Steelers Offensive Line Breakdown Play By Play Versus Saints Week 8

Below is the play by play break down of the offensive line from the Sunday week 8 game versus the New Orleans Saints. It is merely a pass or fail grade on if I think the lineman did his job or not. It also should be noted that we go under assumptions that we know what the assignment on each play was and sometimes it is not obvious. We have to grade on what we see and go from there. We added small notes to each play as well. As always if you disagree with any play, do so respectfully in the comments and give your reason so I can go back through and re-watch your disagreement. I did not include the first half kneel down to end the half in the total stats as those are just easy ways to pad stats and not a true reflection. I also included Doug Legursky who saw 2 back to back snaps as the right tight end on the goal line fiasco. This was perhaps the worst game by the offensive line as a collective unit I have seen in a long time.

Overall Rating

#POSPlayerPlaysYesNo%Yes
78LTMax Starks51361571%
53CMaurkice Pouncey 51361571%
79RGTrai Essex51351669%
68LGChris Kemoeatu 51331865%
71RTFlozell Adams45291664%
64RGDoug Legursky21150%
72RGJonathan Scott63350%

Run Blocking Rating

#POSPlayerPlaysYesNoYes
68LGChris Kemoeatu 2015575%
71RTFlozell Adams1812667%
78LTMax Starks2013765%
73RGTrai Essex2013765%
53CMaurkice Pouncey 2012860%
64RTEDoug Legursky21150%
72RTJonathan Scott21150%

Pass Blocking Rating

#POSPlayerPlaysYesNo%Yes
53CMaurkice Pouncey 3124777%
78LTMax Starks3123874%
73RGTrai Essex3122971%
71RTFlozell Adams27171063%
68LGChris Kemoeatu 31181358%
72RTJonathan Scott42250%

First Half Rating

#POSPlayerPlaysYesNo%Yes
79RGTrai Essex3324973%
78LTMax Starks33231070%
53CMaurkice Pouncey 33231070%
71RTFlozell Adams33211264%
68LGChris Kemoeatu 33181555%
64RTEDoug Legursky21150%

Second Half Rating

#POSPlayerPlaysYesNo%Yes
68LGChris Kemoeatu 1815383%
78LTMax Starks1813572%
53CMaurkice Pouncey 1813572%
71RTFlozell Adams128467%
64RGTrai Essex1811761%
72RTJonathan Scott63350%

Max Starks – Starks graded out the best overall but that is not a good reward this week. Basically 3 out of every plays he did not do his job. He fared better in pass protection than he did in his run blocking. He and Chris Kemoeatu need to do better communication and film study on switches when linebackers and defensive linemen stunt and loop. By looks of the hand signals, they were getting the line calls, just not executing well. He is overcompensating at times by dropping back too deep into the pocket and almost is in the lap of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. On run blocks, he needs to hold his blocks longer as a few times he had what would of been a good block, only to release too soon and let his man in on a play or tail end of a play.

Maurkice Pouncey – Second overall, but that is no conciliation prize. What was surprising was he was not as dominate on running plays. He plain missed a few times and tripped or lost footing other times. I kept wondering to myself if he was having problems with the Superdome turf. Seems like he was not as dominate in the 2010 Sugar Bowl against Cincinnati as well. I have that game on tape and need to re-watch it. I think he will rebound from this.

Trai Essex – This was his first game back since the ankle injury suffered against the Titans in week 2 and he is indeed 100% back to his old self. Bad! He still allows those inside pressures and lets linemen get hands in his chest. Doug Legursky got knocked for an off game against Miami, but outside of the penalties and a few other small fails, I stand by my thoughts that he is the better choice at right guard over Essex and Foster. The Steelers will really want to address this position in the draft or see if rookie Chris Scott has a future at the position even.

Chris Kemoeatu – I had Kemo as the best run blocker which is not a surprise, but he struggled bad on the carpet in pass protection and was the worst of the regulars in that category. Especially in the first half on stunts and allowed pressures early on. He did seem to respond to the half time adjustments that were made though, but the Steelers only had 18 second half snaps to base that on. A real stinker for Big Juicy.

