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Steelers vs. Browns Week 1: Grading the Steelers performance vs. the Browns

BTSC hands out grades for the Steelers’ first victory of the 2017 season.

Pittsburgh Steelers v Cleveland Browns Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

With the Steelers looking less than stellar in their 21-18 season-opening victory, the faculty at BTSC took the red pen to the Pittsburgh performance.

So let’s see just how they graded out.

Offense: C+

The game plan seemed uninspired at first with the dink-and-dunk passing game. Penalties killed drives and it took a long time to get Le’Veon Bell into the mix. The offensive line play was just okay, but by the final quarter, things seemed to start gelling all the way around. The lack of preseason playing time turned this game into a fifth preseason game, but the Steelers will be fine.

Honor Roll: Antonio Brown, Jesse James

Detention: JuJu Smith Schuster, Todd Haley, Le'Veon Bell, Maurkice Pouncey

Defense: B-

The defense gave up two touchdowns and a field goal. They came out smoking, then Tuitt went down. The exit of No. 91 seemed to trigger a shift, and an awakening in DeShone Kiser and the Browns. The pass rush was humming with seven sacks and a QB pressure. Although the majority of the sacks were coverage sacks, which means the secondary was doing their job.

Some voiced their disappointment with Joe Haden. But he was active enough with a pass defense and a sack. He's only had a week's worth of Steelers prep, so we’ve got to cut him some slack. My biggest gripe was too many penalties including a rash of unnecessary roughness fouls. All in all, though, I think the defense is heading in the right direction.

Honor Roll: Anthony Chickillo, T.J. Watt, Cam Heyward, Ryan Shazier

Detention: The majority of Keith Butler's defense lacked discipline. Therefore, they all need to stay after class.

Special Teams: A-

Boswell and Berry were making their kicks tough to return. The return game, especially Rogers, seemed promising too. But the pressure on the first two punts, with one resulting in a special teams TD makes this entire unit the teacher's pet.

Honor Roll: Danny Smith Jr., Anthony Chickillo, Eli Rogers, Tyler Matakevich

...

This was a rust-shaking game even though it wasn't supposed to be. The Browns are improving, and a majority of the Steelers finally played together. Take the win and enjoy it Steelers fans.

Overall: B-