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Steelers Report Card: Grading Pittsburgh’s 52-21 win over Carolina in Week 10

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BTSC breaks out the red pen and assigns grades to the Steelers after their home tilt against a familiar Thursday Night foe.

NFL: Carolina Panthers at Pittsburgh Steelers Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

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 donned the Color Rush unis, I found myself noticing just how equal the two teams actually are. And then I realized that these teams both battle each other every last Thursday Night if the preseason. Then the game happened and the judgements 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:

James Conner didn’t have to set the tone this time. Because Ben Roethlisberger found JuJu Smith-Schuster on the very first play. Ben was absolutely tremendous and his supporting cast was as well. AB, Vance, JuJu, Samuels and Jesse James all caught TDs from the 15-year vet.

Overall Offense Grade: A+

Poll

What grade would you assign the Steelers offense after their Carolina?

This poll is closed

  • 98%
    A
    (1710 votes)
  • 1%
    B
    (25 votes)
  • 0%
    C
    (2 votes)
  • 0%
    D
    (1 vote)
  • 0%
    F
    (5 votes)
1743 votes total Vote Now

Defense

I was super concerned after the first Carolina drive, but Keith Butler continuously brought pressure with the Front 7. They punished Newton with 5 sacks and were thoroughly dominant. Don’t let giving up 21 fool you, one score was due to a horrendous penalty on Artie Burns. Then he was removed. But the Steelers only gave up 242 total yards and surrendered 95 yards on the ground to a team that ranked No. 2 in the league.

Overall Defense Grade: A

Poll

What grade would you assign the Steelers defense after their Carolina?

This poll is closed

  • 67%
    A
    (1150 votes)
  • 31%
    B
    (534 votes)
  • 0%
    C
    (15 votes)
  • 0%
    D
    (3 votes)
  • 0%
    F
    (4 votes)
1706 votes total Vote Now

Special Teams

Boswell was perfect on the night. Jordan Berry didn’t have to punt untill late. Rosie anoxia forced a huge fumble that Anthony Chuckillo recovered. It was a big night for Danny Smith’s group.

Overall Special Teams Grade: A+

Poll

What grade would you assign the Steelers special teams after their Carolina?

This poll is closed

  • 73%
    A
    (1172 votes)
  • 24%
    B
    (381 votes)
  • 1%
    C
    (24 votes)
  • 0%
    D
    (1 vote)
  • 0%
    F
    (6 votes)
1584 votes total Vote Now

Overall Team Grade: A+

Valedictorian: Ben Roethlisberger

Honor Roll: James Conner, the O-line, Vance McDonald, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Jesse James, Antonio Brown, Vince Williams, T.J. Watt, Bud Dupree, Stephon Tuitt, Cam Heyward, Mike Hilton, Morgan Burnett, Rosie Nix, Chris Boswell

Detention: Artie Burns

What started out to look like Cam Newton and Christian McCaffrey would run roughshod over Pittsburgh, turned into the most complete game the Steelers played in years. What a great statement.

Poll

What overall grade would you assign the Steelers after their Carolina?

This poll is closed

  • 94%
    A
    (1473 votes)
  • 4%
    B
    (78 votes)
  • 0%
    C
    (9 votes)
  • 0%
    D
    (1 vote)
  • 0%
    F
    (2 votes)
1563 votes total Vote Now