Flozell Adams – Flo seemed bother by the bad wheel as he is not the most agile even when he has all 4 tires full of air and aligned. No surprise his run blocking was better than his pass blocking Sunday night. He took his normal plays off on Sunday night plus a few more. He struggles on the right side when they overload him and he was working with Essex this week beside him instead of Legursky. Reports say that Essex and Adams communicate well together, but I did not see it Sunday night. If Adams has choose between multiple people coming, he sometimes chooses none. This needs film sessions as he seemed confused on overloads.

Jonathan Scott – Adams went down early in the second half and Scott came in to spell him for 6 plays. The first 2 plays were fine, but in 3 of the next 4 he looked confused with his assignment. I actually think he might be a better backup left tackle than a right tackle with his skill set and the way he moves his feet.

Doug Legursky – Hard to judge a guy that comes in for just 2 plays and at a right tight end position. He turned his man inside on the first Rashard Mendenhall carry that should of been a TD, but failed the second time on the almost exact same play the next snap. 50-50 on the night.

Play By Play Breakdown

Play 1POS1st-10, PIT20 15:00 B. Roethlisberger passed to R. Mendenhall to the left for 9 yard gainGood Job?Notes
78LTMax StarksNoAllowed a QB hit
68LGChris Kemoeatu YesScreen block
53CMaurkice Pouncey YesGreat off line & great screen cut
79RGTrai EssexYesSlow but adequate on screen
71RTFlozell AdamsYesCouple of pushes
Play 2POS2nd-1, PIT29 14:21 R. Mendenhall rushed to the right for 4 yard gainGood Job?Notes
78LTMax StarksNoMissed cut
68LGChris Kemoeatu YesGot cut done
53CMaurkice Pouncey YesGot body on 2
79RGTrai EssexYesNot the best just enough
71RTFlozell AdamsYesKept 2 wide of play
Play 3POS1st-10, PIT33 13:45 B. Roethlisberger passed to H. Ward to the left for 2 yard gainGood Job?Notes
78LTMax StarksNoTripped & fell
68LGChris Kemoeatu NoVery slow to left
53CMaurkice Pouncey YesQuick screen left
79RGTrai EssexYesNot much needed
71RTFlozell AdamsYesPlay on other side
Play 4POS2nd-8, PIT35 13:04 R. Mendenhall rushed to the right for 3 yard gainGood Job?Notes
78LTMax StarksNoPoor effort
68LGChris Kemoeatu YesSlowed man enough on cut attempt
53CMaurkice Pouncey YesPulled right helped Essex
79RGTrai EssexYesRode man down
71RTFlozell AdamsYesHelped by Manny
Play 5POS3rd-5, PIT38 12:21 B. Roethlisberger incomplete pass to the rightGood Job?Notes
78LTMax StarksYesEasy job on DB coming
68LGChris Kemoeatu YesEnough on quick pass
53CMaurkice Pouncey YesMiddle controlled
79RGTrai EssexYesPut man on ground
71RTFlozell AdamsNoEasy pressure allowed
Play 6POS1st-10, PIT11 10:16 I. Redman rushed to the left for 15 yard gainGood Job?Notes
78LTMax StarksYesDrove man down line right
68LGChris Kemoeatu NoMissed LB
53CMaurkice Pouncey YesStood man up
79RGTrai EssexYesTied up middle no penetration
71RTFlozell AdamsYesTied up middle no penetration
Play 7POS1st-10, PIT26 9:34 B. Roethlisberger incomplete pass to the leftGood Job?Notes
78LTMax StarksYesKept Smith wide enough
68LGChris Kemoeatu NoPushed back into pocket
