ReFo: Steelers @ Jaguars, Week 5
That was to be easier said than done however, with the Jaguars putting up a fight and the Steelers ultimately only looking comfortable after a defensive touchdown stretched their lead to eight points in the fourth quarter.
With both teams battling there were a number of notable performances from both, so with that in mind, let’s dig into which players stood out in yesterday’s game.
Pittsburgh Steelers – Performances of Note
Ben Roethlisberger, QB: +1.6
Breakdown: It wasn’t a perfect performance by the Steelers’ signal caller, with his grade reflecting poor ball security as he exited the pocket leading to a fumble, but as a passer he was good enough to take advantage of what the Jaguars were giving him. When the offensive line kept him free from pressure, he completed 75% of his passes for 240 yards and a touchdown.
Signature Play: With 1:44 left in the 3rd Quarter, Roethlisberger found Antonio Brown down the left sideline for a 30-yard gain on a go route.
Jason Worilds, OLB: +2.0
Breakdown: It’s been an up and down year for Worilds so far in 2014, but this was his most productive day as a pass rusher yet. Coming away with a sack, two hits and a hurry, he did his best to rattle the Jaguars rookie quarterback.
Signature Play: There’s a few to choose from, but on 2nd-and-10 with 47 seconds left in the first half, he stepped over the attempted cut block of running back Jordan Todman to register a hit on Blake Bortles.
Cam Thomas, DL: -3.7
Breakdown: Week 5 saw more of the same for the Steelers’ offseason addition on the defensive line in Cam Thomas. No output as a pass rusher and pushed around far too much against the run. Thomas has started every game this season, but you have to wonder if we might start to see more of rookie Stephon Tuitt as the season rolls on.
Signature Stat: From 10 snaps against the run, Thomas managed to record a tackle, but with that not resulting in a defensive stop he still finished the game with a Run Stop Percentage of 0.0%.
Jacksonville Jaguars – Performances of Note
Demetrius McCray, CB: +1.6
Breakdown: Seeing the highest snap count since Week 3 last year, McCray turned in the highest graded performance of his young career. Tested six times, including five targets to Antonio Brown in his coverage, he allowed just 32 yards through the air and came away with a pass breakup.
Signature Play: With Roethlisberger scrambling with 2:12 left in the second quarter, McCray matched Brown on an out route, reaching round to knock the ball away.
Blake Bortles, QB: -3.5
Breakdown: I graded Bortles first regular season action against the Indianapolis Colts in Week 3 (-3.3). While the grade is similar, this felt like a much better game from the rookie, with only a very poor decision on the interception returned for a touchdown bringing his grade down significantly. There’s still improvements to be made, and throws like that simply shouldn’t happen, but there were glimmers of the type of quarterback Bortles can be on Sunday.
Signature Play: One of those glimmers came on 1st-and-20 with 11:54 left in the 2nd Quarter. Despite confusion with Bortles and the running back in the backfield, he stayed calm, moved to his right and rifled the ball to Allen Hurns on the sideline for what would have been a first down were it not for a penalty on the offensive line.
Will Blackmon, CB: -3.8
Breakdown: It’s not been the best start to the season for Blackmon and his struggles both in coverage and at wrapping up offensive players. He allowed five receptions for 85 yards, including a long of 30 yards, while missing another two tackles, taking his total for the year to six.
Signature Stat: On Sunday Blackmon missed one tackle for every three he attempted, tied for the fourth worst mark amongst cornerbacks in Week 5.
PFF Game Ball
Providing the best of his pass rushing abilities that we’ve seen this season, Jason Worilds lead the way for the Steelers defense with a sack, two hits and a hurry, thus earning himself the PFF game ball.
Follow Gordon on Twitter: @PFF_Gordon