News & Analysis

Refocused: Pittsburgh Steelers 26, Minnesota Vikings 9

By PFF Analysis Team
Sep 17, 2017

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PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 17: Martavis Bryant #10 of the Pittsburgh Steelers makes a catch between two Minnesota Vikings defenders in the second half during the game at Heinz Field on September 17, 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)

A pair of QB Ben Roethlisberger touchdown passes to WR Juju Smith-Schuster and WR Martavis Bryant paced the early scoring, as the the Vikings only responded with a second quarter field goal.

In the second half, the Steelers lead was never really threatened, and they would go on to win 26-9. With that, we give you our PFF exclusive takeaways from the contest for each team.

Top 5 Grades:

T Marcus Gilbert, 83.8 overall grade

G Ramon Foster, 83.1 overall grade

LB Ryan Shazier, 83 overall grade

DI Cameron Heyward, 82.6 overall grade

G David DeCastro, 81.9 overall grade

Performances of Note:

QB Ben Roethlisberger, 79.5 overall grade

The Vikings defense kept Antonio Brown relatively in check, eliminating some of the explosive plays we typically see and forcing the Steelers to consistently drive the field. Roethlisberger was solid throughout, posting a 119.2 passer rating and 211 of his 243 passing yards from a clean pocket.

WR Martavis Bryant, 81.4 overall grade

Bryant made a big impact on his 3 receptions, totaling 91 yards. Bryant out ran Terrance Newman for a 27 yard TD on a slant in the first quarter to get the offense going on a day which Antonio Brown was held in check. He also gained 51 yards on a perfectly placed go ball for Roethlisberger.

DI Cameron Heyward, 82.6 overall grade

The Vikings often had issues blocking Heyward. He had three hits on Vikings’ QB Case Keenum, and one other hurry for four total pressures. But Heyward’s biggest impact came in the run game where he had five defensive stops for a whopping 26.3 percent run stop percentage.

CB Artie Burns, 81.5 overall grade

First, the bad: Burns was called for defensive pass interference twice while covering Laquon Treadwell. However, he still played pretty well, allowing just three catches for 21 yards on six targets, and broke up two other passes. Through two weeks he has now allowed just 32 passing yards, and a longest pass of 15 yards, after giving up 813 yards last season including the playoffs.

Top 5 Grades:

S Harrison Smith, 86.5 overall grade

LB Anthony Barr, 84.5 overall grade

TE Kyle Rudolph, 83.4 overall grade

EDGE Everson Griffen, 81.3 overall grade

CB Mackensie Alexander, 80.9 overall grad

Performances of Note:

TE Kyle Rudolph, 83.4 overall grade

Rudolph had only four catches for 45 yards, but he certainly made them count. Three of the four went for first downs on third down, including his spectacular one-handed catch on third and 20 in the third quarter that kept the drive alive.

HB Dalvin Cook, 79.0 overall grade

With the Vikings down for much of the game, Cook didn’t see as many carries as he could have. When handed the ball, he was solid though. He averaged nearly three yards after contact per carry, forced three missed tackles, and was just inches shy of converting his longest run of 25 yards into a touchdown. He didn’t fare as well in the passing game, where he dropped an easy screen pass and allowed a sack and hit in pass protection.

EDGE Everson Griffen, 81.3 overall grade

Griffin used a littany of moves on Alejandro Villanueva finding most of his success on a inside spin move. Out of the nine total hurries the Vikings had, Griffin applied 4 of them. Griffin ended the game with 2 sacks and 3 solo stops as well.

Harrison Smith, 86.5 overall grade

Smith made an impact all over the field on Sunday in the pass game but was especially effective against the run, posting a 91.7 run grade. Smith finished the day with 1 hurry, 7 tackles and 3 stops.

PFF Game Ball: Martavis Bryant, WR

*Grades are subject to change upon review

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