53CMaurkice Pouncey YesMiddle held down
79RGTrai EssexYesGot the stunter
71RTFlozell AdamsYesJust enough
Play 8POS2nd-10, PIT26 9:29 R. Mendenhall rushed to the left for 1 yard lossGood Job?Notes
78LTMax StarksYesTurned man inside
68LGChris Kemoeatu NoPulled left missed
53CMaurkice Pouncey NoPulled left tripped up
79RGTrai EssexNoDove left poor job
71RTFlozell AdamsYesHad assigned man
Play 9POS3rd-11, PIT25 8:44 B. Roethlisberger sacked by P. Prioleau and W. SmithGood Job?Notes
78LTMax StarksYesTook his guy wide
68LGChris Kemoeatu NoPushed back into pocket
53CMaurkice Pouncey YesDid enough
79RGTrai EssexNoBad
71RTFlozell AdamsNoOle
Play 10POS1st-10, PIT10 4:04 M. Moore rushed to the left for 18 yard gainGood Job?Notes
78LTMax StarksNoDid not hold any block
68LGChris Kemoeatu YesOpened hole
53CMaurkice Pouncey YesGood run block jump off line
79RGTrai EssexYesGood job
71RTFlozell AdamsNoPoor effort
Play 11POS1st-10, PIT28 3:21 B. Roethlisberger passed to H. Ward to the right for 1 yard gainGood Job?Notes
78LTMax StarksYesBarely enough
68LGChris Kemoeatu YesTripped man up
53CMaurkice Pouncey NoMissed cut on LB
79RGTrai EssexYesLocked up DT
71RTFlozell AdamsYesTied up end
Play 12POS2nd-9, PIT29 2:48 M. Moore rushed to the left for 1 yard gainGood Job?Notes
78LTMax StarksYesMoved end out enough
68LGChris Kemoeatu YesStayed on his man
53CMaurkice Pouncey YesRecovered after missing LB
79RGTrai EssexNoMissed cut
71RTFlozell AdamsNoNot good backside effort
Play 13POS3rd-8, PIT30 2:03 B. Roethlisberger incomplete pass down the middleGood Job?Notes
78LTMax StarksNoToo deep of drop
68LGChris Kemoeatu NoDriven back
53CMaurkice Pouncey NoGave up middle pressure
79RGTrai EssexNoPoor help
71RTFlozell AdamsNoHelped outside needed inside
Play 14POS1st-10, NO44 0:20 B. Roethlisberger passed to D. Johnson to the right for 9 yard gainGood Job?Notes
78LTMax StarksYesNice switch
68LGChris Kemoeatu YesGot help late
53CMaurkice Pouncey YesHelped Kemo late
79RGTrai EssexYesNo real problems
71RTFlozell AdamsYesNo real problems
Play 15POS2nd-1, NO35 15:00 R. Mendenhall rushed to the right for 4 yard gainGood Job?Notes
78LTMax StarksYesEnough away from hole
68LGChris Kemoeatu YesNice drive
53CMaurkice Pouncey NoMissed 2nd level LB
79RGTrai EssexYesGood job pushing inside left
71RTFlozell AdamsYesTurned end inside
Play 16POS1st-10, NO31 14:26 R. Mendenhall rushed to the left for 6 yard gainGood Job?Notes
78LTMax StarksYesCould of held block longer
68LGChris Kemoeatu YesGot to 2nd level block
53CMaurkice Pouncey YesStrong at POA
79RGTrai EssexYesEnough away from POA
71RTFlozell AdamsYesEnough away from POA
Play 17POS2nd-4, NO25 13:50 R. Mendenhall rushed to the left for 7 yard gainGood Job?Notes
78LTMax StarksYesSwat man wide
68LGChris Kemoeatu YesEnough
53CMaurkice Pouncey YesMade hole
79RGTrai EssexYesGot block on LB
71RTFlozell AdamsYesTurned man inside
Play 18POS1st-10, NO18 13:10 B. Roethlisberger passed to R. Mendenhall down the middle for 5 yard gainGood Job?Notes
78LTMax StarksYesRun fake left
68LGChris Kemoeatu YesRun fake left
53CMaurkice Pouncey YesRun fake left
79RGTrai EssexYesRun fake left
71RTFlozell AdamsYesRun fake left
