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Steelers Report Card: Grading the 42-37 loss to the visiting Chiefs

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BTSC grades the Steelers’ Week-2 poor performance at home against the Chiefs.

Kansas City Chiefs v Pittsburgh Steelers Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

I’m not a football coach, or a teacher, but I play one in blogs and podcasts. The home opening contest of the Pittsburgh Steelers’ 2018 campaign was my first Heinz Field game in four years. Paying that much for a ticket, I figured I could break out the proverbial red pen and evaluate til my over-sized, and extremely-taxed, heart was content.

Once again, 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 can’t score an offense that put up 35-points too poorly. I can’t fault James Conner’s poor stats because the hole the team was put in by the defense crippled the run game. I thought No. 30 played hard. I can point fingers at Ben Roethlisberger for two almost-pickoffs and overthrows a plenty, while still citing a gritty performance which saw him throw three TDs and score on a run late in the game. I can give kudos to James Washington and Jesse James too. Even though the Steelers didn’t come through on two drives towards the end, the offense wasn’t really the problem.

Overall Offense Grade: B

Poll

What grade would you give the Steelers offense in their 42-37 loss to KC?

This poll is closed

  • 14%
    A
    (236 votes)
  • 56%
    B
    (900 votes)
  • 22%
    C
    (351 votes)
  • 3%
    D
    (57 votes)
  • 2%
    F
    (45 votes)
1589 votes total Vote Now

Defense

Miscommunication and missed assignments were a majority of the maladies on the day. This defense couldn’t stop anyone. Bud Dupree had more offsides penalties than he did sacks, and Terrell Edmunds and Cam Sutton were exposed. When the opponent punts only twice — that’s a problem too. I think Patrick Mahomes is good, but did the defense make him look bionic? I think so.

Overall Defense Grade: F

Poll

What grade would you give the Steelers defense in their 42-37 loss to KC?

This poll is closed

  • 1%
    A
    (26 votes)
  • 0%
    B
    (2 votes)
  • 0%
    C
    (12 votes)
  • 8%
    D
    (138 votes)
  • 89%
    F
    (1541 votes)
1719 votes total Vote Now

Special Teams

Were there bright spots like the pin-down on the one that led to the safety? Yes. But even that was basically a lucky bounce. Jordan Berry was shanking it again and KC knew he would. They were prepared for it on the first punt, and took major advantage of it. Ryan Switzer had one decent return, but that was it. The Tyler Matakevich penalty hurt as well. Plus, when you blow a chance to at least try for a miracle with a roughing penalty at the end, you can’t possibly sugarcoat all the sour. Most of all, Chris Boswell cost the team four points and that helped cripple this team.

Overall Special Teams Grade: F

Poll

What grade would you give the Steelers special teams in their 42-37 loss to KC?

This poll is closed

  • 1%
    A
    (19 votes)
  • 0%
    B
    (15 votes)
  • 5%
    C
    (89 votes)
  • 35%
    D
    (544 votes)
  • 56%
    F
    (867 votes)
1534 votes total Vote Now

Overall Team Grade: D

Everybody knew this would be a shootout, but nobody thought the Steelers would be that inept on defense. The offense mostly did their part, but D/ST and coaching killed this team.

Poll

What overall grade would you give the Steelers in their 42-37 loss to KC?

This poll is closed

  • 1%
    A
    (20 votes)
  • 0%
    B
    (5 votes)
  • 8%
    C
    (133 votes)
  • 49%
    D
    (751 votes)
  • 40%
    F
    (618 votes)
1527 votes total Vote Now

Valedictorian: Jesse James

Honor Roll: JuJu Smith, James Washington, Antonio Brown

Detention: Mike Tomlin, Keith Butler, Danny Smith, Vance McDonald, Bud Dupree, Terrell Edmunds, Cam Sutton, Chris Boswell, Jordan Berry