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Steelers Snap Counts, Grades vs Patriots: DL Picks Up Watt’s Slack



Steelers Snap Malik Reed

Check out the Pittsburgh Steelers snap counts and grades from the 2022 home-opening loss to the New England Patriots on Sunday.


Mitch Trubisky had a 62 PFF rating in his first start with the Steelers. His second game? A very consistent 61.6.

QB Mitch Trubisky 63 100%
QB Kenny Pickett 0 0%


Despite coming off an injury and being limited in practice this week, Najee Harris carried even more of the workload at running back. He had a higher percentage of the snap count and had 15 rushes compared to 10 in Week 1. His average yards per carry rose from an abysmal 2.3 to a still-bad 3.3, but at least it showed progress.

RB Najee Harris 42 71% +11%
RB Jaylen Warren 17 29% -8%
FB Derek Watt 1 2% -8%
RB Benny Snell Jr. 0 0%

Harris had a 65.3 PFF grade, up from 56.5 in Week 1. Warren’s 61 was well up from 48.9.


Other than Mason Cole not getting banged up this time around not using Trent Scott as an extra tight end, things were status quo for the offensive line from a playing-time standpoint.

LT Dan Moore Jr. 59 100%
RT Chukwuma Okorafor 59 100%
LG Kevin Dotson 59 100%
RG James Daniels 59 100%
C Mason Cole 59 100% +6%
C J.C. Hassenauer 0 0% -6%
TE Trent Scott 0 0% -3%
T Jesse Davis 0 0%

Okorafor was the highest-graded player on the line for the second week in a row, this time getting all the way up to 84.6. Kevin Dotson (76.7), James Daniels (69.1) and Mason Cole (69.1) all had above-average grades.


Slightly less usage for Pat Freiermuth, even though he was a bigger part of the game plan early, and slightly more for Zach Gentry. Connor Heyward picked up some of the snaps that had gone to Trent Scott and Derek Watt.

TE Pat Freiermuth 48 81% -8%
TE Zach Gentry 20 34% +4%
TE Connor Heyward 4 7% +5%

Freiermuth had the second-worst grade of his career after three drops.


George Pickens played nearly the whole game and still only got three targets, one of which was a Hail Mary and another was 10 yards out of bounds.

WR Chase Claypool 54 92%
WR Diontae Johnson 51 86% +5%
WR George Pickens 50 85% +15%
WR Gunner Olszewski 8 14%
WR Miles Boykin 0 0% -13%

Diontae Johnson saw his grade spike from 69.2 to 84.4. Chase Claypool went the other way, without any running tries to raise his level.


With DeMarvin Leal and Cam Heyward both playing a lot of the rush end position where T.J. Watt usually lines up in the Steelers’ sub packages, all five defensive linemen saw a bump in playing time.

DT Cam Heyward 52 76% +19%
DT Larry Ogunjobi 43 63% +10%
NT Tyson Alualu 32 47% +13%
DE DeMarvin Leal 16 24% +7%
NT Montravius Adams 11 16% +11%

DeMarvin Leal led the way with a 78.7 grade, as the lack of pass-rush push and lack of run-stopping was reflected with downward grades for Cam Heyward, Tyson Alualu and Larry Ogunjobi.


As expected, Malik Reed was the biggest recipient of T.J. Watt’s snaps, but it was surprising that Jamir Jones got even less run than he did in the opener. The usage of the defensive linemen definitely took away from the workload here.

OLB Alex Highsmith 57 84% +1%
OLB Malik Reed 45 66% +34%
OLB Delontae Scott 7 10% +10%
OLB Jamir Jones 6 9% -9%
OLB T.J. Watt 0 0% -66%

Alex Highsmith had another strong game, with a 73.8 grade despite not getting any sacks.


Devin Bush was injured and didn’t finish the game, so that explains the slightly elevated usage of Robert Spillane. The Steelers played very little Dime, so the inside linebackers were up across the board.

ILB Myles Jack 59 87% +21%
ILB Devin Bush Jr. 31 46% -5%
ILB Robert Spillane 22 32% +3%
ILB Marcus Allen 0 0%


The Steelers played their usual five defensive backs almost the whole game, generally eschewing Art Maulet and the heavier Nickel package they possess. They also played very little Dime.

SS Terrell Edmunds 68 100%
FS Minkah Fitzpatrick 68 100%
BCB Ahkello Witherspoon 68 100%
BCB/SCB Cam Sutton 68 100% +1%
BCB Levi Wallace 59 87% +54%
SCB Art Maulet 8 12% -48%
FS/SCB Tre Norwood 6 9% -26%
SS Miles Killebrew 0 0% -1%
BCB James Pierre 0 0%

Minkah Fitzpatrick and Terrell Edmunds graded out excellently, at 79.7 and 86.5. The corners struggled in comparison.