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Who graded out well for the Steelers offense in preseason Week 1 vs. the Eagles

Checking in on the PFF grades for the Steelers’ offensive players in the second preseason game vs. the Eagles.

Pittsburgh Steelers v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers were victorious in their second preseason action vs. the Philadelphia Eagles. The 24-16 final score could have been even more had the Steelers not chose to take a knee on the Eagles’ four-yard line with just over a minute left. But with the Steelers already running more than 50 offensive plays in the second half, they had seen enough and were ready to get back to Pittsburgh.

But how did these players grade out?

To get a better grasp on the individual performances by the Steelers, we turn to Pro Football Focus (PFF) to see their individual grades. Before going any further, it’s time for the disclaimer as we are all aware many fans cannot stand PFF’s grading system. It is up to each individual as to how much they trust the process which goes into PFF grades, but we will report on the grades for you to make the decision.

Nonetheless, even if you don’t like PFF it does give a baseline to allow fans to see who played well, and who might have been “below the line”, as Mike Tomlin would put it.

Below are the grades for the Pittsburgh Steelers’ offense from their preseason Week 1 game vs. the Philadelphia Eagles last Thursday night. For reference sake, the Steelers played 83 offensive snaps including three kneel downs. Since all the players were listed on defense regardless of the number of snaps played, we’ll give the offense the same treatment even though they had over 30 snaps more to work with.


Overall

Top 5 (regardless of position)

G Kevin Dotson: 94.5 (50 snaps)
RB Pete Gurriero: 85.6 (9 snaps)
G Brandon Walton: 83.5 (18 snaps)
QB Mason Rudolph: 81.9 (17 snaps)
WR Cody White: 81.8 (24 snaps)

Bottom 5 (regardless of position, including the tie)

QB Josh Dobbs: 51.5 (18 snaps)
G Trai Turner: 51.5 (20 snaps)
OT Aviante Collins: 47.5 (18 snaps)
TE Marcus Baugh: 43.7 (11 snaps)
TE Pat Freiermuth: 43.3 (32 snaps)
OT Chuks Okorafor: 42.6 (20 snaps)

Quarterbacks

QB Mason Rudolph: 81.9 (17 snaps)
QB Dwayne Haskins: 80.5 (48 snaps)
QB Josh Dobbs: 51.5 (18 snaps)

Although Steelers’ fans have a tendency to see what they want to see in regards of the quarterbacks, there has been no mistaking the fact that Mason Rudolph has not led the Steelers on a scoring drive yet in the 2021 preseason. But looking at each individual play and scoring them equally, Rudolph continues to be the highest-rated quarterback on the Steelers both weeks of the preseason. While all three scores were close last week, Josh Dobbs comes in while behind Dwayne Haskins based on Week 2.

Running Backs & Receivers

RB Pete Gurriero: 85.6 (9 snaps)
WR Cody White: 81.8 (24 snaps)
RB Trey Edmunds: 77.9 (8 snaps)
WR Rico Bussey: 75.7 (45 snaps)
WR Diontae Johnson: 75.6 (17 snaps)
WR Anthony Johnson: 71.4 (21 snaps)
WR JuJu Smith-Schuster: 70.7 (15 snaps)
RB Najee Harris: 70.6 (12 snaps)
TE Eric Ebron: 65.3 (14 snaps)
TE Kevin Rader: 64.8 (26 snaps)
RB Anthony McFarland: 63.1 (21 snaps)
RB Tony Brooks-James: 61.6 (19 snaps)
RB Jaylen Samuels: 60.3 (22 snaps)
RB Derek Watt: 55.6 (5 snaps)
WR Isaiah McKoy: 54.8 (45 snaps)
TE Zach Gentry: 54.4 (25 snaps)
WR Matthew Sexton: 54.3 (15 snaps)
WR Chase Claypool: 53.3 (14 snaps)
WR Tyler Simmons: 52.7 (15 snaps)
TE Marcus Baugh: 43.7 (11 snaps)
TE Pat Freiermuth: 43.3 (32 snaps)

There is a lot to digest here. Although Pat Freiermuth ended up on the bottom of the list, his play improved as the game progressed, particularly his blocking. With scores and snap counts all over the place, it’s difficult to draw one large overall conclusion. Both Cody White and Rico Bussey had nice scores with a higher number of snaps played which shows how both players are doing all they can to try to squeeze onto the 53-man roster come September.

Offensive Line

G Kevin Dotson: 94.5 (50 snaps)
G Brandon Walton: 83.5 (18 snaps)
OT Dan Moore Jr.: 80.0 (45 snaps)
G B.J. Finney: 79.9 (48 snaps)
C J.C. Hassenauer: 76.6 (45 snaps)
OT Chaz Green: 76.0 (52 snaps)
OT Joe Haeg: 74.6 (31 snaps)
C Kendrick Green: 72.6 (20 snaps)
G Malcolm Pridgeon: 70.9 (15 snaps)
C John Leglue: 64.5 (25 snaps)
G Rashaad Coward: 59.4 (15 snaps)
G Trai Turner: 51.5 (20 snaps)
OT Aviante Collins: 47.5 (18 snaps)
OT Chuks Okorafor: 42.6 (20 snaps)

it’s interesting how the Steelers second-highest graded lineman was released on Tuesday and already claimed off waivers for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. As I have already outlined the outstanding performance of Kevin Dodson in a separate article, the biggest takeaway is the overall high scores among the group. The other unfortunate takeaway is how three players who started the game were in the bottom four scores.


So, what do you think of the above grades? Were they close, or way off? Let us know your thoughts on the Steelers’ offensive grades in the comments below.