SF-PIT Grades: Both Quarterbacks impress in high-scoring affair
Here are the top takeaways and highest-graded players from the 49ers-Steelers game:
— Former Ohio State linebacker Ryan Shazier (+0.5) was all over the field yesterday as he finished the game with 11 tackles, including 7 run stops, leading to a team-high run defense grade of +3.1. On the other hand however, Shazier had the lowest pass coverage grade (-3.3) from the Steelers as he allowed seven receptions and 50 yards on the eight occasions he was targeted in coverage. While Shazier was often the first to get to the ball carrier among his teammates, he also led the team with three missed tackles.
— Second-year defensive end Stephon Tuitt (+5.1) had the best game of his NFL career yesterday. While he notched three run stops, his best work came when he was rushing the passer. He recorded a pass rush grade of +4.3 as he racked up four quarterback hurries and two sacks.
— After being among the best wide receivers in Week 1, Antonio Brown (+3.4) had another excellent game in Week 2. Ben Roethlisberger (+7.0) had a passer rating of 149.1 when targeting the wide receiver. Brown caught 9 of the 11 balls coming his way and tallied 195 receiving yards along with one touchdown. While this was another excellent outing by Brown, it is necessary to note that both incompletions came as a result of dropped passes.
QB Ben Roethlisberger (+7.0)
DE Stephon Tuitt (+5.1)
WR Antonio Brown (+3.4)
DE Cameron Heyward (+5.1)
TE Heath Miller (+1.7)
San Francisco 49ers
— Rookie defensive end Arik Armstead (+1.3) played only 14 snaps yesterday, but he was still able to flash his skills. The Oregon alum recorded two quarterback hurries on his nine pass rush snaps, which was tied for most among the 49ers. Besides his success in going after Ben Roethlisberger, Armstead also graded positively against the run with a run defense grade of +0.8.
— While the Steelers dominated the 49ers throughout the entire game, quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s (+3.8) play can provide hope to the team’s fans. Kaepernick’s pass grade of +7.4 was actually higher than that of Roethlisberger’s, as the San Francisco quarterback accurately delivered 11 of his 13 passes over 10 yards, although two of these were dropped. Kaepernick completed 27 of 32 passes when he was not blitzed and finished with a passer rating of 126.8 on these throws.
— Joe Staley (-0.4) has been a reliable piece of the San Francisco 49ers offensive line for years, however yesterday he did not stand out from a struggling unit. Although he was his usual dominant self in the run game as he picked up a run block grade of +1.4, he was one of the weaker members of the line when it came to protecting Kaepernick. Staley allowed two sacks, two quarterback hurries (both most on his team), and four quarterback hurries. San Francisco fans can hope this was just an off day for the veteran tackle rather than a sign of things to come.
QB Colin Kaepernick (+3.8)
WR Torrey Smith (+2.3)
TE Vernon Davis (+2.0)
DE Arik Armstead (+1.3)
ILB NaVorro Bowman and NT Ian Williams (both +1.1)