I still don’t know why they abandoned the idea of writing anything about the individuals that they name to their team of the week, but I thought it would be worth bringing to your attention the fact that two members of the Pittsburgh Steelers, both on the defensive side of the ball, were named to Pro Football Focus’ Team of the Week for the sixth week of the 2020 season.
Those two players were Minkah Fitzpatrick, to nobody’s surprise, and Stephon Tuitt. You may be wondering why Bud Dupree, who had two sacks and two tackles for loss, did not make the team. Trey Flowers and Bradley Chubb received the honors for edge defenders over the sixth-year pass rusher.
As a matter of fact, the site was not at all impressed with his performance, giving him a grade of 66.8 for the game, which ranked 35th among edge defenders for the week. T.J. Watt received a better grade at 79.2. Even Alex Highsmith on eight snaps graded better at 74.8.
But Tuitt was the second-highest-graded defensive lineman of the week for the site, behind only Shelby Harris of the Denver Broncos, receiving a grade of 91.1 for his performance, his highest grade of the season, though he has been over 85 for the past three games. It is the highest game grade that they have given him in his entire career.
Tuitt finished the game with three tackles, all for defensive stops, including a tackle for loss on third down on which he forced a fumble. He recorded six pressures in the passing game, including a hit and a sack. Officially, he recorded half a sack, and now has four on the season (including two half-sacks).
As for Fitzpatrick, he received a game grade of 94, the highest for all qualifying safeties for the week, and in fact the highest grade for all qualifying defenders. Like Tuitt, it was the highest-graded game of his career, though it was by far his highest-graded game of the season.
Although his stat sheet was pretty barren—he had just one tackle in the game and factored into two in total—he started things off with a pick six, his first interception of the season and first takeaway recorded since the middle of last year.
The fact that players like Dupree, Watt, and Cameron Heyward didn’t even make the list but they still had Fitzpatrick and Tuitt is just an example of how much talent there is on this defensive unit, and Sunday’s game against the Browns was the closest that they have come so far this season to showing their full potential.