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Report Card: Grading the Steelers after losing to the Jaguars

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 7 game vs. the Los Angeles Rams, 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 on the offensive side of the ball…


The team’s inability to do anything well on offense is unbelievably frustrating. There is nothing they can hang their hat on and say, “We do this one thing well, let’s lean on that.” Run the ball? No. Throw the ball? Heck no. Protect the ball? Not with Trubisky under center. This offense is a rudderless ship, and it was on full display vs. the Jaguars.

Grade: F


The defense created three takeaways, and they were necessary to keep the score close, but the numbers for this unit can’t be ignored. They are giving up a ton of yards, but at the same time are doing their jobs to keep games close. It isn’t pretty, but the group is at the stage where they either start improving in not giving up so many yards, or the losses will continue to pile up. I can’t rip the defense too much in this game, they did get three takeaways.

Grade: C

Special Teams

Chris Boswell got screwed out of a 55-yard field goal in wet conditions, a pretty amazing feat, but Pressley Harvin’s punting was sub-par. Harvin is very much like the entire team — inconsistent.

Grade: B


Hitting your head against the wall repeatedly and expecting it not to hurt is what it feels like is happening with this team, especially on offense. “Well, maybe if I use the side of my head it won’t hurt as bad.” Nope, still hurts. The Steelers aren’t doing anything different to make any tangible difference in the product. They keep running to Chuks Okorafor’s side, they continue to be predictable as ever, and there is no possible way to envision this changing at this stage in the game. While some aspects of the team have been okay, nothing is good.

Grade: F

I honestly don’t know what to say about this team anymore. My expectations are so low a mouse would be able to fit underneath the bar we can label as “the standard”. However, you still see those blips on the radar. Those moments of clarity when you see what the team could possibly be if they finally took their heads from their collective rectums. Alas, those seem like fleeting moments anymore. Maybe they’ll shock us all on Thursday Night Football…

Overall Grade: D

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 Tennessee Titans in Week 9 of the regular season.


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