News & Analysis

Refocused: Indianapolis Colts 19, Pittsburgh Steelers 15

By PFF Analysis Team
Aug 27, 2017

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PITTSBURGH, PA - AUGUST 26: Stephen Morris #7 of the Indianapolis Colts directs the offense against the Pittsburgh Steelers during a preseason game on August 26, 2017 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

Colts QB Scott Tolzien looked shaky in place of Andrew Luck but the Colts still escaped with a 19-15 victory over the Steelers. Frank Gore and Josh Ferguson each ran for 23 yards and a touchdown to lead the way for the Colts while Ben Roethlisberger gave way to Landry Jones who took the majority of snaps at quarterback for Pittsburgh.

Rookie’s James Conner and Juju Smith-Schuster each saw some action in the Steelers offense, but it wasn’t enough as the Colts defeated Pittsburgh. With that. we¬†give you our PFF exclusive takeaways from the contest for each team.

Top 5 Grades:

QB Stephen Morris, 84.8 overall grade

S Lee Hightower, 83.0 overall grade

S T.J. Green, 81.7 overall grade

WR Phillip Dorsett, 80.7 overall grade

Edge Akeem Ayers, 80.1 overall grade

Performances of Note:

QB Stephen Morris, 84.8 overall grade

Morris made a number of incredibly impressive throws down the field. He finished 12-of-16 on the day with two drops for an adjusted completion percentage of 87.5. On throws 10-plus yards down field, he was a ridiculous 6-7.

QB Scott Tolzien, 49.8 overall grade

While Morris impressed, Tolzien was more of the same we’ve seen from him in his career. The interception he threw directly into the hands of Ryan Shazier was inexcusable and would be disastrous in the regular season. Besides that though he, was accurate and handled pressure well, going 5-for-5 for 104 yards on his six pressured dropbacks.

S T.J. Green, 81.7 overall grade

This was Green’s single highest-graded game of his entire NFL career, including last preseason. For a man who has had a rough go of it from the onset, that’s encouraging. He was targeted four times, allowing one catch for six yards.

DE Margus Hunt, 79.4 overall grade

The signing of Hunt this offseason was more afterthought than anything else. If he continues to play like he did in the 19 snaps on Saturday though they could be on to something. Hunt batted a pass, had a run stop, and affected a couple other runs en route to his highest grade of this preseason.

Top 5 Grades:

LB Tyler Matakevich, 84.2 overall grade

DI Daniel McCullers, 83.4 overall grade

G Matt Feiler, 82.7 overall grade

DI Cameron Heyward, 82.6 overall grade

LB Vince Williams, 80.8 overall grade

Performances of Note:

LG Ramon Foster, 79.9 overall grade

This is more to highlight the Steelers offensive line as a whole, which was dominant, with Foster being the highest-graded member of the unit. They played 34 snaps together with 26 coming in pass protection and allowed a grand total of three pressures. Foster himself didn’t allow one.

QB Landry Jones, 66.6 overall grade

Jones has seen meaningful snaps in each of the past two seasons and was given 51 snaps in this one to make sure he’ll be ready again if need be. On Saturday he was erratic. He attempted four deep balls and didn’t complete a single one. His accuracy underneath was impressive, but his 5.3 yards per attempt is indicative of his downfield struggles.

DI Cam Heyward, 82.6 overall grade

Heyward is back and as good as ever. He had two hurries and one stop in the run game on only 15 snaps Saturday night. It was the kind of all-around performance we’ve come to expect from him.

LB Tyler Matakevich, 84.2 overall grade

Matakevich was a man possessed on his 37 snaps. He recorded three stops and a hit while avoiding any negative plays. It was a big performance for him after an otherwise lackluster preseason.

PFF Game Ball: DI Cameron Heyward, 82.6 overall grade

*Grades subject to change pending review

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