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Steelers Report Card: Grading the Steelers Week 14 loss to the Buffalo Bills

Breaking down the success and failures of Pittsburgh’s Week 14 performance.

Pittsburgh Steelers v Buffalo Bills Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images

After starting the year 11-0 the Pittsburgh Steelers yet again find themselves streak, just not a good one. The Steelers fell to the Buffalo Bills 26-15 and sit 11-2 on the year. The loss virtually locks the Kansas City Chiefs into the AFC’s top seed, and leaves the door wide open for the Cleveland Browns to steal the AFC North right out from under the Steelers. This was a soul crushing loss, and my grades will likely reflect it.

Let’s evaluate the team and highlight some individual performances. You may think my grades are spot on, you might also think I'm an idiot. Regardless, express your thoughts in the comments below.

Let’s do this...

Offense

Grade: F

The offense has finally earned the lowest grade I could give them. The running game still doesn't exist, the receiver drops continued, the offensive line looked rough, and Ben Roethlisberger had his worst game of the season.

The offense went 1-10 on third down, threw two interceptions (including a pick-6), and only had one scoring drive that started on their own side of the field. The Steelers first touchdown came off an interception and nearly fumbled the ball right back to Buffalo the very next play.

This game was so bad it had Ben Roethlisberger questioning his standing in the NFL again. This game was bad and flat out unwatchable at first.

Poll

What grade would you give the Steelers’ offense for Week 14?

This poll is closed

  • 0%
    A
    (9 votes)
  • 0%
    B
    (1 vote)
  • 0%
    C
    (12 votes)
  • 12%
    D
    (194 votes)
  • 85%
    F
    (1318 votes)
1534 votes total Vote Now

Defense

Grade: C

The Steelers defense started the game great, but got worn down and didn't look good at all in the second half. Steffon Diggs ripped the secondary apart, and the Bills had no problem running the clock out at the end of the game. At times it looked like the defense flat out gave up on plays, at other times the defense was terribly out of place.

Cameron Heyward, and Mike Hilton looked really good for most of the game. But it was Minkah Fitzpatrick that spotted the Bills their first three points and started Buffalo’s onslaught, when he didn't wrap up Steffon Diggs and he took the ball an extra 20 yards. Much like the offense at times this unit was unwatchable.

Poll

What grade would you give the Steelers’ defense for Week 14?

This poll is closed

  • 1%
    A
    (16 votes)
  • 16%
    B
    (244 votes)
  • 36%
    C
    (528 votes)
  • 37%
    D
    (543 votes)
  • 7%
    F
    (114 votes)
1445 votes total Vote Now

Special Teams

Grade: C-

‘Meh’ that's probably the best way to describe the Steelers special teams again this week. Ray Ray McCloud has lost his game changing touch, Chris Boswell was only asked to kick one extra point, and Jordan Berry had one of his classically bad punting days.

It was fitting for the special teams to be un-noteworthy, because the Steelers were un-noteworthy all day long.

Poll

What grade would you give the Steelers’ special teams for Week 14?

This poll is closed

  • 0%
    A
    (11 votes)
  • 2%
    B
    (28 votes)
  • 31%
    C
    (409 votes)
  • 50%
    D
    (645 votes)
  • 14%
    F
    (187 votes)
1280 votes total Vote Now

Coaching

Grade: F

Two main factors go into the coaching staff receiving a failing grade:

  1. The Steelers offense is uncreative and flat out unwatchable
  2. The defense leaving Steffon Diggs (a probable All-Pro receiver) wide open on way to many occasions was flat out inexcusable.

Without trying to sound overly dramatic but the Steelers need to change their schemes and philosophy completely by playoff time or this magical season season will be for nothing.

Poll

What grade would you give the Steelers’ coaching for Week 14?

This poll is closed

  • 0%
    A
    (13 votes)
  • 0%
    B
    (7 votes)
  • 2%
    C
    (31 votes)
  • 19%
    D
    (261 votes)
  • 76%
    F
    (1020 votes)
1332 votes total Vote Now

Overall

Grade: F+

This game hurts, bad. I’m in a full on crisis mode for the 2020 Pittsburgh Steelers. The loss kills their chances at getting the AFC’s playoff bye week, and gives the Browns a strong chance at winning the AFC North. The Steelers need to desperately start winning games. Cam Heyward said it best, the Steelers sucked on Sunday night.

Poll

What overall grade would you give the Steelers’ Week 14 performance?

This poll is closed

  • 0%
    A
    (11 votes)
  • 0%
    B
    (2 votes)
  • 1%
    C
    (24 votes)
  • 21%
    D
    (268 votes)
  • 75%
    F
    (964 votes)
1269 votes total Vote Now

The Steelers now turn their attention to the Cincinnati Bengals in a Monday Night Football clash. A loss would send the Steelers tumbling down the AFC playoff standings, but the Bengas are reeling and in a really bad place. Keep your eyes locked on BTSC for the latest updates, breakdowns, and previews for the Steelers Week 15 match up with the Bengals.