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Steelers Report Card: Grading the Steelers’ awful 33-3 loss to the Patriots in Week 1

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BTSC breaks out the red pen and assigns grades to the Steelers in Week 1 of the 2019 season.

NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers at New England Patriots Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

The Steelers took to Foxboro to battle the team that has mostly owned them since January of 2002. Two times before (2002, 2015), the Steelers have watched as their conference rivals raised the banner on Week 1 after a Super Bowl title and both times it ended poorly. This time, with former star Antonio Brown not even playing as a member of the opposition, it was worse than ever.

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. 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: F

It was an unimaginative and generic game plan. Mixing in Jaylen Samuels early didn’t work, Conner never got going, he had only 21 yards on 10 carries. Dumb penalties hurt progress, Ben was below average going 27/47 for 277 yards and a pick. JuJu Smith-Schuster and Ryan Switzer led with six grabs each. Donte Moncrief was horrendous. This isn’t hard to grade. They were awful.

Poll

What grade do you think the offense deserves after the 37-3 loss to New England.

This poll is closed

  • 1%
    A
    (61 votes)
  • 0%
    B
    (7 votes)
  • 0%
    C
    (19 votes)
  • 5%
    D
    (222 votes)
  • 92%
    F
    (3757 votes)
4066 votes total Vote Now

Defense: F

While they weren’t as bad as the offense, the defense wasn’t good at all. They gave up 440 yards and three Brady TD passes. He absolutely shredded Keith Butler’s defense. Devin Bush led the way with 11 tackles, but didn’t really shine. T.J. Watt was neutralized most of the night. Bud Dupree had a sack, but was virtually nonexistent the rest of the night.

Poll

What grade do you think the defense earned after the Patriots trounced them in Week 1?

This poll is closed

  • 1%
    A
    (60 votes)
  • 0%
    B
    (7 votes)
  • 2%
    C
    (115 votes)
  • 25%
    D
    (989 votes)
  • 69%
    F
    (2692 votes)
3863 votes total Vote Now

Special Teams: D

They gave up some hefty returns early. Switzer was below average at best in return duties. He wasn’t a spark at all. Should have kept Diontae Spencer. Boswell had a field goal and Jordan Berry averaged 45.6 yards-per-punt on five of them. Yay.

Poll

How do you grade the Steelers’ Special Teams after their embarrassing loss to the Patriots?

This poll is closed

  • 1%
    A
    (58 votes)
  • 2%
    B
    (85 votes)
  • 25%
    C
    (858 votes)
  • 38%
    D
    (1290 votes)
  • 31%
    F
    (1056 votes)
3347 votes total Vote Now

Overall: F

This was so pathetic. I can’t remember a worse opening game loss. I know 1989 and the 51-0 loss to the Browns, but that was a team with low expectations. They need to rebound against Seattle or this could going to be a disaster of a season.

Poll

What overall grade would you give to the Steelers after the 33-3 debacle against New England.

This poll is closed

  • 1%
    A
    (65 votes)
  • 0%
    B
    (6 votes)
  • 0%
    C
    (14 votes)
  • 5%
    D
    (184 votes)
  • 92%
    F
    (3377 votes)
3646 votes total Vote Now

Valedictorian: You’ve got to be kidding me.

Honor Roll: See above.

Detention: Donte Moncrief and the team as a whole.


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