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- My opinion of their opinion: Breaking down the Steelers PFF scores from Week 11
My opinion of their opinion: Breaking down the Steelers PFF scores from Week 11
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 11 loss to the Browns with my grade of PFF at the end.
Despite the offense struggling severely on Sunday, there were several outstanding scores. Jaylen Warren not only led the Steelers offensive scores, he had the highest overall offensive score in the league for Week 11 excluding the Monday night game. Warren‘s 93.2 overall score was based on a 92.4 running score and a 76.9 passing score.
The second-highest score on the offense belonged to James Daniels with a 72.4 overall. With a slightly above average run blocking score of 63.8, what brought up Daniel’s score was an 88.8 pass blocking grade which was the second-highest among offensive lineman this week and the highest of any guard. I have to admit, I was keeping an eye more on problems in the pass protection and therefore didn’t see where Daniels stood out as being outstanding simply because I was trying to find the problems.
The only other overall scores that were above a 70.0 on the offense were Najee Harris with a 71.7 and Mason Cole with a 70.3. Harris had his score based on a 71.4 running score and an 84.3 pass blocking grade which was the third highest among running backs this week. As for Mason Cole, he had a 74.5 run blocking grade but a 53.1 pass blocking grade which I felt was quite generous.
So where were the problems with the Steelers pass blocking? The low scores on the offensive line came from Isaac Seumalo (42.0) and Dan Moore (18.8) in pass blocking scores. Moore had the lowest overall score on the offense with a 36.0.
For those who are curious, Kenny Pickett had a 52.5 overall score with a 51.4 passing score in a 66.9 running score. Ahead of Monday night’s game, Pickett ranked 26th of 31 quarterbacks with his passing grade. Pickett’s overall score was even lower than last week and was his second lowest of the season with both bottom scores of 2023 coming against the Cleveland Browns.
Before getting too much into the individuals, I have to say that 17 of the 21 Steelers defenders received an overall PFF score in Week 11 higher than 60.0. Additionally, the Steelers had 10 players above a 70.0. The four players who did not pull a 60.0 overall score were Mykal Walker (59.8), Larry Ogunjobi (56.3), James Pierre (55.1), and DeMarvin Leal (28.2) on his five total defensive snaps.
The top score on the defense went to Cam Heyward this week with an 81.3. Heyward had a team-high run defense score of 81.0 and also had a 72.1 tackling score.
There were four other scores that were higher than a 75.0 overall in Armon Watts (78.0), Chandon Sullivan (77.0), Isaiahh Loudermilk (76.8), and Alex Highsmith (76.4).
The top coverage score on the defense this week went to Elandon Roberts with an 83.3. Paired with a team-high tackling grade of 86.0, what brought Roberts down to a 71.1 overall score was a 44.3 run defense score which was second lowest on the team only to DeMarvin Leal. If they say so.
The other top coverage scores went to Chandon Sullivan (79.2), Alex Highsmith (77.8), and Miles Killebrew (74.8). The lowest coverage score on the defense went to T.J. Watt with a 46.2.
This week there were some scores that I wasn’t exactly sure about but many which lined up with what I thought. The offensive scores being down overall despite a fantastic performance by Jaylen Warren seems to fit what I saw. Honestly, I thought the scores would potentially be even lower for the offense. Just like with his quarterback rating, what seems to be saving Kenny Pickett the most is the fact that he has not been throwing interceptions. Otherwise his score would deserve to be even lower.
As I said before, I’m not sure that James Daniels add such a great day pass blocking but now I want to pay attention if I can suffer through watching the game over again. Daniels and Broderick Jones were the only offensive linemen with pass blocking scores above a 60.0 which makes sense. But once again, Broderick Jones had a lower run blocking score than pass blocking which I still don’t think passes my eye test because PFF standards for successful run blocking don’t match what actually works in-game.
On defense, the amount of good scores pass my eye test. I felt the defense got the job done adequately for the most part on Sunday. The pass rushing scores were down with Alex Highsmith and T.J. Watt being the only ones above a 70.0 which makes sense based on the Steelers not being able to get to the quarterback.
I feel Elandon Roberts was the Steelers best defender on Sunday, but his score does not show this. Having such a low run defense score I feel is off base despite Roberts getting lots of credit in coverage.
While there are some things I disagree with, overall it doesn’t seem like PFF was watching a completely different game like the scores showed last week.
My grade of this week’s PFF scores: B