The Pittsburgh Steelers were fortunate to escape St. Louis with a victory over the Rams Sunday in Week 3 NFL action, and it took every player on the team's roster to attain their first back-to-back victory of the 2015 season. There were positives and negatives to investigate following the game, and Pro Football Focus provides individual gradesfor each player. Time to take a look at who graded in the green (positive) and in the red (negative).
On the offensive side of the ball, it was Le'Veon Bell who grade the highest with a +3.1 grade, and that was all due to his superb pass-catching skills. Bell graded +2.8 within the passing game. In fact, Bell was the next most targeted receiver, catching all seven balls tossed his way for 70 yards. Ben Roethlisberger was second among the offensive players with a +3.0 grade despite leaving early due to injury. Roethlisberger was able to spread the football around, but Roethlisberger had his most success in the middle of the field, going 13 of 14 for 144 yards on passes aimed between the numbers.
For the offensive line, it was a rough day at the office. Every lineman except Ramon Foster and Marcus Gilbert were given a negative grade following the Rams game. Kelvin Beachum (-2.6), David DeCastro (-1.9), Cody Wallace (-3.3) rounded out a less than stellar day for the line. Run blocking was an issue as all starters except for Ramon Foster graded at -1.5 or below for their run blocking against the Rams.
On the defensive side of the ball it was Stephon Tuitt who was the Steeler's highest graded defensive player (+2.1), with most of that grade coming from his work rushing the passer. He was credited with one sack and one hurry, though was unlucky enough to have a hit negated by penalty in the fourth quarter. Other than Tuitt, Will Allen earned the highest coverage grade for the Steelers at +2.0, and he tied for the team lead with four defensive stops. He allowed five catches, but only surrendered 39 yards on those catches and notched an interception.
On the down side of the defense it was Cameron Heyward who had a rare poor showing, and his -3.5 grade is the lowest he's had since Week 2 of last season. He was blanked as a pass rusher (no hurries, hits or sacks) for only the second time since the start of 2013.
Other notable negatives on the defensive side of the ball were Jarvis Jones (-2.4), Bud Dupree (-1.9), Antwon Blake (-1.6) and James Harrison (-1.2).
The Steelers will look to improve on those grades with a quick turnaround against the Baltimore Ravens on Thursday Night Football in Week 4 action.