PIT-BAL Grades: Roethlisberger struggles, Mallet impresses

The top takeaways and highest-graded players from the Ravens’ 20-17 win over the Steelers.

| 10 months ago
(AP Photo/Gail Burton)

(AP Photo/Gail Burton)

PIT-BAL Grades: Roethlisberger struggles, Mallet impresses

Here are the top takeaways and highest-graded players from the Ravens’ 20-17 win over the Steelers.

Pittsburgh Steelers

– QB Ben Roethlisberger (+0.6) had one of his worst outings of the season, despite being pressured on just six of his 37 dropbacks. He completed just 3-of-11 targets 10+ yards downfield, including zero-for-three on deep passes (20+ yards downfield). Out of the games he played in their entirety, it was just his second game this season he failed to complete a deep pass. Roethlisberger’s biggest problem was forcing the ball to WR Antonio Brown (+0.9), which resulted in three interceptions, with one nullified by a lucky offsides penalty.

– The Steelers’ offensive line played really well for the most part, with four of the five linemen earning +1.0 or higher grades. C Cody Wallace and RG David DeCastro each allowed two pressures, but their work in the run game giving HB DeAngelo Williams room to run earned them good run block grades. LT Alejandro Villanueva (-2.0) was the lone disappointment as he allowed four total pressures, including two of the Ravens’ three sacks. Moreover, two of the four pressures were by OLB Courtney Upshaw, who has been one of the least effective edge rushers this season.

– The Pittsburgh front seven was the weakness of the defense against the Ravens, particularly against the run, as they gave up a combined 119 rushing yards to Buck Allen and Terrance West. LB Ryan Shazier (-4.1) struggled to get off blocks at the second level en route to his third -3.2 or worse run defense grade this season. They also didn’t do a very good job of getting pressure on QB Ryan Mallett. DE Cameron Heyward (-3.3) did not register a single pressure on 37 pass rush snaps, while OLBs Bud Dupree (-1.5) and Jarvis Jones (+0.7) had just three hurries on a combined 41 pass rush snaps.

Top performers:

C Cody Wallace (+2.9)
DE Stephon Tuitt (+2.8)
RG David DeCastro (+2.5)
RT Marcus Gilbert (+2.1)
CB Ross Cockrell (+2.1)


Baltimore Ravens

– QB Ryan Mallett (+1.5) played about as well as you could expect for a quarterback making his first start after being with the team for just two weeks. Mallett was 8-for-10 for 150 yards and a touchdown on passes targeted 10+ yards downfield.

– OLB Courtney Upshaw has been pretty ineffective as a pass rusher this season, but he had one of his best days of the season with a sack and a hit on Roethlisberger on 19 pass rushes. He also played well against the run, notching two run stops. Outside of lining up in the neutral zone on a play that happened to turn into and nullify an interception return for a touchdown, it was a good showing from Upshaw.

– Opposite Upshaw, OLB Elvis Dumervil’s performance has fallen off the second half of the season. Prior to the Ravens’ bye week, Dumervil’s cumulative +18.1 overall grade ranked seventh among all edge defenders. But in the seven games since, he has earned a -6.3 overall grade that ranks 86th out of 96 edge defenders. Sunday, he had just two hurries on 34 pass rushes, marking the third straight game without a sack or hit and just two or fewer total pressures. The last time he went three consecutive games without a sack or hit was over the final three weeks of the 2008 season.

Top performers:

LG Ryan Jenson (+7.4)
ROLB Courtney Upshaw (+3.1)
QB Ryan Mallett (+1.5)
CB Shareece Wright (+1.5)
CB Lardarius Webb (+1.2)

| Analyst

Matt has been an analyst for PFF since 2013. He is also a contributor to 120 Sports and a former NCAA Division-III football player.

  • Israel

    Dumervil is clearly losing gas after an entire season without a top pass rushing partner. His grit has been admirable having to turn into a every down pass rusher but Harbaugh must find a way to rest him. Suggs is also above 30 so the Ravens must get an immediate impact pass rusher in next year draft.

  • Daniel Michael Evans

    Weren’t you guys trying to put the steelers in the division championship and super bowl last week? How many picks/interceptable balls does Ben have to throw before we admit it’s problematic. For a guy that is fawned over by all the analysts should’nt martavius Bryant have more production? Just Questions for this steeler blog…. Oops I mean pro football focus.

    • Sam Doohan

      All that optimism was, obviously, based on the idea that the Steelers didn’t suddenly stop playing well for no obvious reason. Nothing in any stats pointed towards a Baltimore win what so ever and if you think otherwise then it’s you whose the biased one.

