PHI-PIT grades: Impressive rookie year for Carson Wentz continues in win over Steelers

The Philadelphia rookie QB has won his first three career games, this time a Week 3 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers.

| 2 months ago
(Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)

(Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)

PHI-PIT grades: Impressive rookie year for Carson Wentz continues in win over Steelers


Philadelphia Eagles 34, Pittsburgh Steelers 3

Here are the top-graded players and biggest storylines from Philadelphia’s blowout of Pittsburgh.

Philadelphia Eagles

Quarterback grade: Carson Wentz, 79.7

Carson Wentz builds on impressive start to career

After solid performances Weeks 1 and 2, the rookie signal-caller officially had his breakout game. He was accurate on 26 of 30 aimed passes, and was particularly impressive when attacking downfield. Although he only attempted eight passes that traveled at least 10 yards through the air from the line of scrimmage, he made the most of them by completing five of them for 153 of his 298 yards and a touchdown. He was outstanding under pressure, as he completed four of seven throws when faced with a pass rush for 77 yards and a score, and posted a ridiculous QB rating of 135.1. He was similarly successful when Pittsburgh blitzed, as his QB rating was 123.3 on 11 blitzes.

wentz

Top offensive grades:

RT Lane Johnson, 86.5
QB Carson Wentz, 79.7
LG Allen Barbre, 78
RG Brandon Brooks, 74.9
C Jason Kelce, 71.8

Dominant performance from Johnson highlights big day for offensive line

Johnson did an outstanding job in all facets Sunday, consistently sealing the edge on outside zone runs and posting a clean sheet in pass protection. Barbre and Kelce also had strong days on the ground, and Brooks, like Johnson, did not give up any pressures in pass protection. Despite Wentz’s big day, nothing of the receivers had breakout performances, but the combination of TE Brent Celek and RB Darren Sproles did plenty of damage through the air. They combined to catch all nine of their targets for 189 yards and Sproles’ spectacular touchdown to open the third quarter on a brilliant scramble play by Wentz.

Top defensive grades:

LB Jordan Hicks, 86.5
CB Nolan Carroll, 84.5
DT Fletcher Cox, 84.1
S Malcolm Jenkins, 82.8
OLB Brandon Graham, 81.2

Carroll shuts down the Steelers

The secondary had their issues against Pittsburgh’s Antonio Brown, but even the best players struggle against him (see Chris Harris last season). Rookie CB Jalen Mills was lined up against him most of the day and yielded six catches on seven targets to Brown for 71 yards (on the day Mills gave up nine catches for 146 yards). However, Nolan Carroll effectively shut down the right side, as he was targeted eight times and only allowing three catches for 33 yards and broke up two passes. Cox was his normal self, as he racked up two sacks and three hurries on 37 pass rushes.

Pittsburgh Steelers

Quarterback grade: Ben Roethlisberger, 38.7

Roethlisberger struggles in a big way

Roethlisberger had easily his worst game of the season, as he completed only 54.5 percent of his passes, and was the biggest culprit of the Steelers’ offensive struggles as they relied on the passing game to bring them back once the Eagles jumped out to a big lead. While he only threw one interception, he struggled to connect with any receiver not named Antonio Brown, as he was just 12-of-25 for 117 yards to anyone else. His biggest weakness was throwing outside the numbers to his left, as he only completed two passes for 20 yards on 10 attempts and his only interception came from that side.

Top offensive grades:

WR Antonio Brown, 79.7
WR Eli Rogers, 71.1
OG B.J. Finney, 70.8
C Maurkice Pouncey, 69.8
LT Alejandro Villanueva, 68.2

Right side of the line struggles to hold up in pass protection

The Steelers offensive line had a mixed game, as the left side all graded above 65 as starting LG Ramon Foster was the lowest at 65.7 before he left the game. However, the right side had major issues, led by David DeCastro who allowed 6 total pressures with two sacks, two hits and two QB hurries and a 42.2 game grade. Next to him at tackle Marcus Gilbert had an only slightly better day as he finished at 42.7 with a sack, a hit and a hurry.

Top defensive grades:

CB William Gay, 80.9
CB Russ Cockrell, 80.6
OLB Jarvis Jones, 75
S Robert Golden, 73.8
DE Stephen Tuitt, 69.8

Poor linebacker play leads to long day for Pittsburgh defense

ILB Lawrence Timmons left the game early with an injury, and the entire LB corps suffered as a result. Ryan Shazier, Vince Williams and Arthur Moats all posted grades under 40.0, with Shazier and Williams responsible for seven catches for 137 yards and a touchdown. Moats was too easily sealed on the edge, as he struggled to get off blocks by Johnson on outside zone runs, as well as counter runs that often matched him up against a pulling Allen Barbre.

PFF Game-Ball Winner: Eagles QB Carson Wentz

PFF’s player grading process includes multiple reviews, which may change the grade initially published in order to increase its accuracy. Learn more about how we grade and access grades for every player through each week of the NFL season by subscribing to Player Grades.

| Analyst

Josh joined PFF as an analyst in 2015. During the season, his primary focus is college football (mainly the Big Ten). He is also heavily involved in PFF's NFL draft coverage. Prior to joining the team, he worked for six years with GM Jr. Scouting, an independent draft scouting service.

  • AC2

    Ben played pretty badly in Week 1 too and his grade was ridiculous. This time those sloppy bad plays counted as negatives according to PFFs bizarre (subjective) grade sheet.

  • Brannen Wesley

    does more of the credit go to Wentz due to his talent/work ethic or is it fair to give more credit to the coaching staff and the support around wentz. Also thinking back to when Howie Roseman said they be comfortable with either guy at the draft. So would this look the same with Goff, and would Wentz look like this in St louis?

    • Howie Roseman Supporter!

      Roseman was lyng , he just couldnt reveal that he knew forr sure who the rams were takinng at the time. The NFL wanted to preserve the drama around the #1 pick

      the ownerr said yesterday they were 99.9% sure the rams werre taking goff before they made the trade. They wouldnt have made the trade for goff.

  • Michael James

    How is Robert Golden graded at 73.8 when he didn’t even play one full quarter?

    • https://twitter.com/MALACHiOFCOURSE Malachi

      because that’s how he was graded on his snaps. it’s not their old +/- cumilative system anymore

  • crosseyedlemon

    I felt certain that after earning top honors from PFF last week, Wentz would fall victim to the curse as several others have. He didn’t seem to have the least concern about the big bad Steelers who are touted by many to reach the SB. Sometimes ignorance can be bliss and in this case Wentz simply went about executing the game plan while looking far more experienced than he actually is. The Steelers have 3 of their next 4 at home but if they don’t play better than this, any thoughts of a SB appearance will just be a pipe dream.

  • Mike

    So let me get this straight. Wentz has the 11th best PFF grade among QBs this week, yet had the fourth highest Yards per Attempt, over 300 yards and 2 TDs and no INTs, had an adjusted accuracy percentage of 86.7% (best in the league Week 3) and the third highest PFF QB rating for the week?? LOLOL

    Not just a bitter Eagles fan here, but the grade makes me sorta question who’s grading these Eagles games. I know its not just about stats, but anyone watching knows he played even better than the stats indicate.

    • Can’t Miss

      They underrate people that make dink and dunk passes on PFF. You’d think this would be known by now. They treat those small 5 yard completions as throws you should always make so you lose big when you miss them and get no credit for getting them. Just pay attention to how they grade more than the number.

      • Thinkaboutit

        ^^This^^ i dont think they give much credit to the qb for YAC like that Darren Sproles play.