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Steelers Report Card: Grading the Steelers Week 3 win over the Texans

Breaking down the success and failures of Pittsburgh’s Week 3 performance.

Houston Texans v Pittsburgh Steelers Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers returned back to the friendly confines of Heinz Field Sunday in a Week 3 showdown with the Houston Texans. There were points in the game where it looked bleak, but a huge second half for the Steelers proved worthy of victory.

Time to evaluate the game, and time for me, the substitute, to step in and deliver some grades. You might agree, you might disagree, and that is fine. Feel free to rip me apart in the comment section below.

My red pen is ready...here we go.

Offense

Grade: B+

The Steelers’ offense was a lot better than most might believe, especially their ability to run the ball well when it mattered. So, what is keeping them away from that top grade? Simple, start connecting on some of these big plays, Ben Roethlisberger missed a few Sunday, and eliminate those infuriating lulls which lead to short possessions and punts.

I felt Randy Fichtner was better calling the plays, and they at least showed some creativity by coming out of the gates with a willingness to do something different. For the first time in 2020 the Steelers put points on the board on their opening drive of the game.

A step in the right direction...

Poll

What grade would you give the Steelers’ offense in Week 3?

This poll is closed

  • 7%
    A
    (117 votes)
  • 79%
    B
    (1231 votes)
  • 12%
    C
    (196 votes)
  • 0%
    D
    (7 votes)
  • 0%
    F
    (3 votes)
1554 votes total Vote Now

Defense

Grade: B

You shut out the Texans’ offense in the second half giving everyone that warm and fuzzy feeling after the game, but I can’t get the first half out of my head. More specifically, I can’t get the fact it took just 50 seconds for Deshaun Watson to drive the Houston offense down the field and answer the call after the Steelers took a 17-14 lead in the waning minutes of the second quarter.

On top of the first half, the secondary still doesn’t look right. Maybe the second half is when they started to get it all figured out, but I want to see it happen for more than two quarters before I start to trust the secondary to get the job done on a weekly basis.

As for the run defense, one word comes to mind: Dominance.

Poll

What grade would you give the Steelers’ defense in Week 3?

This poll is closed

  • 7%
    A
    (116 votes)
  • 62%
    B
    (949 votes)
  • 28%
    C
    (439 votes)
  • 1%
    D
    (16 votes)
  • 0%
    F
    (3 votes)
1523 votes total Vote Now

Special Teams

Grade: A

For the second week in a row I was impressed with the Steelers’ special teams. No penalties on any unit, great returns by Ray-Ray McCloud, and McCloud filled in nicely for Diontae Johnson when he left with a concussion.

Chris Boswell was perfect again, and outside of a Johnson brain fart by fair catching the ball at the 5-yard line and a questionable Dustin Colquitt punt, this unit has performed extremely well this season.

I still can’t believe I just said that.

Poll

What grade would you give the Steelers’ Special Teams in Week 3?

This poll is closed

  • 58%
    A
    (791 votes)
  • 37%
    B
    (513 votes)
  • 2%
    C
    (40 votes)
  • 0%
    D
    (5 votes)
  • 0%
    F
    (3 votes)
1352 votes total Vote Now

Coaching

Grade: B+

The Steelers’ coaching staff deserves credit for the second half turnaround and making the appropriate adjustments at halftime, but the first half was awful defensively. I am not going to fault Mike Tomlin’s failed challenge considering everyone thought that play was going to be overturned.

I keep telling myself it is still early in the season, and that includes the coaching staff. A great job with adjustments, and kudos to the team for being able to execute the changes made at halftime which equated in a win.

Can’t complain too much with 3-0.

Poll

What grade would you give the Steelers’ coaches in Week 3?

This poll is closed

  • 30%
    A
    (395 votes)
  • 57%
    B
    (733 votes)
  • 9%
    C
    (120 votes)
  • 1%
    D
    (19 votes)
  • 0%
    F
    (9 votes)
1276 votes total Vote Now

Overall

Grade: B+

For the second straight week this was a weird game to grade for the black and gold. The outcome was great, and it should have been worse. If the Steelers didn’t decide to kneel out the ball at the end of the game they would have put up more than 30 points for the first time since 2018, but running up the score isn’t Tomlin’s style.

Overall it was a good win. It wasn’t pretty, but like I said last week, I’ll take an ugly win over a pretty loss any day of the week.

3-0 and preparing for the Tennessee Titans in Week 4. HERE WE GO!

Poll

What overall grade would you give the Steelers in Week 3?

This poll is closed

  • 11%
    A
    (135 votes)
  • 81%
    B
    (995 votes)
  • 7%
    C
    (89 votes)
  • 0%
    D
    (3 votes)
  • 0%
    F
    (2 votes)
1224 votes total Vote Now

It wasn’t pretty, and left fans anxious, but it was a victory. Win and correct is a lot better than lose and correct. With that said...

Now the team must prepare for the Tennessee Titans in Week 4. Stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes on the Steelers preparing for Ryan Tannehill and company in Nashville next Sunday.