      The Steelers showed up and played badly in a critical situation but unless you bet your house and your car and made a million dollars then you’re all mouth. No-one seriously thought the Ravens would win.

    • crosseyedlemon

      Those ridiculous Bumble Bee costumes seem to blind all Steeler fans to reality.

  • James Winslow

    Mike Tomlin needs to be fired

    • Sam Doohan

      What possible reason could there be for firing him?

      Don’t get me wrong; the past few seasons have been really frustrating but they certainly haven’t been bad seasons. At their absolute worst they’ve been 8-8; last year they were 11-5, this year they’ll probably be 10-6. And yeah, we all feel like they have the talent to be better than that but that’s a terrible reason to get rid of one of the leagues better coaches.

      This is not a bad season at all. They have been missing Bell almost all season and Ben for a good chunk of it. Pouncy is a great C and missing him hurts pass protection and the running game. Their secondary is dreadful and being completely rebuilt (which has nothing to do with Tomlin; he isn’t a coach who controls personnel decisions). And yet they are going to finish the season with a winning record. No-where in the NFL is that a bad season. Injuries add up and it’s cost them the one or two wins they’d need to have a really strong year but this year is fine.

      Hell, they still aren’t out of the playoffs. Man will you sound stupid if the Jets lose to the Bills and the Steelers run the table in the playoffs. On paper Tomlin has coached to the same level as Bill Cowher; a superbowl win, two conference titles, winning percentage in the 600s (Tomlin is higher) but it’s taken Tomlin 5 years fewer to rack it all up.

      Tomlin is doing great. Maybe he’s not a guy like Bellichick but as you might have noticed Billy B isn’t on the market. He has a job already. So who do you want the Steelers to hire? Chip Kelly? Lovie Smith? Mmm, yeah. Those guys are definitely the kind of winners that the Steelers really need.

      • James Winslow

        Overall, the team has under performed greatly, this team should easily 12-4 every year even with injuries. I mean they couldn’t outscore the ravens yesterday who start Ryan mallet. The steelers have the best qb in the league and some of the best receivers in the league, with that you should be 12-4 every year especially in this league. Losing bell hasn’t hurt them since DW is stud, and pouncy is good but he is a center you can live without that. . It also doesn’t help that steeler’s have seen a lot of losses do to questionable play calling and game plan over the years. How do you lose to the tim tebow led broncos with the number one D, the same tim tebow who got decimated by the patriots later in the playoffs who had the worst defense in the league. Also tomlin inherited that team they had the number one defense and a future hof qb, They are expected to win one superbowl with that. I guess you could at his peak maybe he was average but he is well below that at the moment.

        • crosseyedlemon

          Your still crying about the loss to Tebow? that’s hilarious!

          • James Winslow

            Nah not even a steeler’s fan, that was just embarrassing though I had to bring it up.

      • klngonwarr

        That reasonably sums it up, Tomlin did a great job over all. But he does show a tendency to lose games he should win. I am confident that he can fix that.

    • crosseyedlemon

      Given all the adversity the Steelers have faced this season I don’t know if any other coach would have done much better than Tomlin.

      • James Winslow

        nah if you have a mvp qb and a stud wr you are golden in this league. There is no excuses especially in must win games.

        • crosseyedlemon

          So your conveniently ignoring those games when Tomlin was without his mvp QB and his best rusher and a pro bowl center etc. Passing judgement on the basis of one bad game is silly.

          • Martin Szabó

            I don’t think he needs to be fired, but losing to these lowly Ravens may very well cost them the playoffs.

          • Alex K

            The Steelers haven’t won a playoff game in 5 years. That’s pretty bad when you have a good QB like Ben. The idea that Tomlin should go isn’t crazy.

          • James Winslow

            Nah I pass judgement on multiple games I mentioned a few. Also in two of those games without their starters they faced the baltimore ravens and the chargers, they should win those games either way. They managed to beat the cards, without them, but still when it counted last week and they had their QB they folded big time. A good coach would of had his team more prepared.

      • James Winslow

        I think there are at least 20 coaches who give their soul for the steelers roster. If you have the best qb in league you should win 12 games easily every year, even if you are coached by mike pettine.

  • Martin Szabó

    holy crap! Ryan Jensen with +7.4??? i hope he works out in LG so Osemele can play as an LT. Also the secondary came up big Sunday, 3 INTs and seeing Wright and Webb having + grades is just awesome.

  • Tim Edell

    Ryan Mallett and Brandon Weeden both with positive grades this week!?!! Dont look now but that damn pig just flew over my house!!