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Report Card: Grading the Steelers loss to the Texans

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 4 game vs. the Houston Texans, 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? Not really. 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…


What was worse? Was it the running attack which relied on Najee Harris breaking off incredible runs without holes? The pass blocking allowing Texans defenders to live in Kenny Pickett’s lap? Or was it the fact even with a clean pocket the quarterback can’t make plays? The cherry on top of the sundae was the 4th and 1 play which got Pickett injured. Dreadful from start to finish.

Grade: F


Normally, if the offense is sluggish the defense is doing their jobs. Not in Week 4. From the moment when Mike Tomlin elected to defer their possession to the second half, the starting defense failed to stop, or even slow down, the Texans offense. What might have been the worst part of this performance was the pass rush not being able to get to Stroud with a patchwork offensive line, which included Kendrick Green, stopping them.

Grade: F

Special Teams

Brad Wing didn’t perform poorly. Chris Boswell made his kicks. Why not an A then? Because Desmond King always wanting to bring the ball out of the end-zone put the offense deeper in their own end than they would have if he just let the ball go as a touchback.

Grade: B+


Since Mike Tomlin has been the coach he has had some duds as a coach. Fans have all become accustomed to the occasional “let down” or “trap” game. This one felt different. Not so much in the performance, but with how the organization is going to respond. The team was completely unprepared in this game, and they were out-coached and out-classed by a rookie quarterback, rookie play caller, and a rookie head coach.

Grade: F

Big props to the special teams units who kept this from being an F grade overall. In my mind the performance has to be worse to get the F grade, but I then ask, “Can it get worse?” Let’s hope not…

Overall Grade: D-

What grade do you give the Steelers after the loss to the Texans? 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 Baltimore Ravens in Week 5 of the regular season.


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