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Steelers Report Card: Grading the 23-16 victory over the Ravens in Week 9

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BTSC breaks out the red pen and assigns grades to the Steelers after their avenging an embarrassing Week 4 loss.

NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers at Baltimore Ravens Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Despite my 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 rolled into M&T Bank Stadium, I found myself equal part cautiously optimistic and defiantly pessimistic about playing the Ravens after a sickening Week 4 loss. The win that followed has the Steelers rolling and the Birdies reeling.

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:

James Conner, once again, set the tone. But this time it started in the initial Steeler drive, With his fourth-straight 100-yard game, No. 30 helped set up a successful passing day as well. Randy Fichtner’s scheme was imaginative, the O-line was stellar again and Ben looked solid. Josh Dobbs May have had the play of the game with his one completion.

Overall Offense Grade: A

Poll

What grade would you assign the Steelers offense after their 23-16 win in Baltimore?

This poll is closed

  • 53%
    A
    (861 votes)
  • 45%
    B
    (741 votes)
  • 1%
    C
    (20 votes)
  • 0%
    D
    (1 vote)
  • 0%
    F
    (0 votes)
1623 votes total Vote Now

Defense

Keith Butler’s defense looked the best they have all year. I thought the PI penalties on Terrell Edmunds and Coty Sensabaugh were silly. Stephon Tuitt and Bud Dupree look wide awake, while Mike Hilton and Sean Davis look like Pro Bowlers..For the most part, it was a solid performance.

Overall Defense Grade: A-

Poll

What grade would you assign the Steelers defense after their 23-16 win in Baltimore?

This poll is closed

  • 39%
    A
    (612 votes)
  • 56%
    B
    (878 votes)
  • 4%
    C
    (71 votes)
  • 0%
    D
    (4 votes)
  • 0%
    F
    (1 vote)
1566 votes total Vote Now

Special Teams

Boswell went wide-right again. That can’t continue. Jordan Berry had a big punt late. Ryan Switzer is the best KR in years. Coverage was decent.

Overall Special Teams Grade: B

Poll

What grade would you assign the Steelers special teams after their 23-16 win in Baltimore?

This poll is closed

  • 2%
    A
    (36 votes)
  • 51%
    B
    (769 votes)
  • 40%
    C
    (597 votes)
  • 4%
    D
    (65 votes)
  • 0%
    F
    (14 votes)
1481 votes total Vote Now

Overall Team Grade: A

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 four-game streak, the team finally looks like a legitimate contender for the Lombardi.

Valedictorian: James Conner

Honor Roll: Ben Roethlisberger, Matt Feiler, the O-line as a unit, Jesse James, Sean Davis, Vince Williams, Joshua Dobbs, Bud Dupree, Stephon Tuitt, Coty Sensabaugh, Mike Hilton,

Detention: Chris Boswell (But barely)

Poll

What overall grade would you assign the Steelers after their 23-16 win in Baltimore?

This poll is closed

  • 43%
    A
    (604 votes)
  • 54%
    B
    (762 votes)
  • 1%
    C
    (22 votes)
  • 0%
    D
    (1 vote)
  • 0%
    F
    (3 votes)
1392 votes total Vote Now