Ed. note: PFF rankings vary considerably from the site's first review of the game and a more in-depth second viewing coming later in the week. We compile these write-ups with a knee-jerk reaction in mind
That was more the David DeCastro Steelers fans got used to last season. The Steelers' third-year right guard had an outstanding performance against Jacksonville in Week 5, notching an initial grade of 4.2, the highest of any player on either team.
A second viewing of the game supports such a positive grade for DeCastro, whether it's literally 4.2 is irrelevant, he was the Steelers' best offensive lineman in this game, and naming him the best offensive player isn't a stretch either.
We placed left tackle Kelvin Beachum and left guard guard Ramon Foster on the initial Losers list, and PFF gave them a 2.6 and a 0.7, respectively. The Losers tab for either of them may have been a bit premature after having watched it again, but we expect those grades to go down a bit. Overall, we agree with PFF, the Steelers offensive line played well in this game.
Defensively, strong safety Troy Polamalu had a solid game, even if it was quiet. He earned an initial grade of 2.2 to lead the defense. Jason Worilds had a very strong game and PFF gave him a 2.0. Cornerback Cortez Allen, four-time member of the Losers list this season, had easily his best game of the year, notching a 1.2 from PFF.
Tight end Heath Miller had his highest grade of the season, getting a 2.7 after four consecutive weeks below 0.0. Markus Wheaton (-1.7) was the only offensive player to fall below -1.0 on the offensive side of the ball. Defensive end Cam Thomas earned the lowest grade among the group at -3.7, and we feel that's probably around where he'll finish upon PFF's deeper dive. He was moved around consistently and should have been on our Losers list.