Why does Pro Football Focus rank the Steelers, Ben Roethlisberger so low? Answers from a PFF analyst

PFF's Eric Eager joined The Fan Morning Show to explain
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PITTSBURGH (93.7 The Fan) - The Pittsburgh Steelers have remained perfect through the first 10 games of a season for the first time in franchise history.

But, that doesn’t mean it’s all love for the work they’ve done to this point.

Pro Football Focus breaks down game film and provides stats, rankings and ratings for various things for both individual players and teams overall.

Despite the Steelers unbeaten record, PFF has yet to rank the Steelers as their #1 team to this point. Currently, the site has the 9-1 Kansas City Chiefs and the 8-2 New Orleans Saints ahead of them, respectively.

So why is this? PFF analyst Eric Eager joined The Fan Morning Show Tuesday to explain.

“Going into this next week, they’re 3rd in our power rankings despite having, I just calculated, the easiest schedule in the NFL so far this year, just ahead of Washington and Indy. I would say we have liked them fine. You go into the year, Big Ben coming off an injury, kind of ho hum efforts against juggernauts like the Giants and the Broncos and so on and so forth.

I think they are hitting their stride but my biggest question for Steelers fans would be, ‘What do you expect?’ I mean if we’re going to put them ahead of Kansas City, are they really going to bet for example that Kansas City and Pittsburgh would be a pick ‘em on a neutral field? I would say you lose a lot of money booking those types of things.”

It’s even worse for Ben Roethlisberger. Through 10 games, PFF has Ben ranked as having the 21st best season at quarterback in the league.

“Look, Ben hasn’t played terribly. We’re just not necessarily going to put him in the MVP category. If Rodgers’ Packers were 9-0, he’d be the MVP. If Wilson’s Seahawks were 9-0, he’d probably be the MVP. Mahomes is the frontrunner now, his team is 9-1. Deshaun Watson the same way.

When you watch Ben and the Steelers, Ben is playing fine. I think I said this last week, I don’t know how the numbers changed…he’s on pace for his lowest yards per attempt passing in his career basically. But, he’s not taking as many sacks and as such, their passing offense is probably fine.

When you look at what’s going on, it’s a lot of extra receivers. If I look at his yards after the catch, over 50% of his passing yards are yards after the catch. Well, that’s a huge testament to the Steelers and their ability to draft and develop wide receivers like Diontae Johnson, James Washington. JuJu Smith-Schuster and Chase Claypool.

But what we’re saying is, ‘Ok, let’s concentrate a little bit of that praise on the group as a whole.’ That’s probably then transferring onto Mike Tomlin and Randy Fichtner and how good they’re doing in coaching the team up.”

You buyin’ it?

You can check out the full interview with Eric Eager of Pro Football Focus, and more of the explanation, on The Fan Morning Show podcast page.