clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Steelers Report Card: Grading the 33-18 victory over the Cleveland Browns in Week 8

New, comments

BTSC breaks out the red pen and assigns grades to the Steelers after their flushing down of the Cleveland Browns.

NFL: Cleveland Browns at Pittsburgh Steelers Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

Week in/Week out, I’ve got to issue the grand disclaimer. You know the story. I’m not a football coach, or a teacher, but I play one in blogs and podcasts. I must admit that I was nervous about coming off of the bye against a hungry Cleveland team and a young, exciting Browns defense equating to a loss. But the ultimate result was a victory of most satisfying proportions.

Grading games is an extremely difficult and somewhat thankless task. While the coaches’ grades, of course, are what count the most, the media and fans can’t help but evaluate as well.

So let’s take a look at BTSC’s early perceptions:

Offense:

Cleveland’s defense was tough to penetrate at first. Ben Roethlisberger was real shaky in the early goings, but settled down and ended with a solid 24/36 and 257 yard day. His hookups with Antonio Brown (6 catches/74 yards and 2 scores) got them back in the black and the gutsy 4th Down Conversion was huge. The squad of Villanueva, Foster, Pouncey, DeCastro and Feiler were great and allowed only one sack of their quarterback. But Big Al’s performance against Myles Garrett (allowing only one sack) was pretty significant. They assisted, as well, on the amazing performance (212 total yards/2 TDs) by James Conner. His performance as a rusher, receiver and pass protector was MVP-like. After early struggles, the unit performed quite well.

Overall Offense Grade: A-

Poll

What grade would you assign the Steelers offense after their 33-18 victory over Cleveland?

This poll is closed

  • 51%
    A
    (711 votes)
  • 45%
    B
    (634 votes)
  • 2%
    C
    (32 votes)
  • 0%
    D
    (4 votes)
  • 0%
    F
    (4 votes)
1385 votes total Vote Now

Defense

Keith Butler’s defense still isn’t impenetrable, but looked pretty good as the game went on. The run-defense looked like they were going to get shredded by Nick Chubb early on after his 41 yards rushing. He only got 24 the rest of the game. The defensive line was good with Stephon Tuitt getting two sacks. The linebackers were pretty good with Bud Dupree being absolutely destructive. The secondary did not get exposed, it was pretty solid with Joe Haden leading the way as a shut-down corner. The scoreboard may have read 18 PA, but the score after the botched free kick left them with a short field and the garbage time TD was just that. It was a solid go.

Overall Defense Grade: B+

Poll

What grade would you assign the Steelers defense after their 33-18 success over Cleveland?

This poll is closed

  • 24%
    A
    (333 votes)
  • 64%
    B
    (857 votes)
  • 9%
    C
    (132 votes)
  • 0%
    D
    (7 votes)
  • 0%
    F
    (9 votes)
1338 votes total Vote Now

Special Teams

Boswell May be cured and Switzer is exciting, but Jordan Berry’s punts were subpar again and AB and Switz not knowing the rules on the the free kick is inexcusable.

Overall Special Teams Grade: C

Poll

What grade would you assign the Steelers special teams after their 33-18 win over Cleveland?

This poll is closed

  • 0%
    A
    (7 votes)
  • 6%
    B
    (85 votes)
  • 39%
    C
    (511 votes)
  • 41%
    D
    (544 votes)
  • 11%
    F
    (150 votes)
1297 votes total Vote Now

Overall Team Grade: B+

It wasn’t exactly a complete 60-minute performance of dominance, but it was a very good division win for a traumatized city. With a three-game streak, the team could be on a roll with a victory over Baltimore.

Poll

What overall grade would you assign the Steelers after their 33-18 win versus Cleveland?

This poll is closed

  • 13%
    A
    (140 votes)
  • 76%
    B
    (792 votes)
  • 9%
    C
    (96 votes)
  • 0%
    D
    (4 votes)
  • 0%
    F
    (5 votes)
1037 votes total Vote Now

Valedictorian: James Conner

Honor Roll: Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown, James Conner, Alejandro Villanueva, Joe Haden, Bud Dupree, Stephon Tuitt

Detention: Special Teams and First Quarter Ben