Despite the outcome of the Pittsburgh Steelers loss to the Baltimore Ravens in Week 4, there were plenty of positives to take away from the game. One loss does not define a season, but you can certainly see trends from individuals in terms of their grades following their latest game action on Thursday Night Football.
As always, we take a look at Pro Football Focus' grades of the Steelers from an individual perspective to see where the weak links might be,m as well as the strengths of the group moving forward.
On the offensive side of the ball,Cody Wallace was the only offensive player for Pittsburgh with a grade below -1. His -5.2 came mostly for his run blocking, which was at -4.7. Wallace has been pushed around in run blocking, and re-watching the game shows just how much the team misses Maurkice Pouncey in the middle of their offensive line.
In terms of pass protection, Kelvin Beachum was perfect in pass protection, and has now given up just one pressure (a sack) over the last three weeks. A positive sign for a player in a contract year. Other offensive notes for the game were Le'Veon Bell forced nine missed tackles on his 22 rushing attempts, and he recorded 75-percent (97 out of 129) of his yardage after first contact. Also, Michael Vick looked to target Ravens' CB Lardarius Webb early and often. Ten of Vick's 19 completions came on passes thrown at Webb. He went 10/10 for 72 yards and a touchdown when targeting Webb in coverage.
On the defensive side of the ball it was Cameron Heyward who had the highest graded game of his career at +7.4. He led the team with six defensive stops and four pressures. However, despite Heyward's solid grade in this game, the team's run defense gave up large numbers to Justin Forsett. Both Sean Spence and Lawrence Timmons graded negatively in run defense with both missing a pair of tackles.
In pass defense, Antwon Blake graded negatively for the fourth straight game. He allowed six completions for 76 yards, and has so far allowed over 200 receiving yards this year and missed five tackles. A positive sign for the pass defense has been the play of Mike Mitchell. Mitchell graded positively in coverage (+2.0) for the third time this year, and has yet to allow a completion into his primary coverage.
The Steelers will have an extended break to review where they might improve, personnel which could be changed and ultimately to be prepared to face the San Diego Chargers on Monday Night Football in Week 5.