There was a lot of good in the Pittsburgh Steelers 38-35 win over the Oakland Raiders, but there was also a lot of bad on the defensive side of the football. As we take a look back at the past game, with some help from our friends at Pro Football Focus, there are some statistics which could certainly become trends for the black and gold moving forward.
Wide receiver Antonio Brown earned each of his 17 receptions from 23 targets. He had eight catches against both David Amerson and D.J. Hayden. What might be the most staggering is the fact that 115 of his 284 yards came after the catch.
The offensive line struggled all the way around. Left tackle, Alejandro Villanueva had a poor game, grading at -6.3. He surrendered one hit, one hurry and four hurries along with a -2.1 run blocking grade. The only sack surrendered on Ben Roethlisberger in the game came on Villanueva's watch. It was the same hit which saw Roethlisberger injuring his foot and leaving the game.
Center Cody Wallace earned his lowest grade of the season at -7.7. His -4.0 run blocking grade was worst on the team, and he allowed four hurries and committed two penalties. Not a good outing for the backup center.
Roethlisberger was blitzed on 20 of his 45 dropbacks in the game Sunday. 252 of his 334 (75.4%) passing yards came on the 25 plays that Oakland did not bring extra rushers. This is clearly a reflection of both the offensive line, as well as the offense's ability to handle the Oakland pass rush.
Antwon Blake struggled immensely against Derek Carr and company, allowing nine catches for 107 yards (6 catches and 79 yards to Amari Cooper) while missing a staggering five tackles on the day.
Pittsburgh struggled to get to the quarterback. In fact, Mike Mitchell recorded the Steelers' only hit on Derek Carr, though Cameron Heyward and Arthur Moats chimed in with four and five hurries, respectively, but they failed to pressure Carr with any consistency throughout the game.
Inside linebacker Ryan Shazier's -5.3 grade was the lowest of his career, the bulk of which came from his -5.2 run defense grade. He has now missed ten tackles in five games this season, a glaring weakness for the dynamic 2014 first round draft pick.
At -3.2, rookie outside linebacker Bud Dupree had little impact, grading in the red both in run defense and as a pass rusher while also drawing a flag. The saving grace for Dupree was he wasn't the only one ineffective in getting pressure on the quarterback, as the Steelers failed to register a sack through 4 quarters.
The Steelers will look to improve in many aspects of their game heading into their Week 10 game against the Cleveland Browns, but when looking back at the statistics it is hard to believe the Steelers were able to come away with a victory considering how poorly so many played.