Steelers safety Shamarko Thomas saw the makings of a quick swing pass to the defensive right side Saturday night. He identified it, busted over from his lurching spot over the tight end, sized up the receiver and belted him, legally, just after he caught the ball. It was one of the better individual plays of the Steelers' 19-16 win over Buffalo Saturday, and one of the highlights of a great preseason for the Steelers' back-up safety.
Pro Football Focus, a play evaluation web site, agreed, more or less, giving Thomas a 2.4 grade on 34 plays in the game.
Rookie linebacker Ryan Shazier had nine tackles on defense and an interception in the game, and received a 0.5 mark.
Oddly enough, the site gave cornerback Ike Taylor a 1.1 grade, and without any research, we believe it's the first time in his entire career he's been graded positively by the site.
Rookie defensive lineman Dan McCullers, a candidate for the Steelers' Redman Award for training camp and hype excellence, received a -3.1 score, lowest among Steelers defenders. Eight of the Steelers' 11 defensive starters received negative grades.
Offensively, back-up guard Chris Hubbard's 1.3 grade led all players, topping quarterback Ben Roethlisberger's 1.1. They were the only two players to score better than 1.0 - Antonio Brown and Marcus Gilbert each had that score.
Quarterback Landry Jones had the lowest mark on offense, coming in at -2.8.