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T.J. Watt towards the bottom of the Steelers defensive Pro Football Focus grades

In the grades provided by PFF, Watt apparently had his worst game in three seasons.

Pittsburgh Steelers v Green Bay Packers Photo by Stacy Revere/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 their 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. Next up is the defense. 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 72 snaps on defense in Week 4.


Overall

Top 5 (regardless of position)

DT Chris Wormley: 90.3 (56 snaps)
OLB Melvin Ingram III: 83.6 (35 snaps)
ILB Joe Schobert: 71.6 (69 snaps)
DT Cam Heyward: 68.4 (57 snaps)
CB Tre Norwood: 67.6 (10 snaps)

Bottom 5 (regardless of position)

ILB Devin Bush: 49.3 (65 snaps)
CB Joe Haden: 46.3 (72 snaps)
OLB T.J. Watt: 42.9 (61 snaps)
DT Henry Mondeaux: 39.0 (12 snaps)
CB Cam Sutton: 32.4 (64 snaps)


Defensive Front Seven

DT Chris Wormley: 90.3 (56 snaps)
OLB Melvin Ingram III: 83.6 (35 snaps)
DT Cam Heyward: 68.4 (57 snaps)
DT Isaiah Buggs: 63.0 (34 snaps)
DT Isaiahh Loudermilk: 62.9 (17 snaps)
OLB Derrek Tuszka: 57.9 (8 snaps)
OLB Alex Highsmith: 52.4 (40 snaps)
OLB T.J. Watt: 42.9 (61 snaps)
DT Henry Mondeaux: 39.0 (12 snaps)

It might surprise some Steelers’ fans who have been down on Wormley this season that he had the highest grade for the Steelers on either side of the ball in Week 4. Cam Heyward did not score as high as normal, but was still towards the top of the team and is still the highest graded defender in the NFL through the first four games. As for T.J. Watt’s score of 42.9 coming off of his injury, it was his lowest grade in a game since Week 3 of 2018.

Inside Linebackers

ILB Joe Schobert: 71.6 (69 snaps)
ILB Devin Bush: 49.3 (65 snaps)

Both inside linebackers saw an increase in their score from the previous week, but it was Schobert who had a huge jump. Despite having some inconsistency in coverage, Schobert scored higher with his run defense and had his highest overall score since joining the Steelers.

Defensive Backs

CB Tre Norwood: 67.6 (10 snaps)
S Terrell Edmunds: 66.8 (72 snaps)
CB Arthur Maulet: 64.5 (29 snaps)
S Minkah Fitzpatrick: 61.6 (72 snaps)
CB James Pierre: 55.6 (18 snaps)
CB Joe Haden: 46.3 (72 snaps)
CB Cam Sutton: 32.4 (64 snaps)

In what is becoming too much of a trend, one starter in the Steelers secondary has been scoring in the 30s every week. With Minkah Fitzpatrick getting a much higher score this week (notice I said ‘score’ and not necessarily that he was playing poorly before), it was Cam Sutton who fell off a cliff to the bottom of the rankings. On a positive note, the Steelers are getting some higher scores from sub package players like Tre Norwood and Arthur Maulet.


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.