Play 19POS2nd-5, NO13 12:29 R. Mendenhall rushed to the right for 1 yard gainGood Job?Notes
78LTMax StarksYesNice cut
68LGChris Kemoeatu NoLate to hole on pull
53CMaurkice Pouncey NoNot good enough
79RGTrai EssexNoFailed
71RTFlozell AdamsYesDid his job
Play 20POS3rd-4, NO12 11:36 B. Roethlisberger passed to A. Randle El down the middle for 11 yard gainGood Job?Notes
78LTMax StarksYesDeep drop but enough
68LGChris Kemoeatu NoBeat inside for pressure
53CMaurkice Pouncey YesSliding right nice
79RGTrai EssexYesKept pressure off
71RTFlozell AdamsYesPushed man wide
Play 21POS1st-1, NO1 11:21 I. Redman rushed to the left for 1 yard lossGood Job?Notes
78LTMax StarksNoNot good
68LGChris Kemoeatu NoNot good
53CMaurkice Pouncey YesNot enough though
79RGTrai EssexNoPoor dive inside
71RTFlozell AdamsNoFailed bad
Play 22POS2nd-2, NO2 10:41 R. Mendenhall rushed to the right for 1 yard gainGood Job?Notes
78LTMax StarksNoLate pulling behind
68LGChris Kemoeatu NoMissed
53CMaurkice Pouncey NoPushed back
79RGTrai EssexYesPulled got his man
71RTFlozell AdamsYesTurned man away from play
64RTEDoug LegurskyYesTurned man inside
Play 23POS3rd-1, NO1 9:58 R. Mendenhall rushed to the right for no gainGood Job?Notes
78LTMax StarksNoPoor
68LGChris Kemoeatu YesGot cut done
53CMaurkice Pouncey NoMissed Vilma
79RGTrai EssexYesPulled got his man
71RTFlozell AdamsNoNo push
64RTEDoug LegurskyNoFailed
Play 24POS1st-10, PIT10 5:12 R. Mendenhall rushed to the right for no gainGood Job?Notes
78LTMax StarksYesGot to 2nd level block
68LGChris Kemoeatu YesDrove man out
53CMaurkice Pouncey NoNot good at POA
79RGTrai EssexNoNot good at POA
71RTFlozell AdamsNopoorly done
Play 25POS2nd-10, PIT10 4:33 B. Roethlisberger passed to M. Wallace to the right for 21 yard gainGood Job?Notes
78LTMax StarksYesPushed man inside
68LGChris Kemoeatu YesAdequate
53CMaurkice Pouncey YesGood enough inside
79RGTrai EssexYesEnough
71RTFlozell AdamsYesKept man outside
Play 26POS1st-10, PIT31 3:54 R. Mendenhall rushed to the left for 3 yard gainGood Job?Notes
78LTMax StarksYesNice turning inside
68LGChris Kemoeatu NoLate getting out
53CMaurkice Pouncey YesTied up DT
79RGTrai EssexYesAway from run
71RTFlozell AdamsYesAway from run
Play 27POS2nd-7, PIT34 3:10 B. Roethlisberger incomplete pass to the rightGood Job?Notes
78LTMax StarksYesKept end wide
68LGChris Kemoeatu NoAllowed pressure
53CMaurkice Pouncey NoMissed
79RGTrai EssexYesHandled DT
71RTFlozell AdamsYesNot much to do
Play 28POS3rd-7, PIT34 3:05 B. Roethlisberger sacked by W. SmithGood Job?Notes
78LTMax StarksYesOK
68LGChris Kemoeatu NoMissed stunt
53CMaurkice Pouncey YesHelped right
79RGTrai EssexYesFine
71RTFlozell AdamsYesHeld own
Play 29POS1st-10, NO36 1:51 B. Roethlisberger incomplete pass to the rightGood Job?Notes
78LTMax StarksYesOK with end
68LGChris Kemoeatu NoSpun off of
53CMaurkice Pouncey YesOK
79RGTrai EssexNoPressure allowed
71RTFlozell AdamsNoPoor poor effort
Play 30POS2nd-10, NO36 1:43 B. Roethlisberger passed to M. Wallace to the right for 13 yard gainGood Job?Notes
78LTMax StarksYesControlled end
68LGChris Kemoeatu YesHad his man under control
53CMaurkice Pouncey YesOK in center
79RGTrai EssexYesOK job on DT
71RTFlozell AdamsYesDefense offsides on his end
