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Pro Football Focus grades for Week 5 show Ben Roethlisberger having his best game of 2021

In the grades provided by PFF, Roethlisberger had his best score by throwing his fewest passes of the season.

Denver Broncos v Pittsburgh Steelers Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers got back to their winning ways in Week 4 and hope to start a different kind of streak moving forward. The offense put up their most points of the season, and the defense kept their opponent in check through the first three quarters. In all, it was a good team win.

But how did the individual players grade out?

For this exercise, we will be looking at the player grades from Pro Football Focus (PFF) for their Week 5 performance. These score are just from Sunday’s game and not for the entire season. Before going any further, I must give the typical disclaimer that PFF grades are subjective. While some people rely on them heavily, others are quite skeptical of the process in which they are determined. It is completely up to each person as to how much stock they put into PFF’s grades. For me, I often look at the grades to see if my own “eye test” lines up with what others viewed as how a player performed. If nothing more, the grades create a discussion about how accurate, or inaccurate, they are each week.

Instead of looking at the entire team at once, we break up the scores into offense and defense. Next up this week is the offense. Included will be all the players who played at least one snap (with the exception of Minkah Fitzpatrick who was used for one snap in victory formation) and the total snap counts for each player will be included. For reference sake, the Steelers played 65 snaps on offense in Week 5.


Overall

Top 5 (regardless of position)

WR Chase Claypool: 87.4 (36 snaps)
TE Zach Gentry: 82.3 (22 snaps)
QB Ben Roethlisberger: 77.1 (65 snaps)
WR Diontae Johnson: 77.5 (60 snaps)
OT Dan Moore Jr.: 70.6 (65 snaps)

Bottom 5 (regardless of position)

FB Derek Watt: 46.8 (9 snaps)
WR JuJu Smith-Schuster: 46.6 (25 snaps)
RB Benny Snell Jr.: 43.6 (13 snaps)
G Trai Turner: 43.1 (65 snaps)
C Kendrick Green: 33.9 (65 snaps)


Quarterback

QB Ben Roethlisberger: 77.1 (65 snaps)

There are a lot that goes into a better offensive performance more than just individual scores. With Ben Roethlisberger getting his best score since Week 13 of 2020, a lot of it came because of an improved running game and more time to throw in the pocket. With these things added to the Steelers offense, Roethlisberger managed the game well, hit on the big plays when needed, and led his team to victory.

Running Backs

RB Najee Harris: 70.1 (42 snaps)
RB Kalen Ballage: 50.4 (10 snaps)
FB Derek Watt: 46.8 (9 snaps)
RB Benny Snell Jr.: 43.6 (13 snaps)

Even though the Steelers run game burst forth in Week 5, Najee Harris was actually given a lower score than the previous week. One thing that is for certain when looking at the position group is the drop off in PFF scores after Harris.

Receivers

WR Chase Claypool: 87.4 (36 snaps)
TE Zach Gentry: 82.3 (22 snaps)
WR Diontae Johnson: 77.5 (60 snaps)
TE Pat Freiermuth: 70.4 (32 snaps)
TE Eric Ebron: 58.6 (25 snaps)
WR Ray-Ray McCloud: 52.8 (34 snaps)
WR Cody White: 52.3 (16 snaps)
WR JuJu Smith-Schuster: 46.6 (25 snaps)

Chase Claypool came back after missing the previous game and led the Steelers in receiving and with their top PFF score on offense. Despite only one target, it was a nice 13 yard gain to Zach Gentry which really boosted his PFF score as he has caught all three targets he has had in 2021. Despite a low score in the passing game of 40.8, Cody White had his score bumped up due to an outstanding run blocking score of 91.3 which was the best on the team this week, best in the NFL of any wide receiver in Week 5, and has a season score that leads all the NFL wide receivers. So if the Steelers are looking for someone who can stick their nose into the blocking game much like JuJu Smith-Schuster has in the past, Cody White may be the answer.

Offensive Line

OT Dan Moore Jr.: 70.6 (65 snaps)
G Kevin Dotson: 56.7 (65 snaps)
OT Chuks Okorafor: 53.4 (65 snaps)
G Trai Turner: 43.1 (65 snaps)
C Kendrick Green: 33.9 (65 snaps)

The biggest thing that needs to be noted first is how all five players on the offensive line played every snap for the first time in 2021. What is interesting is how the Steelers best performance as a unit so far in 2021 saw lower scores for the majority of players. Kendrick Green and Dan Moore Jr. switched spots as the rookies PFF grade is shown as having a great game or really struggling. Trai Turner also was given a low score after two weeks of solid contributions. But as these players would probably agree, their individual scores mean nothing as the unit made great strides in both the running and passing game in Week 5 regardless of their scores.


So, what do you think of the above grades? Do they pass the eye test? Let us know your thoughts on the Steelers’ defensive grades in the comments below.