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Report Card: Grading the Steelers Week 5 loss to the Bills

The Steelers were blown out by the Bills, this report card is going to be ugly.

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

The Pittsburgh Steelers were losers in Week 5 after a 38-3 loss to the Buffalo Bills on the road in Orchard Park, NY. Following the game, it is time to take a look at the game and give out grades for the dismal performance. Filling in for Geoffrey Benedict this week, doing the report card seems to be an easy job this week...let me find my red pen and begin.


Kenny Pickett threw for 300+ yards with 34 completions, both Steelers records for rookie quarterbacks, but when you only put up 3 points throughout four quarters of play that tells the story. The red-zone offense failed to put up points, and it was a systemic failure across the board. Coaches on down the players. That is a theme you’ll see throughout this report card.

Honor Roll: Kenny Pickett, George Pickens,

Demerits: Diontae Johnson, Pat Freiermuth Concussion

Grade: F


The Steelers defense gave up 38 points, but it could have been a lot worse. Think of the blocked field goal, the red-zone interception and the red-zone fumble recovered in the end-zone for a touchback. Yeah, the Bills let off the gas, and still throttled the Steelers. Yes, there were injuries, both before the game and in-game, but it’s really no excuse for a defense getting their doors blown off. Mike Tomlin said the team “wasn’t on their details”, and that points directly at all parties for such a failure.

Honor Roll: None

Demerits: All coaches and players

Grade: F

Special Teams

Chris Boswell is missing kicks, kickoffs are being muffed and the punting unit was average, at best. This was one of those games where if it could go wrong, it did.

Honor Roll: Christian Kuntz for snapping

Demerits: Chris Boswell

Grade: F


This comes down to who you blame more...players or coaches? Some blame the players for not making plays, while others blame the coaches for not putting the players in position to make plays. I find the truth resides somewhere in the middle, but it was obvious the Steelers didn’t have a good plan in place heading into the game vs. the Bills. It was a complete turnaround from their visit there in 2021 when they stunned the Bills on their home turf. Yes, this failure goes on the coaches too...

Honor Roll: None

Demerits: Mike Tomlin, Matt Canada, Teryl Austin

Grade: F


As an educator, I know F- isn’t an actual grade. But in this case, just giving the Steelers an F isn’t doing the performance justice. When you try to glean positives from this game, it is difficult to find any. There were some, but they were few and far between. This is a game you burn the tape, never to watch it again. Hopefully this lingers with this group for a long time, and is treated as a gut check moving forward. In case you haven’t noticed, the games don’t necessarily ease up before the Week 9 bye week.

Grade: F-


How would you grade the Steelers Week 5 loss to the Bills?

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