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Steelers Report Card: Grading the Steelers’ preseason Week-2 loss to the Packers

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Time to break out the red pen and grade the black-and-gold’s 51-34 loss to Green Bay.

Pittsburgh Steelers v Green Bay Packers Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

The Steelers opened their preseason schedule on a high note last week with a 31-14 win over the Super Bowl Champion Eagles in Philadelphia. This week they scored more points, but the game was more disturbing than a Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue featuring the cast of The Golden Girls. Of course these games don’t register in the regular season standings, but what happens during these contests is paramount in shaping the team. It also might be the difference between continuing one’s dream as an NFL player or having to start from scratch or perhaps begin the search for their life’s work.

Grading games like this is an extremely difficult task. Eight quarters of work is hardly enough to tell the story, but it’s starting to find a specific tone. While the coaches’ grades are what count the most, the media and fans evaluate as well.

Let’s take a look at BTSC’s early perceptions:

Offense

Mason Rudolph’s interception to start the game put the team in a hole early and set a negative tone. While No. 2 had a TD pass and looked promising with the first team, he fell apart with second-team protection. Now although he faced lesser competition, Josh Dobbs looked like the better QB tonight. But his pick-six put the game out of reach to start the third quarter. The offense gave up 14 points and just plain stunk. The two brightest spots of the night were most definitely were the Killer Jays...James Washington, JuJu Smith-Schuster and JamesConner. I’m not saying that there’s too much to fret over for the regular season, but tonight was nauseating.

Overall Offense Grade: D-

Honor Roll: James Conner, JuJu Smith-Schuster, James Washington

Poll

What grade do you give the offense after their 51-34 loss to the Packers?

This poll is closed

  • 0%
    A
    (14 votes)
  • 8%
    B
    (145 votes)
  • 38%
    C
    (672 votes)
  • 36%
    D
    (631 votes)
  • 15%
    F
    (262 votes)
1724 votes total Vote Now

Defense

Evaluating Keith Butler’s bunch at this point is tough. The full starting unit wasn’t on the field once again. While the offense gave up 14, these guys looked just as suspect. I thought Terrell Edmunds showed up better this week, but I’m hard-pressed to find a silver lining here. The team was torched again over the middle and desperately needs to upgrade at ILB. I’m just not sure how at this juncture. If I had to recognize a top defensive performer, it would be the homecoming performance of S Morgan Burnett. He showed good coverage skills, as well as pass rushing and defending prowess.

Overall Defense Grade: F

*this was originally and inadvertently graded a D. It was intended to be a failing grade all along.

Honor Roll: Morgan Burnett

Poll

What grade do you give the Steeler defense after their 51-34 loss to the Packers?

This poll is closed

  • 0%
    A
    (8 votes)
  • 0%
    B
    (1 vote)
  • 4%
    C
    (74 votes)
  • 27%
    D
    (463 votes)
  • 67%
    F
    (1134 votes)
1680 votes total Vote Now

Special Teams

I wanted to see Quadree Henderson do more, but he just didn’t do much with the limited return opportunities he got. Danny Smith’s unit covered very poorly again and the Pack had multiple, significant returns. Jordan Berry was pretty bad as well. He’s not the same punter as he was three years ago.

Overall ST Grade: F

Honor Roll: Nobody

Poll

What grade do you give the Special Teams for their 51-35 loss against the Packers?

This poll is closed

  • 0%
    A
    (12 votes)
  • 0%
    B
    (10 votes)
  • 7%
    C
    (98 votes)
  • 29%
    D
    (406 votes)
  • 62%
    F
    (863 votes)
1389 votes total Vote Now

The first effort of the season was positive. This one was mind-numbing. Yes, I know it’s preseason. But the deficiencies on defense up-the-middle are sapping my optimism. I would have been better off spending the evening photoshopping the heads of Bea Arthur and Rue McLanahan’s heads on to the bodies of swimsuit models. A rebound at home against Tennessee is imperative.

Overall Team Grade: F

Poll

What is your overall grade for the Steelers after their 51-34 loss to the Packers?

This poll is closed

  • 0%
    A
    (13 votes)
  • 0%
    B
    (6 votes)
  • 7%
    C
    (105 votes)
  • 46%
    D
    (688 votes)
  • 44%
    F
    (661 votes)
1473 votes total Vote Now