Play 31POS1st-20, NO33 1:31 B. Roethlisberger incomplete pass to the leftGood Job?Notes
78LTMax StarksYesHelped Kemo late
68LGChris Kemoeatu YesHad LB
53CMaurkice Pouncey NoMan knocked down pass
79RGTrai EssexNoDriven back hands in chest
71RTFlozell AdamsNoCould of helped someone
Play 32POS2nd-20, NO33 1:26 B. Roethlisberger incomplete pass to the leftGood Job?Notes
78LTMax StarksNoBeat by speed rush
68LGChris Kemoeatu NoGot pushed wide
53CMaurkice Pouncey YesRode DT
79RGTrai EssexYesGot the looping DB
71RTFlozell AdamsNoMissed everyone
Play33POS3rd-20, NO33 1:22 B. Roethlisberger incomplete pass to the leftGood Job?Notes
78LTMax StarksYesGood enough
68LGChris Kemoeatu YesWorked with Pouncey
53CMaurkice Pouncey YesWorked with Kemo
79RGTrai EssexYesHelp from Flozell
71RTFlozell AdamsNoShould of helped back outside
Play 34POS1st-10, PIT41 0:01 B. Roethlisberger rushed up the middle for 1 yard lossGood Job?Notes
78LTMax StarksYesKneel down
68LGChris Kemoeatu YesKneel down
53CMaurkice Pouncey YesKneel down
79RGTrai EssexYesKneel down
71RTFlozell AdamsYesKneel down
Play 35POS1st-10, PIT40 8:12 R. Mendenhall rushed to the right for no gainGood Job?Notes
78LTMax StarksYesFine
68LGChris Kemoeatu YesFine
53CMaurkice Pouncey NoPushed back
79RGTrai EssexNoPoor effort
71RTFlozell AdamsNoTurned into hole
Play 36POS2nd-10, PIT40 7:51 B. Roethlisberger passed to A. Randle El to the left for 9 yard gainGood Job?Notes
78LTMax StarksYesFine job
68LGChris Kemoeatu YesGood pass pro
53CMaurkice Pouncey YesGot man handed off from Essex
79RGTrai EssexYesPassed off to Pouncey
72RTJonathan ScottYesGave plenty of time
Play 37POS3rd-1, PIT49 7:03 I. Redman rushed to the left for 5 yard gainGood Job?Notes
78LTMax StarksYesTwo on one
68LGChris Kemoeatu YesTwo on one
53CMaurkice Pouncey YesGood enough
79RGTrai EssexYesTurned man out
72RTJonathan ScottYesHandled end OK
Play 38POS1st-20, PIT44 5:45 R. Mendenhall rushed to the right for 3 yard gainGood Job?Notes
78LTMax StarksNoNobody
68LGChris Kemoeatu YesPulled buried his man
53CMaurkice Pouncey YesPushed man 3 yards
79RGTrai EssexYesPut his man on back
72RTJonathan ScottNoMissed 2nd block
Play 39POS2nd-17, PIT47 5:03 B. Roethlisberger incomplete pass to the rightGood Job?Notes
78LTMax StarksNoScreen play but bad
68LGChris Kemoeatu NoScreen play but bad
53CMaurkice Pouncey NoCould of chipped
79RGTrai EssexNoNobody
72RTJonathan ScottNoWho do I have?
Play 40POS3rd-17, PIT47 4:59 B. Roethlisberger passed to A. Randle El to the right for 13 yard gainGood Job?Notes
78LTMax StarksYesEnough
68LGChris Kemoeatu YesEnough
53CMaurkice Pouncey YesEnough for quick slant
79RGTrai EssexYesQuick slant
72RTJonathan ScottYesQuick slant
Play 41POS4th-4, NO40 4:08 B. Roethlisberger incomplete pass to the rightGood Job?Notes
78LTMax StarksYesAdequate
68LGChris Kemoeatu YesAdequate
53CMaurkice Pouncey YesGave plenty
79RGTrai EssexYesGood enough
72RTJonathan ScottNoBeaten
Play 42POS1st-10, PIT32 12:49 B. Roethlisberger passed to M. Spaeth down the middle for 9 yard gainGood Job?Notes
78LTMax StarksNoInside pressure allowed
68LGChris Kemoeatu YesRecovered
53CMaurkice Pouncey YesHelped right
79RGTrai EssexYesGot help
71RTFlozell AdamsYesNot contested
