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Mason Rudolph in the top of Steelers offensive Pro Football Focus grades in Week 10

In the grades provided by PFF, the Steelers backup quarterback had the third-highest score on the offensive side of the ball.

NFL: Detroit Lions at Pittsburgh Steelers Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers broke their four-game winning streak in Week 10 as they played to a draw against the winless Detroit Lions. After marching down the field for an opening touchdown, the Steelers offense wasn’t able to find the end zone for the remaining 65 minutes of game time. As for the defense, they surrendered the majority of yards, as well as all of the Lions points, on three consecutive drives in the second and third quarters which was enough for Detroit to squeeze out the tie.

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 10 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 86 snaps on offense in Week 10. Despite the Steelers only running 81 official plays, PFF scores plays that were nullified by penalties.


Overall

Top 5 (regardless of position)

FB Derek Watt: 91.8 (6 snaps)
G Kevin Dotson: 77.8 (32 snaps)
QB Mason Rudolph: 71.4 (86 snaps)
G Joe Haeg: 68.6 (36 snaps)
RB Najee Harris: 65.3 (75 snaps)

Bottom 5 (regardless of position)

OT Dan Moore Jr.: 50.0 (86 snaps)
WR James Washington: 47.3 (75 snaps)
TE Zach Gentry: 44.0 (30 snaps)
RB Kalen Ballage: 41.9 (5 snaps)
TE Pat Freiermuth: 37.7 (54 snaps)


Quarterback

QB Mason Rudolph: 71.4 (86 snaps)

If you are someone who is a fan of PFF grades but have already made up your mind about Mason Rudolph not being a good quarterback, your head is probably about to explode. I’ve said it many times of people have made up their mind about Rudolph regardless of how he plays on the field. Was he great on Sunday? No. Was he terrible? No. And with his PFF score, Rudolph ranks higher than all but two of Ben Roethlisberger‘s games this season. So what caused the Steelers quarterback to land in the top five scores this week? I would have to say it was a 74.9 running score as Rudolph contributed 36 rushing yards on four attempts.

Running Backs

FB Derek Watt: 91.8 (6 snaps)
RB Najee Harris: 65.3 (75 snaps)
RB Benny Snell Jr.: 53.5 (6 snaps)
RB Kalen Ballage: 41.9 (5 snaps)

Grabbing the top spot on the Steelers offense this week was fullback Derek Watt in his six snaps played on offense. While he had a run blocking score of 70.2, it was Watt’s 90.4 passing plays score where he had one reception for 9 yards. The other thing that was interesting with the list is that it was the exact same order as it was last week. The biggest difference was the separation between players, most notably a much larger drop off after Najee Harris.

Receivers

WR Ray-Ray McCloud: 64.8 (60 snaps)
WR Steven Sims: 60.8 (5 snaps)
WR Cody White: 56.8 (12 snaps)
WR Diontae Johnson: 56.3 (74 snaps)
TE Eric Ebron: 56.1 (28 snaps)
WR James Washington: 47.3 (75 snaps)
TE Zach Gentry: 44.0 (30 snaps)
TE Pat Freiermuth: 37.7 (54 snaps)

It was the first time all season the Steelers did not have a tight end or wide receiver in the top five scores for the offense. Not only that, the Steelers top PFF grade on offense for the season going into Week 10, Pat Freiermuth, was the bottom man on the team this week. While Freiermuth still scored solidly in run blocking and pass blocking, it was his 33.4 passing plays score which tanked his grade. As for the players at the top of the list, the second and third receivers of Steven Sims and Cody White played limited snaps and did not have a target yet still landed towards the top of the list based on their other contributions. Or maybe they didn’t have as much of a chance to screw up as other receivers did.

Offensive Line

G Kevin Dotson: 77.8 (32 snaps)
G Joe Haeg: 68.6 (36 snaps)
G Trai Turner: 56.1 (50 snaps)
OT Chuks Okorafor: 55.9 (86 snaps)
C Kendrick Green: 52.9 (86 snaps)
G J.C. Hassenauer: 52.7 (54 snaps)
OT Dan Moore Jr.: 50.0 (86 snaps)

Before leaving due to injury, Kevin Dotson was having the best game of his 2021 season according to PFF. Other than Dotson’s grade standing out, along with Joe Haeg filling in at gaurd and scoring well, the most notable thing with the offensive linemen might be that every player scored above a 50 this week. Then again, the Lions defensive line is not known to instill fear in many teams around the NFL. So depending on how you want to view this one, you could probably come up with an argument either way.


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.