Report Card: Grading the Steelers after beating the Titans
There are times as an educator, something I was for 16 years, when you see that stack of quizzes or tests sitting on your desk and you just have to wait to grade them. Sometimes it is based on the fact you just haven’t carved out time to dive into the grading process, and other times you have a strong feeling the class, as a whole, didn’t do well on this assignment.
When it comes to grading the Pittsburgh Steelers Week 9 game vs. the Tennessee Titans, it was more the latter. As always, I felt the best course of action was to just wait a bit, let the dust settle, and then visit the grades without the emotions of the game still fresh in my mind.
Did it improve the grades much? Sort of. Time to get out the red pen and try to make this not look like a murder scene…
The Steelers offense had an opening drive touchdown, and finished the game strong with yet another Kenny Pickett 4th quarter comeback/game-winning drive. The issue was all the in between in this game. The offensive line played better, not allowing a sack, and they ran the ball the best they have all season. They are making steps, albeit baby steps.
The bend, but don’t break, defense is alive and well in Pittsburgh. This group will give up tons of yards, but will keep opponents around 20 points or fewer. While some of the stats are bad, they got after the quarterback and had a key takeaway in the final drive. Consistency is key for this defense, and they have the takeaway down pat.
While Chris Boswell remains rock solid, Pressley Harvin’s punting has slipped a bit in the past few weeks. Throw on top of that the fact the Steelers return game with Calvin Austin III seems like a liability and this grade dropped a letter grade from last week.
Short week, at home. Have to find a way to win these games, and they did just that. It wasn’t pretty or perfect, but a win is a win. Do you put stock in Matt Canada moving to field level? Some will, some won’t, but at least they tried something.
In 2022 the Steelers entered their bye week 2-6. After eight games in 2023, the Steelers are 5-3. Neither the 2022 or 2023 teams instill much confidence after the first half of the season, but I’ll certainly take 5-3 over 2-6 any day of the week. This team has a lot to prove, and it can all start in Week 10.
Overall Grade: B
What grade do you give the Steelers after the loss to the Jaguars? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below, and be sure to stay tuned to SCN for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they prepare for the Green Bay Packers in Week 10 of the regular season.