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Steelers Report Card: Grading the Steelers’ 18-6 win over the Titans in Preseason Week 3

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BTSC breaks out the red pen and assigns grades to the Steelers after Week 3 of the 2019 exhibition season.

Pittsburgh Steelers v Tennessee Titans Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images

The Steelers took to Music City on Sunday Night and needed to impress to calm the nerves of Steeler Nation in what would be the best indication of what the team could be in 2019. The bottom line...they looked ready for the regular season. So again, 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: B+

Ben Roethlisberger came out sharp on the short stuff, but was shaky at times. Then it all came together. The drive that led to the score to JuJu Smith-Schuster was beautiful. Speaking of a JuJu, his night of four catches, a TD and a great celebration afterwards was awesome. James Conner looked like an All-Pro as well. But give an assist to the stellar offensive line. Mason Rudolph added a quick score to James Washington. Those two really look like future stars too. Joshua Dobbs did nothing to seize the QB2, but wasn’t terrible. The only complaint was depth. Wanted to see more fireworks from Deonte Johnson, Bennie Snell Jr. and Donte Moncrief. But it was a pretty good showing.

Poll

What grade do you think the offense deserves after the 18-6 victory over The Titans.

This poll is closed

  • 17%
    A
    (406 votes)
  • 72%
    B
    (1687 votes)
  • 8%
    C
    (203 votes)
  • 0%
    D
    (10 votes)
  • 0%
    F
    (12 votes)
2318 votes total Vote Now

Defense: A+

Defense is hard to grade in the preseason. I find myself even more encouraged this week. Seven sacks, decent run defense and nice coverage. Standing out was the bookends of Stephon Tuitt and Cam Heyward on the D-line. Bud Dupree, Devin Bush, Vince Williams, T.J. Watt, Tuzar Skipper and Robert Spillane all turned heads at linebacker. This again was an inspired group. Steven Nelson looks like a good free agent find. The Sean Davis injury is disconcerting, but Terrell Edmunds, Kam Kelly and Marcus Allen look to be winners. I am really feeling this defense.

Poll

What grade do you think the defense earned after a dominant win over the Titans?

This poll is closed

  • 84%
    A
    (1944 votes)
  • 14%
    B
    (331 votes)
  • 0%
    C
    (21 votes)
  • 0%
    D
    (9 votes)
  • 0%
    F
    (5 votes)
2310 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. They let the Titans get a significant runback at one point, but they look cleaner as a unit. It looks like the incumbents will win their jobs at kicker and punter respectively, but Ryan Switzer didn’t do enough to keep Dionte Spence from return duties.

Poll

How do you grade the Steelers’ Special Teams after their 18-6 road win over the Titans?

This poll is closed

  • 8%
    A
    (151 votes)
  • 60%
    B
    (1133 votes)
  • 29%
    C
    (552 votes)
  • 1%
    D
    (29 votes)
  • 0%
    F
    (13 votes)
1878 votes total Vote Now

Overall: A

This was everything you wanted out of the third preseason game. If this is the indication of what the team is going to look like in the regular season, then it could be a very promising year.

Valedictorian: Stephon Tuitt

Honor Roll: JuJu Smith-Schuster, James Washington, James Conner, Diontae Spencer, Bud Dupree, Mason Rudolph. Tuzar Skipper, Ben Roethlisberger, Kam Kelly, Cam Heyward, Steven Nelson, Terrell Edmunds, Dan McCullers, First-team O-line.

Needs Improvement: Joshua Dobbs, Tight Ends

Poll

What overall grade would you pin on the Steelers after the 18-6 defeat over the Tennessee Titans?

This poll is closed

  • 49%
    A
    (927 votes)
  • 47%
    B
    (903 votes)
  • 2%
    C
    (47 votes)
  • 0%
    D
    (3 votes)
  • 0%
    F
    (7 votes)
1887 votes total Vote Now

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