News & Analysis

Refocused: Pittsburgh Steelers 17, Atlanta Falcons 13

By PFF Analysis Team
Aug 21, 2017

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INDIANAPOLIS, IN - NOVEMBER 24: Anthony Chickillo #56 of the Pittsburgh Steelers in action against the Indianapolis Colts during the game at Lucas Oil Stadium on November 24, 2016 in Indianapolis, Indiana. The Steelers defeated the Colts 28-7. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

Matt Ryan was efficient on his lone drive, and a RB Terron Ward score in the first quarter put the Falcons up on a Steelers team that was missing Ben Roethlisberger and Le’Veon Bell.

However, the Steelers would go on to win the game on the strength of a Trey Williams punt return for a touchdown and a touchdown pass from Bart Houston to Justin Hunter. With that we give you our PFF exclusive takeaways from the contest for each team.

Top 5 Grades:

S Jordan Dangerfield, 86.5 overall grade

ED Anthony Chickillo, 83.5 overall grade

LB L.J. Fort, 83.3 overall grade

ED Arthur Moats, 83.1 overall grade

ED T.J. Watt, 79.9 overall grade

Performances of Note:

QB Joshua Dobbs, 44.5 overall grade

You wouldn’t think either Landry Jones or Ben Roethlisberger will be worried about their places on the depth chart after this uneven display. Showing some issues with ball placement and making one ridiculous decision you can’t make at this level (or any level for that matter), Dobbs looked anything but a safe hand. He wasn’t helped with two drops but completing just 53.8% of passes when not under pressure is not good enough.

LG Matt Feiler, 78.7 overall grade

Feiler isn’t exactly a player who many non-Steeler fans will know too much about. He has bounced around preseason rosters with his first two years in Houston and the last two in Pittsburgh, always giving a good accounting of himself but never making the cut. Given a chance to start here he put forward a case that he could stick with an assured effort that saw him generate good movement in the run game while only getting beat for one hurry in 31 pass blocks.

ED T.J. Watt, 79.9 overall grade

After impressing in rushing the passer and picking up two sacks last week, Watt this time showed that he can play against the run just as well. The former Wisconsin player excelled at setting the edge and turning runs back inside against Atlanta while he picked up three run stops on just 12 plays defending the run.

ED Anthony Chickillo, 83.5 overall grade

Whereas Watt was Pittsburgh’s best run defender, Chickillo was the Steelers’ best pass rusher in the win against the Falcons. Chickillo had two sacks and picked up two additional hurries on just 25 pass rushing snaps while recording a total of four defensive stops.

Top 5 Grades:

TE Austin Hooper, 82.0 overall grade

CB Blidi Wreh-Wilson, 80.8 overall grade

WR Reggie Davis, 80.0 overall grade

LB De’Vondre Campbell, 79.3 overall grade

ED Takkarist McKinley, 79.1 overall grade

Performances of Note:

OT Kevin Graf, 79.1 overall grade

Graf played the fifth-most snaps on the Falcons offense with 50 and he did not disappoint. Playing the majority of his snaps in pass protection, the former USC lineman allowed just one quarterback hurry on 34 passing plays at right tackle.

WR Reggie Davis, 80.0 overall grade

Although the Falcons did not play Julio Jones, they had a reliable downfield target in Davis in this game. Davis played part in the game’s longest play when he beat CB Ross Cockrell and hauled in a 44-yard pass from QB Matt Simms. The rookie receiver finished the game with four receptions and 82 receiving yards on five targets while quarterbacks had a passer rating of 118.8 when targeting him.

DE Takkarist McKinley, 79.1 overall grade

A strong start from the first rounder who picked up a hit and two hurries on eight pass rushes, including getting round sluggish Steelers starting left tackle Alejandro Villanueva to take Josh Dodds to the turf. It’s a very small sample size but all McKinley did was get Falcons fans excited to see more of him.

LB Duke Riley, 75.6 overall grade

Third round pick Riley didn’t get the start but did get into the game early, making his presence felt with two defensive stops (tied for second on the team) on his 23 defensive snaps. It remains to be seen what role the team have him ticketed for, but with 60.8% of his snaps on passing plays the team got an extended look at what he is capable of there (including one blitz of the quarterback).

PFF Game Ball: ED Anthony Chickillo, 83.5 overall grade

*Grades subject to change pending review

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