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- My opinion of their opinion: Breaking down the Steelers PFF scores from Week 10
My opinion of their opinion: Breaking down the Steelers PFF scores from Week 10
Earlier this season I decided to switch up how I report the grades by Pro Football Focus (PFF) because of some of the absurdity of their findings. Since it seemed to be the most receptive approach, I decided to make this a weekly thing where I give my opinion of the PFF scores.
As always has to be the case when PFF is mentioned, the disclaimer is these grades are subjective and merely the opinion of those doing the evaluation. While PFF looks at every player on every snap, they are still simply forming an opinion of what they believe that player was supposed to be doing that play in order to determine if they were successful or not.
So here are my overall impressions of the scores from the Steelers Week 10 win over the Packers with my grade of PFF at the end.
I’ll start off talking about some of the numbers that make sense before I get into the ones that really don’t. Even after PFF changed some of the grades later on Tuesday, they still had a lot of questionable scores. James Daniels had the top score on offense for the Steelers with a 75.4 overall. Daniels was tied for the top pass blocking score of 82.3 with Isaac Seumalo and had the top run blocking score of 69.7. There will be more on these blocking scores later.
The next highest score was Jaylen Warren with a 73.1 based on an 83.8 running score. Warren had a 40.3 passing score which brought down his overall grade as well as an 18.0 pass blocking score on one pass blocking snap.
The only other player above a 70.0 on the offense was George Pickens with a 72.2 based on a team high 71.8 passing score.
Kenny Pickett had a middle-of-the-road score of 57.3 based on a 54.5 passing score and a 64.0 running score. This was Pickett’s first game below was 60.0 since Week 4 against Houston and was his the lowest score since Week 2 against Cleveland. For this week, I think his score was accurate.
Now let’s talk about some of the crazy stuff…
While Jaylen Warren had an 83.8 running score (which was originally 87.4 before it was changed later in the day), Najee Harris ended up with a 59.8 as part of his 60.1 overall score. With Harris rushing for 82 yards and a 5.1 average, I’m not sure why he was given a mark that was below the line.
Something else that does not pass the eye test was that only three members of the offensive line had scores that were above 60.0 in run blocking and they weren’t overly high. Behind Daniels, Mason Cole had a 69.0 run blocking score and Isaac Seumalo had a 63.7. But with the lowest run blocking score on the offense, Broderick Jones had only a 54.0 (up from the original 51.6 he was given) along with a 53.7 pass blocking score for a 55.3 overall score. Were they watching the same game we were?
On a day where the Pittsburgh Steelers rushed for over 200 yards and one of the two running backs had a score that was below the line, how did this happen if the run blocking grades were so average? The numbers simply don’t add up.
Additionally, the eye test tells you that the Steelers did not have the same level of pass blocking as they did run blocking. But according to PFF, they had four players whose run blocking scores were either tied or above the top run blocking score of 69.7 (Daniels, Seumalo, Heyward, and Moore) and one player (Washington) that was 0.1 behind the top run blocking score. Other than the poor score by Jaylen Warren, Mason Cole had a terrible pass blocking score of 22.6. But was the Steelers pass blocking head and shoulders above the run blocking?
Whether it was Jones, Washington, or even Isaac Seumalo only pulling a 63.7 run blocking score, having those scores based on the Steelers performance is head scratching.
As crazy as the offensive scores were, the defensive numbers also had some interesting anomalies. Isaiahh Loudermilk had the top score of 85.6 based on his eight snaps based on an 82.4 run defense score and a 54.9 pass rushing score.
T.J. Watt was next in line as PFF had him with eight pressures and an 80.7 overall score. It was Watt’s 75.8 run defense compared to his 71.1 pass rush that helped bring his score up.
There were four players who had overall scores in the 70 in Armon Watts (76.7), Elijah Riley (75.7), Patrick Peterson (74.9), and Alex Highsmith (71.3). Riley had the second highest coverage score of 76.0 only behind Highsmith’s 77.2. The only other coverage score in the 70s was Patrick Peterson with a 71.7. Peterson also had the top special team score of 94.0 with his blocked extra point.
Despite being the two players who had interceptions in the game, Damontae Kazee and Keanu Neal tied for the lowest overall score with a 44.9. But the biggest head-scratcher to me was that the next lowest score went to Keeanu Benton with a 46.6 overall based on a 30.6 running score and a 65.4 pass rushing score. My eye test told me he was one of the best defenders in the field so I don’t know what PFF was looking at.
Another score I didn’t understand was Elandon Roberts with a 49.2 overall score and with a 43.4 run defense score as his lowest of the individual categories. This does not match the plays I was watching him make.
I really don’t understand the scores this week. Broderick Jones was the worst offense of lineman for the Steelers? Keeanu Benton was the worst defensive lineman for the Steelers? No way either of those things match what anyone with any kind of football knowledge saw when watching that game if you paid attention to either player. And how do the Steelers run the ball the way they did if one of their two running backs wasn’t running well and the offensive line wasn’t run blocking well?
This was an easy grade this week as the scores were embarrassing. I guess with the Steelers being one of many games that happened at the same time and playing a team with a losing record they didn’t get quality graders, if PFF even has such a thing.
My grade of this week’s PFF scores: F