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Steelers Report Card: Grading the Steelers’ 17-7 win over the Chiefs in Preseason Week 2

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BTSC breaks out the red pen and assigns grades to the Steelers after in Week 2 of the 2019 exhibition season.

NFL: Preseason-Kansas City Chiefs at Pittsburgh Steelers Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

The Steelers took to Heinz Field for the second-straight week, but the energy and excitement of last week’s opener was toned down into a reserved tone and a desire to succeed in memory of a beloved coach who passed away last Sunday. After a against the AFC runners-up of a year ago, the arrow is pointing skyward. 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 found myself noticing just how equal in talent the two teams actually are and that will show. 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. The preseason is even tougher. All letter grades are simply based on the eye test of somebody watching at home. In this case, it’s my doofus opinion.

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

Offense: C

Mason Rudolph looks like the true heir-apparent to Ben Roethlisberger and Devlin Hodges could be QB3. Once again, James Washington was tremendous The line was pretty decent and the ruuning game of James Conner and Jaylen Samuels were a treat to watch. Bennie Snell was slightly better. Not the best week, but nothing to cry about either.

Poll

What grade do you think the offense deserves after the 17-7 victory over KC?

This poll is closed

  • 1%
    A
    (34 votes)
  • 53%
    B
    (928 votes)
  • 40%
    C
    (699 votes)
  • 3%
    D
    (56 votes)
  • 0%
    F
    (8 votes)
1725 votes total Vote Now

Defense: B+

Defense is hard to grade in the preseason. I was not overly impressed with the performance of Keith Butler’s unit last week. This week, I found them to be strong like steel. Patrick Mahomes was not able to destroy the secondary like he did last year in Week 2. Even without Devin Bush, this was an inspired group. Artie Burns and Bud Dupree looked like guys aiming to do more than just keep their jobs Ulysses Gilbert III and Tuzar Skipper are making the most of their opportunities and would be tough to say goodbye to. This group looked every bit of what we’ve been pining for.

Poll

What grade do you think the defense earned after the 17-7 victory over Pat Mahomes and the Chiefs?

This poll is closed

  • 37%
    A
    (640 votes)
  • 54%
    B
    (930 votes)
  • 6%
    C
    (109 votes)
  • 0%
    D
    (10 votes)
  • 0%
    F
    (5 votes)
1694 votes total Vote Now

Special Teams: B

I’m usually quite critical of Danny Smith’s unit, but they were quite solid for the most part again this week. Chris Boswell looks to have emerged from his awful funk. Bennie Snell looked good on ST and Diontae Spencer is seeming like the real deal.

Poll

How do you grade the Steelers’ Special Teams after their win over the Chiefs?

This poll is closed

  • 24%
    A
    (368 votes)
  • 61%
    B
    (916 votes)
  • 11%
    C
    (178 votes)
  • 0%
    D
    (14 votes)
  • 0%
    F
    (8 votes)
1484 votes total Vote Now

Overall: B-

It was a brutal week for this team off of the field, on-field they were an inspired bunch. I found solace in besting Pat Mahomes early in the game.Not perfect, but much more good than bad.

Poll

What overall grade would you pin on the Steelers after the 17-7 win win over the Chiefs?

This poll is closed

  • 6%
    A
    (104 votes)
  • 80%
    B
    (1204 votes)
  • 11%
    C
    (166 votes)
  • 0%
    D
    (11 votes)
  • 0%
    F
    (5 votes)
1490 votes total Vote Now

Valedictorian: Nobody

Honor Roll: Jaylen Samuels, Diontae Johnson, James Washington, James Conner, Diontae Spencer, Artie Burns, Bud Dupree, Mason Rudolph, Devlin Hodges. Tuzar Skipper, Ulysses Gilbert III.

Needs Improvement: Chuks Okorafor, Joshua Dobbs, Xavier Grimble, Mike Hilton, Donte Moncrief.


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