Under Further Review: Steelers Week 7 positional grades

Quarterback:

Ben Roethlisberger didn’t come away from this game with fancy numbers, and you have to believe that it had something to do with the game plan. He played very conservatively against the Ravens. Roethlisberger got the ball out of his hands very quickly on most of his passes. Rarely did we see Ben try to extend plays.

Roethlisberger played well; he missed a couple of throws that could have been good for long gains. He also threw a couple of wild passes. Nonetheless, he did his job.

Grade – C+

Running back:

Le’Veon Bell’s awareness on the field is tremendously good. His longest run of the day was for 11 yards, and it is also a great example of Bell’s great play. Roethlisberger handed the ball off to Bell on the right, and he accelerated through a big gap. Right tackle Marcus Gilbert got to the second-level and engaged linebacker Jameel McClain. When coming upon the two men engaged, Bell cut to the inside of them. While watching the play live, many may have thought Bell’s decision was poor. When running through the game tape, you can see that he made the right decision.

McClain was on the outside of Gilbert, so Bell made the right decision in cutting to the inside. That play shows off Bell’s intelligence as a runner.

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Bell finished the game with 19 carries and 93 rushing yards, averaging 4.9 yards per rush. Obviously he didn’t put up insanely good numbers, but his play was better than what the box score suggested.

Grade – B

Receivers:

A couple of miscues were made by the Steelers receivers. Heath Miller fumbled with under one minute left in the first half. Miller made the mistake of not tucking the football into his body after making the catch. That fumble was very costly; it led to a Ravens field goal.

In the fourth quarter, Derek Moye dropped a pass in the endzone. Moye also made a fantastic 19-yard catch earlier in the game. Nonetheless, that dropped touchdown does not bode well for his chances of increased playing time, down the road.

Antonio Brown also had a mistake of his own. Brown committed a false start penalty on Baltimore’s five yard-line, late in the first half. Brown made six catches, good for 50 yards of receiving.

Jerricho Cotchery continues to make catch third down conversions. He had another productive game, catching four passes and gaining 41 yards of receiving.

Grade – C

Offensive Line:

The Steelers offensive line was very good on run plays. Roethlisberger’s array of quick passes helped out the pass protection, making the line look better than usual.

The interior of the line was very good. Right guard David DeCastro stole the show. DeCastro was fantastic in run-blocking. He is developing into one of the best guards in the league.

Ramon Foster played well in pass protection and run-blocking. Guy Whimper, shockingly, was very good on run plays. Center Fernando Velasco played a solid game, as well.

Grade – B

Defensive Line:

Nose tackle Steve McLendon only played 17 snaps, but he was effective in that short amount of time on the field. McLendon made plays against the run. The rest of the line played mediocrely.

Grade – C-

Linebackers:

Lawrence Timmons made a ton of plays. He even recorded a tackle for a loss on a third down-and-one play. He made multiple tackles within three yards of the line of scrimmage.

LaMarr Woodley recorded one sack, two QB hurries and a batted pass. He had a fairly good game.

Vince Williams played very little snaps, and Jason Worilds was rather ineffective.

Grade – C+

Secondary:

William Gay, as of right now, is the Steelers best cornerback. There isn’t another corner on this team that has played as well as Gay. He only allowed three of the six passes thrown his way be completed, against Baltimore. He also came away with two pass deflections.

Ike Taylor have up a 40-plus yard bomb to Torrey Smith. There was nothing Taylor could have possibly done differently; Joe Flacco threw a beautiful pass.

Ryan Clark nor Troy Polamalu was great against the Ravens. In fact, Polamalu was penalized twice.

Grade: C

Special Teams:

Zoltan Mesko punted only once, but it sure wasn’t a great punt. He continues to be a letdown.

Felix Jones and Emmanuel Sanders both had kick returns of 40-plus yards.

The Steelers team MVP of Sunday, Shaun Suisham, made all four of his field goal attempts. Suisham even scored the game-winning points.

Grade: A

Comments

  1. PA2AK says

    Polamalu had several big tackles in a string. Thought he played very well. I think most people aren’t acknowledging how well he is playing because no turnovers. He’s been put on a completely different assignment for the majority of this year and is doing very well. Still the best DB we have week in and week out.

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