OAK-PIT Grades: Antonio Brown, DeAngelo Williams shine in win

The top takeaways and highest-graded players from the Steelers' 38-35 win over the Raiders.

| 2 years ago
(AP Photo/Don Wright)

(AP Photo/Don Wright)

OAK-PIT Grades: Antonio Brown, DeAngelo Williams shine in win

Here are the top takeaways and highest-graded players from the Steelers’ 38-35 win over the Raiders.

Oakland Raiders

– QB Derek Carr (+8.8) had by far the best game of his young career yesterday, almost leading his young Raiders’ team to victory thanks to a huge passing performance. Carr looked deep often, completing 11-of-22 passes for 219 yards and three touchdowns on passes that traveled over 10 yards. He really only had one bad throw, his interception late in the game. Perhaps the most telling sign on how much he’s improved from last year was his performance when blitzed. Something he struggled mightily with last season, yesterday Carr was blitzed on 51 percent of his dropbacks and went 11-for-22 for 177 yards and three touchdowns. Carr is having a phenomenal season, and after yesterday’s game, is now our fifth highest graded quarterback.

– OLB Khalil Mack (+5.6) led the way for the Raiders’ defense, thanks to a team-high +3.6 pass rush grade. Mack finished with four QB pressures, and also beat his man three other times but was unable to record a pressure due to the quick release of the Steelers’ quarterbacks. Mack was also strong against the run, finishing with a +1.8 grade there despite not making a tackle all game. He was disruptive even though the Steelers ran away from him for the most part. Running the ball away from Mack led to a big game from DE Mario Edwards Jr. (+4.0) who finished with three run stops and many more disruptive plays.

– It was a mixed day in coverage for the Raiders. CB D.J. Hayden (-6.0) struggled, while CB David Amerson (-0.1) had a much more even day, finishing with a +1.5 pass coverage grade. Neither was able to effectively cover Steelers’ WR Antonio Brown, as he caught 8-of-12 for 159 yards against Amerson and eight-of-nine for 119 against Hayden. But Hayden missed a couple of tackles, and also surrendered a touchdown to Martavis Bryant. Amerson had two big pass defenses, as well as an interception, while covering Brown.

Top Performers:

QB Derek Carr (+8.8)
OLB Khalil Mack (+5.6)
DE Mario Edwards Jr. (+4.0)
C Rodney Hudson (+2.9)
TE Lee Smith (+2.8)


Pittsburgh Steelers

– What an offensive performance by the Steelers’ main three skill position players. QB Ben Roethlisberger (+5.9) returned to his early-season form, although he’ll now miss a few more weeks with a foot injury. HB DeAngelo Williams (+4.1) showed that the Steelers don’t have to worry too much about losing starter LeVeon Bell, as he broke four tackles and finished with 176 yards (70 after contact) and two touchdowns. But it was WR Antonio Brown (+8.8) that stole the show. His overall grade was the highest we’ve ever recorded for a receiver at PFF. He caught 17-of-23 balls thrown to him for a ridiculous 284 yards. He wasn’t able to score a touchdown, but he was easily the biggest reason the Steelers won yesterday. For more about Brown’s big day, check out this article by Sam Monson.

– The Steelers’ defense did not play well for the most part yesterday. CB Antwon Blake (-6.5) and ILB Lawrence Timmons (-5.0) were the only players to grade negatively in coverage, and they were negative by a lot. Blake was targeted a team-high 15 times, and allowed nine receptions for 107 yards and a touchdown. But he was beaten on four of those incompletions, and was only saved by some off-target throws and a dropped pass. He also missed five tackles on the day. Timmons saw 11 targets, but only allowed five completions for 84 yards. However, on two of those incompletions, he was bailed out by a teammate knocking the ball out, and also a couple of dropped passes. Not a strong day for either of those two against a good Raiders’ passing offense.

– The Steelers’ offensive line play was not good yesterday, and the success of their offense was completely in spite of them. Roethlisberger was sacked once and hit another time, and it was the sack that ended up injuring him. But between him and QB Landry Jones (-0.3), they were pressured a ridiculous 18 times. Only G David DeCastro (+0.9) finished with a positive pass blocking grade, and as a unit, they finished with a -10.2 pass blocking grade. They were hardly better blocking the run, as they finished -6.8 overall there. C Cody Wallace (-7.7) finished with the team-low grade, thanks to poor performances in both run and pass blocking, as well as two false start penalties.

