clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Pro Football Focus grades for Week 4 show the Steelers offensive line is improving

In the grades provided by PFF, rookies Kendrick Green and Najee Harris top the list for the Steelers offense against Green Bay.

Las Vegas Raiders v Pittsburgh Steelers Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers continued to struggle to put points on the board again in Week 4 and have yet to put up more than 17 points on their own. As for the defense, the Steelers showed flashes of thier former dominance a few times, but failed too often to get off the field on 3rd down. With four games down for the season, the Steelers find themselves back in the standings and in desperate need of a win to turn their season around.

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 4 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. First up this week is the offense. Included will be all the players who played at least one snap and the total snap counts for each player will be included. For reference sake, the Steelers played 60 snaps on offense in Week 4.


Overall

Top 5 (regardless of position)

C Kendrick Green: 77.2 (60 snaps)
RB Najee Harris: 76.7 (48 snaps)
WR James Washington: 71.2 (49 snaps)
WR Diontae Johnson: 69.4 (55 snaps)
G Kevin Dotson: 66.2 (49 snaps)

Bottom 5 (regardless of position)

TE Eric Ebron: 56.5 (28 snaps)
RB Benny Snell Jr.: 56.1 (8 snaps)
WR JuJu Smith-Schuster: 52.8 (57 snaps)
QB Ben Roethlisberger: 52.3 (60 snaps)
OT Dan Moore Jr.: 49.3 (60 snaps)


Quarterback

QB Ben Roethlisberger: 52.3 (60 snaps)

Despite a poor performance in Week 3, PFF had Roethlisberger rightfully dropping another five points for his much-to-be-desired performance in Week 4. Surprisingly, Roethlisberger’s 52.3 score is not the lowest of the season as he did have a 38.0 against Buffalo.

Running Backs

RB Najee Harris: 76.7 (48 snaps)
FB Derek Watt: 60.0 (2 snaps)
RB Kalen Ballage: 59.2 (4 snaps)
RB Benny Snell Jr.: 56.1 (8 snaps)

Najee Harris saw his best score of his young NFL career and was the second-highest overall for the team on offense. It was the first time in his career Harris had a score over 70 as both a passing grade and a running grade which helped lead to his 76.7 overall. The scores of the other running backs were inconsequential, although it was interesting to see Bellage on the field on offense for the first time this season. After getting more involvement in Week 3, Derek Watt saw his snaps fall back to the typical amount in Week 4.

Receivers

WR James Washington: 71.2 (49 snaps)
WR Diontae Johnson: 69.4 (55 snaps)
TE Zach Gentry: 61.4 (11 snaps)
WR Ray-Ray McCloud: 60 (4 snaps)
TE Pat Freiermuth: 59.3 (32 snaps)
WR Cody White: 57.3 (2 snaps)
TE Eric Ebron: 56.5 (28 snaps)
WR JuJu Smith-Schuster: 52.8 (57 snaps)

Seeing James Washington step up to have the top score of this group was comforting as he saw an increased number of snaps a second straight week, this time due to the absence of Chase Claypool. More concerning than the players at the top of the list was seeing JuJu Smith-Schuster landing at the bottom. Going into this week, Pat Freiermuth had the Steelers highest overall grade for the season, but was only targeted one time in the game. Now the top offensive grade for the entire season belongs to Diontae Johnson with a 72.4 overall.

Offensive Line

C Kendrick Green: 77.2 (60 snaps)
G Kevin Dotson: 66.2 (49 snaps)
G Trai Turner: 64.6 (60 snaps)
OT Joe Haeg: 63.9 (60 snaps)
C B.J. Finney: 63.5 (11 snaps)
OT Dan Moore Jr.: 49.3 (60 snaps)

I have to admit, it’s very encouraging to see Kendrick Green on the top of the list for the offensive line and the entire Steelers offense. It was also nice to see Kevin Dotson rising up more were many fans expected him to be with his highest score of the season despite missing the final 11 snaps with a hip flexor. Joe Haeg seemed to be an adequate replacement for Chuks Okorafor and scored much better than the Steelers regular starting right tackle has in the first three games. Rookie Dan Moore Jr. continues to struggle at left tackle, and it will be interesting to see if the Steelers keep with him if they have more options health-wise as the season goes on.


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.