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Steelers Report Card: Grading the Steelers Week 16 victory to the Indianapolis Colts

Breaking down the success and failures of Pittsburgh’s Week 16 performance.

Indianapolis Colts v Pittsburgh Steelers Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers pulled off the seemingly impossible! From trailing by 17 to start the second half to celebrating victory and an AFC North title when the clock hit zeros. The offense also looked to finally hit stride once again as Ben Roethlisberger stopped overthinking everything and just played football. The Steelers are back in the win column and boy does it ever feel good.

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: B

If you want a grade for the first half it was an F, if you want the grade from the second half it was an A. But because of just how good the offense was to end this game I’m going to give them a final score of a B because they really deserved it.

Ben Roethlisberger turned back the clock and looked outstanding. If Ben had played like he did in the second half the past month then I'm not sure if the Steelers would have lost any of those games. He saved his own behind from the possibility of being a cap casualty in the offseason, and all of the sudden the Steelers have their old hall of fame quarterback back.

The receivers turned it on as soon as Chase Claypool got himself involved again. Seemingly flipping the switch as soon as he got his first target. James Conner looked good in relief for Benny Snell and all of a sudden the Steelers best running back tends to be whoever starts the game as the back up...

It was also nice to see Eric Ebron stick it to his former team with his second half touchdown. I’m pleased with the performance and hopeful we can see more of that in the playoffs.

Poll

What grade would you give the Steelers’ offense for Week 16?

This poll is closed

  • 4%
    A
    (63 votes)
  • 53%
    B
    (779 votes)
  • 38%
    C
    (559 votes)
  • 2%
    D
    (37 votes)
  • 0%
    F
    (8 votes)
1446 votes total Vote Now

Defense

Grade: B

The defense gave up one too many long drives for my liking in the first half. However they are very banged up right now so I'll give them some sort of a pass. T.J. Watt had himself a nice day picking up a pair of sacks, and really should have had at least a couple of holding calls.

I have some concern about the front seven giving up long runs to Jonathan Taylor in the first half. That got roped back in after halftime, but this unit is better than that. Avery Williamson and Vince Williams were exposed a bit in the passing game, but with Marcus Allen and Robert Spillane set to return in the coming weeks could help that issue.

The secondary looked fine aside from Joe Haden getting burnt for a score, but they can't be perfect every snap of every game. Overall it was a fine game, but I expect more from this unit.

Poll

What grade would you give the Steelers’ defense for Week 16?

This poll is closed

  • 8%
    A
    (108 votes)
  • 63%
    B
    (850 votes)
  • 26%
    C
    (355 votes)
  • 1%
    D
    (24 votes)
  • 0%
    F
    (8 votes)
1345 votes total Vote Now

Special Teams

Grade: C+

Jordan Berry had a nice day punting. Matthew Wright hit his extra points. Ray Ray McCloud picked up some yards on his returns. And the kick cover team didn't give up anything out of the ordinary.

The punts boost the grade, but a very unnoticeable day for the special teams. Which is honestly a good thing.

Poll

What grade would you give the Steelers’ special teams for Week 16?

This poll is closed

  • 4%
    A
    (61 votes)
  • 50%
    B
    (630 votes)
  • 35%
    C
    (442 votes)
  • 7%
    D
    (97 votes)
  • 1%
    F
    (14 votes)
1244 votes total Vote Now

Coaching

Grade: C+

After the first half I was prepared to fire everyone, the second half saved everyone’s jobs... This one is hard to grade because how much of the success stemmed from Ben Roethlisberger playing better football?

I will credit Mike Tomlin for keeping his guys in the game and focused on coming back from a 17 point gap. Most other teams would have folded, so he deserves the credit. Keith Butler also had another pretty good day. The run blitz’s sort of sucked, but I think that has more to do with Avery Williamson not being Devin Bush and missing Bud Dupree.

Poll

What grade would you give the Steelers’ coaching for Week 16?

This poll is closed

  • 4%
    A
    (60 votes)
  • 28%
    B
    (354 votes)
  • 40%
    C
    (505 votes)
  • 22%
    D
    (277 votes)
  • 3%
    F
    (47 votes)
1243 votes total Vote Now

Overall

Grade: B-

They won the game when they really shouldn't have. That right there deserves massive credit. The Steelers gutted out a brutal second half to win the AFC North title and seemingly get themselves back on track. I won't go as far to say they're a Super Bowl contender, but I will say I have a lot more faith in this team to not embarrass themselves in the playoffs anymore.

The Steelers should be proud of that comeback and they should be proud to wear those AFC North championship t-shirts. They earned it and now they can get some much needed rest in Week 17.

Poll

What overall grade would you give the Steelers’ Week 16 performance?

This poll is closed

  • 5%
    A
    (66 votes)
  • 57%
    B
    (675 votes)
  • 33%
    C
    (395 votes)
  • 1%
    D
    (23 votes)
  • 0%
    F
    (8 votes)
1167 votes total Vote Now

The Steelers now turn their attention to the Cleveland Browns, who just embarrassed themselves against the New York Jets. The Browns will be fighting for a playoff spot while the Steelers will be resting key players for the playoffs. Keep your eyes locked on BTSC for the latest updates, breakdowns, and previews for the Steelers Week 17 match up with the Browns.