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Steelers offensive Pro Football Focus grades in Week 15 are nothing to write home about

In the grades provided by PFF, not many players scored above average.

Tennessee Titans v Pittsburgh Steelers Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers started the final quarter of the season on the right foot as they gutted out a 19–13 victory over the Tennessee Titans. While they were still plenty of warts which need addressed with the 2021 Steelers, being able to pull out a victory in a game that had a number of problems and against equality opponents is what puts teams in playoff contention rather than looking toward next season. With the offense unable to move the ball, it was the Steelers defense coming up with big plays and keeping the Titans off the scoreboard the entire second half.

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 15 performance. These scores are just from Thursday’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 (expect for Minkah Fitzpatrick who played one snap in victory formation) and the total snap counts for each player will be included. For reference sake, the Steelers played only 49 snaps on offense in Week 15.


Overall

Top 5 (regardless of position)

TE Pat Freiermuth: 73.3 (22 snaps)
OT Dan Moore Jr.: 70.4 (49 snaps)
OT Chuks Okorafor: 65.5 (49 snaps)
WR Diontae Johnson: 63.2 (48 snaps)
FB Derek Watt: 60.2 (6 snaps)

Bottom 5 (regardless of position)

RB Najee Harris: 53.9 (49 snaps)
WR Ray-Ray McCloud: 53.1 (33 snaps)
C Kendrick Green: 52.9 (49 snaps)
QB Ben Roethlisberger: 51.8 (49 snaps)
WR Chase Claypool: 49.5 (31 snaps)


Quarterback

QB Ben Roethlisberger: 51.8 (49 snaps)

I’m not surprised by Roethlisberger’s score as the Steelers offense goes as Roethlisberger goes for the most part. Since the offense struggled on Sunday, I would expect the quarterback’s score to reflect it. But the one thing Roethlisberger did extremely well was take care of the football as the Steelers had no turnovers.

Running Backs

FB Derek Watt: 60.2 (6 snaps)
RB Najee Harris: 53.9 (49 snaps)

We all knew that the Steelers running game struggled against the Titans and their quality run-stopping defense. I don’t know if it was really all Najee Harris, but PFF scored him where he was in the bottom five for the offense. It should also be noted that there were only 14 players who saw snaps on offense, so it’s a very small group that’s not in the top five or bottom five. So much so, Derek Watt’s 60.2 score landed him in the top five.

Receivers

TE Pat Freiermuth: 73.3 (22 snaps)
WR Diontae Johnson: 63.2 (48 snaps)
WR James Washington: 58.1 (17 snaps)
TE Zach Gentry: 55.8 (37 snaps)
WR Ray-Ray McCloud: 53.1 (33 snaps)
WR Chase Claypool: 49.5 (31 snaps)

Pat Freiermuth was coming through in a big way for the Steelers before he left the game after he went in the concussion protocol. Diontae Johnson continues to be a solid performer in the receiving group, and both Freiermuth and Johnson caught every pass thrown their way. Chase Claypool ended up at the bottom of the offense as he struggled on the field this week like he struggled after the whistle last Thursday.

Offensive Line

OT Dan Moore Jr.: 70.4 (49 snaps)
OT Chuks Okorafor: 65.5 (49 snaps)
OT Zach Banner: 60.0 (1 snap)
G Trai Turner: 60.0 (49 snaps)
G John Leglue: 54.2 (49 snaps)
C Kendrick Green: 52.9 (49 snaps)

For the last two games, the Steelers offensive tackles have scored well according to PFF. Dan Moore Jr. had a more balanced grade with a 71.0 pass blocking score and a 67.1 run blocking score. As for Chuks Okorafor, he was a stand-out pass blocker with an 82.3 score while only having a 61.3 run blocking score. Chuks did not have the best pass blocking score on the team as that belonged to John Leglue with an 86.3, but a lower run blocking score of 50.2 dropped him farther down the list. Even though I took Minkah Fitzpatrick out for his one snap in victory formation, I left Zach Banner in because he is actually an offensive player but it was his only action of the game on offense. Center Kendrick Green once again came in at the bottom of the list, mainly due to a 46.5 a run blocking grade.


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.