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Steelers Report Card: Grading the Steelers’ 17-12 win over the Rams in Week 10

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BTSC breaks out the red pen and assigns grades to the Steelers after Week 10 of the 2019 season.

Los Angeles Rams v Pittsburgh Steelers Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

The Steelers are winners of four straight and are sitting at 5-4 after beating last year’s NFC champions, the Los Angeles Rams. The Steelers would need a dominant defensive effort, and a lot of luck, to defeat the visitors and rise to being the current sixth seed in the AFC.

They got both.

For some reason, I’ve been given the responsibility to rate the performance of the squad. It’s not easy, but I’ll give it a whirl. 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. All week, I had certain expectations of this contest, then the game happened and judgments abound.

Grading games is an extremely difficult and somewhat thankless task. While the coaches’ grades, of course, are what counts the most, the media and fans can’t help but evaluate as well. All letter grades are simply based on the eye test of somebody watching at home. In this case, it’s my idiotic opinion.

So let’s take a look at BTSC’s early perceptions:


Offense: C-

The offense out scored the Rams offense 10-3 and that’s the only reason this unit wasn’t graded worse. However, the offense still gave up nine points. That was six more than what the defense gave up. That’s unacceptable. Maurkice Pouncey released an errant snap on the first series that led to a Rams TD. The play calling was average at best, but below average for not running the ball on the safety. The running game looked abysmal and there were way too many drops by the wideouts. I didn’t find Mason Rudolph too objectionable. No. 2 was 22/38 for 242 yards and is progressing by the week. Timely grabs by Diontae Johnson (4/64), JuJu Smith-Schuster (3/44) and the offensive MVP for the day, James Washington (6/90/1 TD), greatly aided Rudy’s effort. But truth be told, the defense bailed out the offense and they just did not score as much as they needed to.

Poll

What grade do you think the offense deserves after the narrow 17-12 win over L.A.?

This poll is closed

  • 0%
    A
    (21 votes)
  • 9%
    B
    (417 votes)
  • 51%
    C
    (2291 votes)
  • 35%
    D
    (1573 votes)
  • 2%
    F
    (133 votes)
4435 votes total Vote Now

Defense: A+

This defense is rapidly becoming something to shout, sing and brag about. Minkah Fitzpatrick was the MVP again with the alert fumble recovery for the score and the game-sealing pick. The defense had four sacks (2 by TJ Watt) and gave up three points. From top-to-bottom this was a phenomenal effort from the dee-fence.

Poll

What grade would you assign the defense after the huge win over Sean McVay’s high-flying Rams?

This poll is closed

  • 95%
    A
    (4190 votes)
  • 3%
    B
    (159 votes)
  • 0%
    C
    (8 votes)
  • 0%
    D
    (4 votes)
  • 0%
    F
    (8 votes)
4369 votes total Vote Now

Special Teams: C

Berry had to punt the ball nine times for a 42.6 average, but landed four inside-the-20. Boswell has remained clutch with a 33-yard field goal. Kick coverage was pretty blah. The return game continues to be invisible. Switzer may be sure-handed, but he wears cement shoes.

Poll

What grade does the ST Unit deserve after the Steelers huge win over the L.A. Rams?

This poll is closed

  • 2%
    A
    (87 votes)
  • 36%
    B
    (1416 votes)
  • 42%
    C
    (1626 votes)
  • 16%
    D
    (649 votes)
  • 2%
    F
    (80 votes)
3858 votes total Vote Now

Overall: B

The defense was spectacular and the offense did enough to win. I thought Mason Rudolph (4-2) is finding ways to win and converting in crucial spots. But Mike Tomlin won a challenge and went for it on fourth down on his team’s 34 late in the game. Crazy, but it worked. This team is believing and neat a decent team for their fourth straight victory.

Poll

What overall grade would you mark the Steelers with after their 17-12 triumph over the Rams?

This poll is closed

  • 13%
    A
    (498 votes)
  • 71%
    B
    (2677 votes)
  • 14%
    C
    (560 votes)
  • 0%
    D
    (20 votes)
  • 0%
    F
    (4 votes)
3759 votes total Vote Now

Valedictorian: Minkah Fitzpatrick

Honor Roll: Mark Barron, Joe Haden, T.J. Watt, James Washington, Cam Heyward, Steven Nelson, Mason Rudolph, Mike Tomlin, Javon Hargrave, Bud Dupree, Jordan Berry

Requires Improvement: Jaylen Samuels, Maurkice Pouncey, Vance McDonald, Robert Spillane


Now it is your turn to play teacher. Use the polls and the comments section below. We can compare notes in the teachers lounge.