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Steelers Report Card: Grading Pittsburgh’s epic 20-16 win over the Jaguars

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BTSC breaks out the red pen and assigns grades to the Steelers after their road trip against a familiar foe.

NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers at Jacksonville Jaguars Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

The Steelers and the Jaguars:

Despite my less than prestigious BTSC teaching certificate, I have to issue the necessary disclaimer. You know the story; of course, I’m not a football coach, or a teacher, but I play one in blogs and podcasts. Before the Steelers traveled to Northern Florida, I found myself noticing just how equal the two teams actually are despite the disparity in records. And then I realized that these teams both usually battle in tight contests. Then the game happened and the judgments followed.

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:

I find it hard to fault James Conner for his mere 25 yards on nine carries, because the early deficit made the run game obsolete. But his two key drops at crucial junctures almost cost the Steelers dearly. The receivers can’t be blamed either. Antonio Brown would’ve been gone on the first pick by Ben, but No. 7 couldn’t get the wide-open AB the Ball. He missed Vance McDonald a few times too. The offense’s main issues were due to Ben Roethlisberger, but once it came down to the comeback...the legendary Steeler led the way. It was ugly girl prom date pretty. The nice thing for Ben was his chaperones down the stretch (JuJu, AB, Vance and Switz) were clutch.

Poll

What grade do you give the Steelers’ offense in Week 11?

This poll is closed

  • 0%
    A
    (9 votes)
  • 14%
    B
    (218 votes)
  • 58%
    C
    (865 votes)
  • 23%
    D
    (351 votes)
  • 1%
    F
    (27 votes)
1470 votes total Vote Now

Overall Offense Grade: C-

Defense

The defense was definitely impressive and won the game for the Steelers. While the run defense was getting shredded early and gave up 4.2 ypc, they held Leonard Fournette late to just 20 of his 95 yards for an average of 1.43 ypc. Blake Bortles only completed ten passes, four more than the six times he fell victim to sacks, two each by T.J. Watt and Javon Hargrave and one each by Vinny Williams and Cam Heyward. The secondary didn’t let one deep ball get completed, which helped as well.

Poll

What grade do you give the Steelers’ Defense in Week 11?

This poll is closed

  • 33%
    A
    (496 votes)
  • 54%
    B
    (797 votes)
  • 9%
    C
    (144 votes)
  • 1%
    D
    (20 votes)
  • 0%
    F
    (3 votes)
1460 votes total Vote Now

Overall Defense Grade: A-

Special Teams

Missed tackles, unnecessary and way too many penalties and very little return on returns...Danny Smith Jr.’s unit was subpar. But Jordan Berry averaged 51 ypp, his best performance of the season.

Poll

What grade do you give the Steelers’ special teams in Week 11?

This poll is closed

  • 8%
    A
    (108 votes)
  • 37%
    B
    (483 votes)
  • 43%
    C
    (564 votes)
  • 9%
    D
    (127 votes)
  • 0%
    F
    (9 votes)
1291 votes total Vote Now

Overall Special Teams Grade: C

Overall Team Grade: C-

They did what it took to get the job done. The ending was awesome and gives Steeler Nation great hope, but the first 45 minutes were rough.

Poll

What is your overall grade for the Steelers in Week 11?

This poll is closed

  • 2%
    A
    (38 votes)
  • 32%
    B
    (423 votes)
  • 57%
    C
    (756 votes)
  • 6%
    D
    (87 votes)
  • 0%
    F
    (4 votes)
1308 votes total Vote Now

Valedictorian: Trent Jordan Watt

Honor Roll: JuJu Smith-Schuster, Antonio Brown, Vance McDonald. Comeback Ben, Jordan Berry, Ryan Switzer, Cam Heyward, the secondary, Vince Williams, Tyson Alualu, Javon Hargrave

Detention: James Conner, 1st Quarter Ben, 2nd Quarter Ben, 3rd Quarter Ben, Matt Feiler