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Steelers Grades, Snap Counts vs Bills: Secondary Struggles, O Has Bright Spots

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Steelers Bills Tre Norwood

Check out the Pittsburgh Steelers snap counts and grades from their 38-3 pounding at the hands of the Buffalo Bills on Sunday. They may not be for the faint of heart.

QUARTERBACK

Kenny Pickett had a 65.8 grade in his first career start, which is right about what Mitch Trubisky had been getting. The Steelers moved the ball, but the failure to convert in the red zone likely held down the grade. PFF also said one of the sacks in the game was Pickett’s fault, and not the offensive line’s.

QB Mitch Trubisky 0 0% -52%
QB Kenny Pickett 75 100% +48%

RUNNING BACK

Najee Harris had a 49.7 grade, the worst of the Steelers offense, and mostly didn’t play in the fourth quarter, leading to Jaylen Warren’s increased workload. It’s not clear if Harris was specifically benched or just rested, by Warren has been the better player. He had a 62.3 grade.

RB Najee Harris 37 49% -26%
RB Jaylen Warren 38 51% +26%
FB Derek Watt 2 3% -4%
RB Benny Snell Jr. 0 0%

OFFENSIVE LINE

A mixed bag here as Chuks Okorafor (65.5), James Daniels (628) and Dan Moore Jr. (62.5) had decent days, but Mason Cole (55.9) and Kevin Dotson (51.2) really struggled. That’s surprising, considering that the strength of the Buffalo defensive line is on the edge.

LT Dan Moore Jr. 75 100%
RT Chukwuma Okorafor 75 100%
LG Kevin Dotson 75 100%
RG James Daniels 75 100%
C Mason Cole 75 100%
C J.C. Hassenauer 0 0%
T Trent Scott 0 0%
T Jesse Davis 0 0%

TIGHT END

Pat Freiermuth suffered his third concussion in two seasons on top of the issues he had with the injury at Penn State, which has to be a concerning development. The good news for the Steelers is that Zach Gentry has been very good this season, and he actually out-graded Freiermuth, 63.6-60.8 on Sunday.

TE Pat Freiermuth 37 49% -24%
TE Zach Gentry 48 64% +3%
TE Connor Heyward 10 13% +9%

WIDE RECEIVER

George Pickens was the highest-graded player on the offense with a 76.9. Chase Claypool and Diontae Johnson were near the bottom, with a 56.2 and 54.9. Steven Sims suffered an eye injury in warmups and didn’t get to do much in his first appearance of the season.

WR Chase Claypool 68 91% +18%
WR Diontae Johnson 70 93% +4%
WR George Pickens 57 76% +6%
WR Gunner Olszewski 0 0% -14%
WR Miles Boykin 5 7% -1%
WR Steven Sims 3 4% +4%

DEFENSIVE LINE

Cam Heyward remains a stalwart, even playing through two injuries, and got the best grade on the whole team with a 92.4. The loss of Larry Ogunjobi in the first quarter hurt, but not too much, as Montravius Adams (71.4) and Chris Wormley (62.6) were solid. DeMarvin Leal (41.3) had some splashy plays, but struggled against the run. Tyson Alualu (37) continues to have a miserable season.

DT/DE Cam Heyward 40 71% +4%
DT/DE Larry Ogunjobi 7 12% -61%
NT/DT Tyson Alualu 15 27% +1%
DT Chris Wormley 29 52% +21%
DE DeMarvin Leal 23 41% +2%
NT Montravius Adams 25 45% +29%

OUTSIDE LINEBACKERS

Alex Highsmith had a fairly mediocre game (61.2). Leal started the game as the end in the Nickel package and took a good number of what are normally outside linebacker reps in sub packages.

OLB Alex Highsmith 48 86% -3%
OLB Malik Reed 32 57% +4%
OLB Jamir Jones 8 14% +7%
OLB Ryan Anderson 3 5% -2%
OLB T.J. Watt 0 0%

INSIDE LINEBACKER

Robert Spillane and Myles Jack were among the team’s better reformers, both checking in over 70, while Devin Bush’s grade was a 39.9. Bush’s toughest attribute was his coverage, while Spillane got solid marks there, despite drawing some tough assignments, including Stefon Diggs at one point.

ILB Myles Jack 53 95% -1%
ILB Devin Bush Jr. 37 66% -17%
ILB Robert Spillane 19 34% -5%
ILB Marcus Allen 0 0%

DEFENSIVE BACK

The biggest mess on the team was clear without a re-watch of the tape. Only slot corner Art Maulet didn’t give up a touchdown, largely because the Bills stopped throwing by then. Tre Norwood had an awful day filling in for Terrell Edmunds (27.6). He had the largest increase in playing time on the team, played every snap and it did not go well, including his responsibility on Gabe Davis’ opening touchdown.

Perhaps more shocking was the playing of Minkah Fitzpatrick. Battling a knee injury, Fitzpatrick had a 29.5 grade and let Davis wrestle a ball away from him that should have been an interception. Instead it was a 65-yard touchdown. James Pierre was well-graded in relief, leading the secondary with a 75.6.

SS Terrell Edmunds 0 0% -39%
FS Minkah Fitzpatrick 54 96% -3%
BCB Ahkello Witherspoon 0 0%
BCB/SCB Cam Sutton 30 54% -46%
BCB Levi Wallace 38 68% -32%
SCB Art Maulet 45 80% +6%
FS/SCB/SS Tre Norwood 56 100% +39%
SS Miles Killebrew 5 9% +8%
BCB James Pierre 23 41% +41%
BCB Josh Jackson 26 46% +46%

 

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