. While he went for over 300 yards, Roethlisberger had a pair of turnover-worthy plays despite being barely pressured (seven times on 42 dropbacks). He was helped out by Diontae Johnson going off for eight catches for 92 yards with two broken tackles. However, Johnson also dropped a pass to sum up an inconsistent day for the Steelers’ offense.

Another aspect of the breakdown by PFF is their ‘Rookie Watch’ segment. Here is where they highlight players who are in their first year as a professional, and how they did in the latest game. Obviously, Steelers’ top draft pick, Chase Claypool from Notre Dame, has drawn rave reviews during his brief stint in the league.


Another week, another highlight reel grab from Chase Claypool. This time, he took fellow rookie Michael Ojemudia to the house for an 84-yard touchdwown. It was a rough one for Ojemudia, who allowed nearly 150 yards and two scores on his own.

He wasn’t the only Bronocs rookie who struggled, though. Center Lloyd Cushenberry couldn’t hold up against Tyson Alualu, allowing eight pressures on 47 pass-blocking snaps. That was the complete opposite from what we saw from Steelers guard Kevin Dotson, who made his first career start. He didn’t allow a single pressure all day on 42 pass-blocking snaps in an impressive debut.

What are your thoughts on the Steelers’ most recent victory, and, more importantly, the entire rookie class, not just Claypool? Let us know your thoughts 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 host the Texans this Sunday for a 1 p.m. kickoff.