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Joe Haden tops Steelers defensive Week 10 Pro Football Focus grades in limited action

In the grades provided by PFF, Joe Haden had the Steelers best score before exiting the game after nine snaps.

NFL: OCT 17 Seahawks at Steelers Photo by Shelley Lipton/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

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 scores 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 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 71 snaps on defense in Week 10.


Overall

Top 5 (regardless of position)

CB Joe Haden: 90.3 (9 snaps)
CB James Pierre: 87.3 (53 snaps)
DT Cam Heyward: 84.7 (67 snaps)
OLB T.J. Watt: 82.2 (33 snaps)
CB Tre Norwood: 72.1 (28 snaps)

Bottom 5 (regardless of position)

DT Isaiah Buggs: 56.4 (42 snaps)
ILB Joe Schobert: 50.9 (68 snaps)
ILB Devin Bush: 41.1 (68 snaps)
OLB Derrek Tuszka: 40.0 (21 snaps)
S Miles Killebrew: 33.5 (11 snaps)


Defensive Front Seven

DT Cam Heyward: 84.7 (67 snaps)
OLB T.J. Watt: 82.2 (33 snaps)
DT Isaiahh Loudermilk: 68.0 (25 snaps)
OLB Alex Highsmith: 66.8 (66 snaps)
DT Chris Wormley: 66.6 (43 snaps)
DT Henry Mondeaux: 58.5 (6 snaps)
OLB Taco Charlton: 57.8 (23 snaps)
DT Isaiah Buggs: 56.4 (42 snaps)
OLB Derrek Tuszka: 40.0 (21 snaps)

The top two names on the list are once again no surprise, with the only concerning issue being the low number snaps for T.J. Watt as he left the game with an injured knee/hip. Rookie Isaiahh Loudermilk almost cracked the top five for the team as he saw his most snaps of the season. The most concerning thing about this list are the two outside linebackers being towards the bottom, especially if T.J. Watt misses time due to his injury.

Inside Linebackers

ILB Robert Spillane: 61.3 (3 snaps)
ILB Joe Schobert: 50.9 (68 snaps)
ILB Devin Bush: 41.1 (68 snaps)

Although the order of this list did not change, the disparity between the players did. Every player’s score went down from the previous week, but it was Bush falling more than the others. While it was curious to see Robert Spillane only get three snaps, the fact the Lions couldn’t pass the ball and were no real threat made for the game playing out in that manner. That is, unless the Steelers decide they want to work him in otherwise. The bottom line is inside linebackers did not have a good showing in Week 10.

Defensive Backs

CB Joe Haden: 90.3 (9 snaps)
CB James Pierre: 87.3 (53 snaps)
CB Tre Norwood: 72.1 (28 snaps)
S Minkah Fitzpatrick: 69.8 (70 snaps)
CB Cam Sutton: 63.3 (71 snaps)
S Terrell Edmunds: 61.1 (71 snaps)
CB Arthur Maulet: 61.0 (2 snaps)
CB Justin Layne: 60.0 (1 snap)
S Miles Killebrew: 33.5 (11 snaps)

The good news is Joe Haden saw his highest PFF score since Week 12 of the 2020 season. The bad news is it came on only nine snaps as he left the game injured in the first quarter. Turning it around with some good news, his replacement had the second-highest total score on the team and didn’t show much of a drop off in play as James Pierre registered his highest PFF score of his career in a regular season game. And even though he didn’t get into the top five for the Steelers this week, Minkah Fitzpatrick had his highest score of the season. In terms of the secondary, every player but one finished at or above the standard 60.0 score and which PFF starts out. And as for the two names on the bottom of the list, they had to be added as they did not even see snaps the previous week.


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.