While it wasn’t a must-win game Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks, the Pittsburgh Steelers know they let one slip away in their 39-30 road loss and because of that, they might need to win out in order to make the playoffs as one of two Wild Card teams.
Pro Football Focus has now finished their initial grading of the game and it’s probably not too surprising that many of the above average grades they handed out came on the offensive side of the football.
Tackle Marcus Gilbert (5.6), quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (4.7) and wide receiver Markus Wheaton (4.4) received the top offensive grades for the Steelers. While Roethlisberger did throw for 456 yards and a touchdown in the game, he also tossed two interceptions before leaving late in the game with a possible concussion.
As for Wheaton, he had a career game Sunday as he caught 9 passes against the Seahawks for 201 yards and a touchdown. It was the first time that we really saw the young wide receiver in concert with Roethlisberger for an entire game.
Gilbert’s grade was the highest he’s ever received from PFF and the tackle achieved it by battling Cliff Avril most of the game and keeping him away from Roethlisberger. Gilbert has played at an extremely high level this season.
Surprisingly, wide receiver Antonio Brown (-1.3), received the Steelers lowest offensive grade even though he caught 6 passes for 51 yards while being covered mainly by Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman.
Defensively for the Steelers, defensive end Cameron Heyward (1.9), linebacker James Harrison (1.1) and cornerback William Gay (1.1), where the three players who PFF thought played the best Sunday. Heyward had 3 total tackles in the game along with a sack while Harrison failed to crack the stat sheet at all.
As you can imagine, cornerback Antwon Blake (-5.3) graded out as the Steelers worst defensive player against the Seahawks. Defensible end Stephon Tuitt (-4.8) was a close second.
Blaked missed 5 tackles in the game and allowed 5 catches for 115 yards and two touchdowns.