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Scoring plays lead to the Steelers top offensive Pro Football Focus grades

The Pittsburgh Steelers continued their 2023 season with a decisive preseason win in front of their home crowd. The Steelers starters saw limited action on offense and defense, but they got the job done so decisively it was time to move on to the other units. It was another team victory, this time 27-15.

But how did the individual players grade out?

For this exercise, we will be looking at the player grades from Pro Football Focus (PFF) for the Steelers preseason Week 2 performance. It is their performance just this week and not combined with their previous performance. Before going any further, I must give my typical disclaimer that PFF grades are subjective and merely an opinion. While some people rely on them heavily, others are quite skeptical of the process in which they are determined. It is completely up to each person as to how much stock they put into PFF’s grades. For me, I often look at the grades to see if my own “eye test” lines up with what others viewed as how a player performed and sometimes it causes me to look more at a certain player when looking at things a second time. If nothing more, the grades create a discussion about how accurate, or inaccurate, they are each week.

Instead of looking at the entire team at once, we break up the scores into offense and defense. First up this week is the offense. Included will be the players who played at least one snap and the total snap counts for each player will be included. For reference sake, the Steelers played 66 snaps on offense in Friday’s game.


Overall

Top 5 (regardless of position)

RB Jaylen Warren: 92.5 (2 snaps)
TE Pat Freiermuth: 89.6 (7 snaps)
QB Kenny Pickett: 84.5 (7 snaps)
TE Connor Heyward: 79.2 (18 snaps)

WR Allen Robinson II: 74.6 (5 snaps)

Bottom 5 (regardless of position)

QB Mitch Trubisky: 52.2 (29 snaps)
TE Rodney Williams: 50.2 (15 snaps)
T Le’Raven Clark: 49.8 (34 snaps)
RB Anthony McFarland Jr.: 45.0 (25 snaps)
QB Mason Rudolph: 34.9 (25 snaps)


Quarterback

QB Kenny Pickett: 84.5 (7 snaps)
QB Tanner Morgan: 58.6 (5 snaps)
QB Mitch Trubisky: 52.2 (29 snaps)
QB Mason Rudolph: 34.9 (25 snaps)

It’s not surprising to see Kenny Pickett have such a higher score than the other quarterbacks from Saturday night. Pickett made short work of the Bills defense and exited the game while the other quarterbacks did what they could behind the Steelers backup offensive line. When Tanner Morgan, who did not even attempt a pass, is the second highest score, it’s not a good indication that the quarterback play stood out. But Mason Rudolph‘s very low score also shows the fumble was credited to him by PFF as you will see later, which I think is a big mistake.

Running Backs

RB Jaylen Warren: 92.5 (2 snaps)
RB Darius Hagans: 63.4 (3 snaps)
RB Greg Bell: 59.9 (15 snaps)

RB Najee Harris: 54.8 (5 snaps)
RB Xazavian Valladay: 52.8 (12 snaps)

RB Anthony McFarland Jr.: 45.0 (25 snaps)

Much like the quarterback position, the running backs were Jaylen Warren on his one carry on two snaps and then everybody else not standing out. Najee Harris had two 3-yard runs with the first team and the other running backs did not have the best blocking in front of them. Plus trying to run Anthony McFarland up the middle on goal line, especially with the blocking he was getting, wasn’t going to give a great result.

Receivers

TE Pat Freiermuth: 89.6 (7 snaps)
TE Connor Heyward: 79.2 (18 snaps)

WR Allen Robinson II: 74.6 (5 snaps)
WR George Pickens: 73.6 (6 snaps)

TE Zach Gentry: 61.8 (29 snaps)
WR Gunner Olszewski: 61.5 (51 snaps)
WR Calvin Austin III: 60.5 (19 snaps)
WR Jordan Byrd: 58.4 (1 snaps)

TE Darnell Washington: 56.5 (29 snaps)
WR Dan Chisena: 55.6 (6 snaps)
WR Miles Boykin: 54.5 (21 snaps)
WR Cody White: 54.3 (32 snaps)

WR Diontae Johnson: 54.0 (7 snaps)
WR Dez Fitzpatrick: 53.6 (22 snaps)
TE Rodney Williams: 50.2 (15 snaps)

Once again, the players coming through and finding the end zone end up on top of the list when it comes to the receivers. Allen Robinson also gave a quality score with his one reception for a first down as did George Pickens with his only target.

Offensive Line

G Isaac Seumalo: 73.3 (7 snaps)
OT Dylan Cook: 64.0 (31 snaps)
OT Dan Moore Jr.: 64.0 (7 snaps)
G Spencer Anderson: 63.5 (31 snaps)
OT Chuks Okorafor: 60.5 (7 snaps)
C Kendrick Green: 60.1 (54 snaps)
C Mason Cole: 59.1 (7 snaps)
G James Daniels: 59.0 (7 snaps)

OT Broderick Jones: 58.4 (45 snaps)
C Ryan McCollum: 56.0 (37 snaps)
G William Dunkle: 55.0 (34 snaps)
G Kevin Dotson: 52.5 (29 snaps)
T Le’Raven Clark: 49.8 (34 snaps)

It will probably not surprise anyone that I’m going to take a little more time to talk about the offensive line. I honestly am baffled by some of these scores. As stated before, it was obvious PFF did not credit the fumble to Kendrick Green when he snapped the ball when nobody was ready. Watching Green get bullied into the backfield play after play, I can’t figure out how he scored higher than Mason Cole or pulled a score above a 60.0. This does not pass my eye test at all.

Kevin Dotson landed toward the bottom of the list but had the best pass blocking grade in the game at 86.4 that was brought down by a 40.8 run block in score. Dan Moore, James Daniels, and Isaac Seumalo pulled in the next three highest pass blocking scores followed by Broderick Jones who is also brought down by a low run blocking score of 46.0. It was Isaac Seumalo who saw the top run blocking score of 68.3 which I expected, but Kendrick Green had the next highest score in a 64.5 as the only two players above a 60.0. As I said before, this doesn’t pass my eye test.


So, what do you think of the above grades? Do they pass the eye test? Let us know your thoughts on the Steelers’ offensive grades in the comments below.

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