Top Performers:

WR Antonio Brown (+8.8)
QB Ben Roethlisberger (+5.9)
HB DeAngelo Williams (+4.1)
DE Cameron Heyward (+3.8)
OLB Arthur Moats (+1.3)

| Analyst

Bryson has been an analyst at Pro Football Focus since 2014, and has also been a contributor to 120 Sports.

  • codered5

    Antonio brown is the Lebron James of football. Scratch that, Derek Carr is the lebron james of football?

    • Sam Doohan

      Brown is way too short to be the LeBron of anything 😛

  • rogue

    The Steelers need to find another option at C. Unlike T, interior OL are easier to find.

    • Sam Doohan

      They already have a superb Center in Pouncy. He’s injured which sucks and Wallace is clearly not a replacement and I’m sure they’ve looked for someone else but it’s not like they don’t have an answer.

  • rogue

    The Raiders need to stop reaching in the 1st round. Hayden was consider a reach on draft day and he looks to be a bust.

    • codered5

      I agree but you kinda ignored the last two drafts.

    • Tim Edell

      The last 2 years they have drafted Khalil Mack and Amari Cooper!! Have you been sleeping since the 2013 draft??

    • Johnny Rotten

      Raiders need to stop reaching? Reggie has had only 3 1st round draft selection and if you consider Hayden a reach then the other 2 have been Cooper and Mack. Are those 2 reaches?

      And technically speaking Hayden was not a reach. I don’t know why people keep saying that. There’s a difference between a reach and a bust. Hayden had a 1st round grade and was projected to go somewhere between #10 – #21 overall. The Raiders selected him #12 overall right where he was projected. He was considered the top CB in the draft. That’s not a reach.

      He’s just been a bust and 1st round draft busts are something atleast half of the teams have to deal with every year. Over the years, only half of the players drafted in the 1st round ever become impact players. Unfortunately that happened to us in 2013 and hopefully it’s a long time before it happens again but it will happen again. It’s just the law of averages. It happens to the best of them. The draft is practically a crap shoot so if you can come away with atleast 3 quality starters, then they consider that a successful draft.

  • Tony

    Khalil Mack gets a +5.6 grade without registering even one tackle. You just gotta love PFF.

    • Sam Doohan

      He was amazing generating pressure. He almost singlehandedly made the Steelers O line look like scrubs.

      • Tony

        No he wasn’t. He had a DECENT game rushing the passer, and he didn’t even touch the QB once if I remember correctly.

        I agree you can have a positive grade as a pash rusher despite getting a sack or hit, but it’s the run grade that is indefensible. He didn’t record a tackle, and it’s not like he was so disruptive that it allowed other players to tackle to runner.

        Mack was arguably to blame one both of Williams’ TD runs and he ran straight into his own guy on the WR screen that went for a TD.

        Its very clear that confirmation bias is at work here. PFF is giving Mack credit for plays he didn’t actually make because they think he’s a good player. It seems they’re reasoning that “well he would have made the play if another defender wasn’t there or if the offense would have run at him.” They basically admit this when they say that he should have had more QB pressures.

  • Sam Doohan

    Man when the hell are they going to stick Blake on the bench? They have Boykin, an actual good corner just sitting there while Blake gets the nod and is bad every single week. I don’t know if it’s because he’s lucked out with a few picks or what but Blake is a genuine liability. Even if Boykin isn’t all that good he’s better than Blake.

  • DeLante Poocho Odom

    I really cannot understand how the winning team post such low ratings. Deangelo Williams didn’t open his own holes. Ben held the ball way too long on the sack in which he was injured. The quick passing game was by design, not that the Raiders were getting great pressure. And as much as Blake was targeted he and Shazier forced turnovers. Did that not count for anything. Mike Mitchell delivered some big hits and played pretty solid coverage majority of the game. As far as Timmons hes a linebacker that plays strong against the run and decent in mid coverage. He not gonna run deep with any receiver. Anyway Go Steelers.