clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Steelers Report Card: Grading the Steelers’ 24-17 loss to Denver in Week 12

New, comments

BTSC breaks out the red pen and assigns grades to the Steelers after their road trip against a tough, but underachieving combatant.

NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers at Denver Broncos Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The Steelers matriculated in the Mile High City this week and it’s time to see if they made the grade. Spoiler alert...they didn’t.

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 the place where Joey Porter got shot in the ass, 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 fiercely in tight contests. Then the game happened and 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:

Why are they not relying on the running game with James Conner? 53 rushing yards on a mere 13 carries is not enough. There was no early deficit to make the run game obsolete. The Broncos rushing defense was ranked 27th going in. Conner’s fumble broke their back. He didn’t need to leave his feet. Ben was pretty good, but the two interceptions were killers. They trump 462 yards. Antonio Brown and Ryan Switzer were pretty good yesterday, but JuJu Smith-Schuster was nothing short of amazing. Xavier Grimble’s fumble is inexcusable. His excuse of wanting to punish his defender instead of scoring easily is unforgivable. Chuks Okafor held his own against Von Miller.

Overall Offense Grade: B-

Poll

What grade would you assign the Steelers offense after their losing performance against Denver?

This poll is closed

  • 1%
    A
    (12 votes)
  • 18%
    B
    (162 votes)
  • 52%
    C
    (467 votes)
  • 22%
    D
    (200 votes)
  • 4%
    F
    (44 votes)
885 votes total Vote Now

Defense

The defense was definitely not impressive. Ryan Lindsay ate them up on the ground. Case Keenum got just enough time to complete passes. Emmanuel Sanders punished his old team’s secondary and they found themselves struggling against the TE position again. Not having Stephon Tuitt to stop the run is debilitating.

Overall Defense Grade: C-

Poll

What grade would you assign the Steelers defense after their 24-17 loss to Denver?

This poll is closed

  • 0%
    A
    (2 votes)
  • 13%
    B
    (114 votes)
  • 41%
    C
    (359 votes)
  • 39%
    D
    (337 votes)
  • 5%
    F
    (49 votes)
861 votes total Vote Now

Special Teams

The blocked field goal hurt, but the ST unit wasn’t that bad. I feel like Danny Smith’s unit is finding their way. Jordan Berry is punting so much better. But the fake field goal was innovative and executed well.

Overall Special Teams Grade: B+

Poll

What grade would you assign the Steelers special teams after their performance against Denver?

This poll is closed

  • 10%
    A
    (88 votes)
  • 54%
    B
    (433 votes)
  • 24%
    C
    (200 votes)
  • 6%
    D
    (56 votes)
  • 2%
    F
    (24 votes)
801 votes total Vote Now

Overall Team Grade: C

This was a contest that they should have won. They could have controlled the ball better and they lost by not protecting the ball. There opponent was, however, better than their record. This game can’t be replicated going forward.

Poll

What overall grade would you assign the Steelers after their 24-17 losing performance against Denver?

This poll is closed

  • 0%
    A
    (3 votes)
  • 2%
    B
    (24 votes)
  • 43%
    C
    (356 votes)
  • 45%
    D
    (368 votes)
  • 7%
    F
    (60 votes)
811 votes total Vote Now

Valedictorian: JuJu Smith-Schuster

Honor Roll: Ben Roethlisberger, Ryan Switzer, Antonio Brown, Chuks Okafor, Jesse James, Chris Boswell, Jordan Berry, Al Villanueva, Cam Heyward, Vince Williams

Detention: James Washington, Xavier Grimble, James Conner, Vance McDonald, Joe Haden, Interception Ben