PIT-BAL Grades: Roethlisberger struggles, Mallet impresses
Here are the top takeaways and highest-graded players from the Ravens’ 20-17 win over the Steelers.
– QB Ben Roethlisberger (+0.6) had one of his worst outings of the season, despite being pressured on just six of his 37 dropbacks. He completed just 3-of-11 targets 10+ yards downfield, including zero-for-three on deep passes (20+ yards downfield). Out of the games he played in their entirety, it was just his second game this season he failed to complete a deep pass. Roethlisberger’s biggest problem was forcing the ball to WR Antonio Brown (+0.9), which resulted in three interceptions, with one nullified by a lucky offsides penalty.
– The Steelers’ offensive line played really well for the most part, with four of the five linemen earning +1.0 or higher grades. C Cody Wallace and RG David DeCastro each allowed two pressures, but their work in the run game giving HB DeAngelo Williams room to run earned them good run block grades. LT Alejandro Villanueva (-2.0) was the lone disappointment as he allowed four total pressures, including two of the Ravens’ three sacks. Moreover, two of the four pressures were by OLB Courtney Upshaw, who has been one of the least effective edge rushers this season.
– The Pittsburgh front seven was the weakness of the defense against the Ravens, particularly against the run, as they gave up a combined 119 rushing yards to Buck Allen and Terrance West. LB Ryan Shazier (-4.1) struggled to get off blocks at the second level en route to his third -3.2 or worse run defense grade this season. They also didn’t do a very good job of getting pressure on QB Ryan Mallett. DE Cameron Heyward (-3.3) did not register a single pressure on 37 pass rush snaps, while OLBs Bud Dupree (-1.5) and Jarvis Jones (+0.7) had just three hurries on a combined 41 pass rush snaps.
C Cody Wallace (+2.9)
DE Stephon Tuitt (+2.8)
RG David DeCastro (+2.5)
RT Marcus Gilbert (+2.1)
CB Ross Cockrell (+2.1)
– QB Ryan Mallett (+1.5) played about as well as you could expect for a quarterback making his first start after being with the team for just two weeks. Mallett was 8-for-10 for 150 yards and a touchdown on passes targeted 10+ yards downfield.
– OLB Courtney Upshaw has been pretty ineffective as a pass rusher this season, but he had one of his best days of the season with a sack and a hit on Roethlisberger on 19 pass rushes. He also played well against the run, notching two run stops. Outside of lining up in the neutral zone on a play that happened to turn into and nullify an interception return for a touchdown, it was a good showing from Upshaw.
– Opposite Upshaw, OLB Elvis Dumervil’s performance has fallen off the second half of the season. Prior to the Ravens’ bye week, Dumervil’s cumulative +18.1 overall grade ranked seventh among all edge defenders. But in the seven games since, he has earned a -6.3 overall grade that ranks 86th out of 96 edge defenders. Sunday, he had just two hurries on 34 pass rushes, marking the third straight game without a sack or hit and just two or fewer total pressures. The last time he went three consecutive games without a sack or hit was over the final three weeks of the 2008 season.
LG Ryan Jenson (+7.4)
ROLB Courtney Upshaw (+3.1)
QB Ryan Mallett (+1.5)
CB Shareece Wright (+1.5)
CB Lardarius Webb (+1.2)