Play 43POS2nd-1, PIT41 12:15 B. Roethlisberger passed to H. Ward to the left for 12 yard gainGood Job?Notes
78LTMax StarksYesJust enough
68LGChris Kemoeatu NoBeat inside by spin
53CMaurkice Pouncey YesSaved Kemo bacon
79RGTrai EssexYesNot his best
71RTFlozell AdamsNoMissed stunter
Play 44POS1st-10, NO47 11:33 B. Roethlisberger passed to M. Wallace to the right for 9 yard gainGood Job?Notes
78LTMax StarksYesQuick play right
68LGChris Kemoeatu YesQuick screen right
53CMaurkice Pouncey YesQuick screen right
79RGTrai EssexYesMeh
71RTFlozell AdamsNoMissed cut man in on tackle
Play 45POS2nd-1, NO38 10:48 R. Mendenhall rushed to the right for 38 yard touchdownGood Job?Notes
78LTMax StarksYesPlay other side
68LGChris Kemoeatu YesHalfed it
53CMaurkice Pouncey YesTied up long enough
79RGTrai EssexYesTurned man left
71RTFlozell AdamsYesHeld block long enough
Play 46POS1st-10, PIT27 8:01 B. Roethlisberger passed to M. Spaeth to the left for 12 yard gainGood Job?Notes
78LTMax StarksNoAllowed inside pressure
68LGChris Kemoeatu NoHelped inside missed late LB
53CMaurkice Pouncey YesStood ground fine
79RGTrai EssexYesMeh OK
71RTFlozell AdamsYesFought good outside
Play 47POS1st-10, PIT39 7:18 R. Mendenhall rushed to the right for 2 yard gainGood Job?Notes
78LTMax StarksYesPlayed with Mitchell
68LGChris Kemoeatu YesPulled right got pancake
53CMaurkice Pouncey NoLet Ellis go untouched
79RGTrai EssexNoPoorly done
71RTFlozell AdamsYesPowered Brown
Play 48POS2nd-8, PIT41 6:24 B. Roethlisberger passed to H. Miller down the middle for 25 yard gainGood Job?Notes
78LTMax StarksYesGood job on recognition
68LGChris Kemoeatu YesPicked up late DB
53CMaurkice Pouncey YesOK
79RGTrai EssexYesBeat inside recovered
71RTFlozell AdamsYesGood job wide
Play 49POS1st-10, PIT21 2:31 B. Roethlisberger sacked by J. VilmaGood Job?Notes
78LTMax StarksYesOn a DB
68LGChris Kemoeatu YesKept his man out
53CMaurkice Pouncey NoShould of helped right
79RGTrai EssexNoBeat
71RTFlozell AdamsNoBeat
Play 50POS2nd-22, PIT9 2:03 B. Roethlisberger passed to H. Miller down the middle for 14 yard gainGood Job?Notes
78LTMax StarksNoPoor effort
68LGChris Kemoeatu YesHelped Pouncey
53CMaurkice Pouncey NoPushed way back
79RGTrai EssexNoGot noone
71RTFlozell AdamsYesKept man wide with RB help
Play 51POS3rd-8, PIT23 1:56 B. Roethlisberger passed to E. Sanders to the right for 21 yard gainGood Job?Notes
78LTMax StarksYesGood job on switch
68LGChris Kemoeatu YesPlenty of time
53CMaurkice Pouncey YesHelped left late on stunt
79RGTrai EssexNoPressure allowed
71RTFlozell AdamsYesControlled the edge
Play 52POS1st-10, PIT44 1:40 L. Torrence intercepted B. Roethlisberger for 21 yardsGood Job?Notes
78LTMax StarksYesProtected fine
68LGChris Kemoeatu YesHelped inside
53CMaurkice Pouncey YesRode man way right
79RGTrai EssexNoBeat inside again for pressure
71RTFlozell AdamsYesLet man go way wide

I am, I'm me. 40 something, retired and a life long Steelers fan.
  • Dennis

    Great job as usual on this. I too was wondering about the footing of Pouncey. Essex is plain awful I agree. I wonder why BA does not run more to the left behind Juicey. I surely hope the right side is addressed in the draft. Thanks for doing these.