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My opinion of their opinion: Breaking down the Steelers PFF scores from Week 8

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 8 loss to the Jaguars with my grade of PFF at the end.


With the offense only managing 10 points the entire game, I’m not surprised only 1/3 of the players received a score above the standard 60.0. Leading all offensive scores was Kenny Pickett with a 76.8 overall score and a 72.1 passing score. Pickett was credited with having one big time throw and having two passes dropped. Surprisingly he wasn’t charged with any turnover-worthy plays including the one where Diontae Johnson sliped and should have been intercepted. While I don’t believe Kenny Pickett played fantastic, he was his typical first half self which is not something that should be worthy of praise and which had him ranked as the 10th best quarterback this week barely behind Will Levis.

Other decent scores by the Steelers on offense were Chuks Okorafor (70.5), Jaylen Warren (70.2), and Diontae Johnson (69.4). The only other two players above 60.0 included Broderick Jones with a 60.6 in his five offensive snaps based on his 70.2 pass blocking score on one pass blocking snap. The other player above the threshold was Najee Harris with a 60.3 overall score despite having a 51.6 running score which was only ahead of Mitch Trubisky (50.2). What brought Harris’ score up was he had a team-high 83.3 in the pass blocking department just a head of Jaylen Warren with an 83.6.

Coming out at the bottom of the offense was Mitch Trubisky (42.3), Mason Cole (41.4), and Rodney Williams (31.9). Williams only played 12 snaps and was targeted twice but was also credited with a drop which plummeted his score. Mason Cole’s overall score was better than the sum of its parts as he had a 40.3 pass blocking score and 37.0 run blocking score let alone having constantly low shotgun snaps. Mitch Trubisky had such a low score with only a 45.3 passing score and his overall score for the week had him next to last among all quarterbacks only a head of another quarterback, Brett Rypien, who also came off the bench in relief due to injury.

As for the rest of the Steelers offensive scores, they all came in slightly below average which is probably a safe assessment.


The top score on the defensive side of the ball for a second-straight week was rookie Nick Herbig whose 94.7 overall score was the second highest defense of score in the NFL in Week 8 despite only playing nine snaps. Herbig was led by a 92.8 run defense score.

Other players at the top of the defensive scores for the Steelers were Isaiahh Loudermilk (81.9), DeMarvin Leal (78.8), Montravius Adams (78.6), Markus Golden (75.9), and T.J. Watt (75.4). Of all those players listed, only Wattt and Adams played more than 15 snaps.

Joey Porter Jr. was the next player on the list with a 73.3 overall score and an 81.7 coverage score which was only behind Kwon Alexander’s 83.7. But for Alexander, the score didn’t help much as he was at the very bottom of the Steelers defense with a 33.2 overall score because of a 24.6 run defense score. Other players at the bottom of the scores overall were James Pierre (36.5), Demontae Kazee (46.0), and Larry Ogunjobi (49.2).

Elandon Roberts had the best pass rush score of 87.4 followed by T.J. Watt with 74.9.


As uninspiring as the Steelers play was on Sunday, their PFF scores were just as uninspiring. I’m not sure who is actually correct, PFF who said Pickett was one of the top 10 quarterbacks in Week 8 or some Steelers fans who believe his performance proved he is not capable of being the guy moving forward. They answer likely falls somewhere in the middle which still means the PFF was off.

It’s hard to get a feel for some of the defenders who aren’t playing as many snaps. Nick Herbig seem to do a good job, but I don’t know if he was the second-best defender in the NFL. Elandon Roberts definitely deserved some kudos for his pass rush with 1.5 sacks on the day.

Demontae Kazee was credited with giving up the touchdown by PFF although in interviews on Tuesday both Kazee and Porter confirmed that it was not Cover-2 and that it was not on him in that case. This just goes to show how PFF will never be a great system because they simply don’t know the offensive and defensive calls and must make assumptions that they will never get completely right.

My grade of this week’s PFF scores: B-


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