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Report Card: Grading the Steelers win over the Raiders

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 3 game vs. the Las Vegas Raiders, the performance of the class started to really improve. 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? In some areas, yes, but not all. Time to get out the red pen and try to make this not look like someone bled all over their test…

Offense

The Steelers offense started to show signs of life vs. Las Vegas. Some will say it was an inferior opponent, I say I really don’t care. They did what they should; however, that doesn’t mean it was good. Kenny Pickett is improving, but remains a work-in-progress player. The running game started to improve, and all of that starts with the offensive line taking a step forward. I liked what I saw from the offense in Week 3, but I need to see more before their grade turns into a passing one.

Grade: C+


Defense

4 sacks, 8 QB Hits, 3 takeaways. What could have been better? Just covering Davante Adams. Other than that, the Steelers defense had a great game, making the necessary plays to reach the win. The tackling has improved, and they are starting to see some solid returns from players like Keeanu Benton and Joey Porter Jr. The hope is they continue to develop, and as they do their roles expand in the schemes. If this defense is just scratching the surface, they are going to be really good.

Grade: A-


Special Teams

Chris Boswell was money vs. the Raiders, with three field goals made, two kicks over 50 yards. Pressley Harvin III had arguably his best game as a professional on Sunday night. It was the consistency I’ve been speaking about wanting to see, and they delivered in prime time.

Grade: A


Coaching

The offense game plan was much better. Many don’t want to admit that, but it was, and you have to give kudos to the offensive coaching staff for those changes. The defense continues to be able to take the ball away, and a lot of that is the scheme both Teryl Austin and Mike Tomlin are cooking up week-by-week. The offense still has some mind-numbing calls, and until that changes it will be difficult to give this unit an ‘A’ grade.

Grade: B


To me this was a big step in the right direction. Sure, the game shouldn’t have been as close as it was, but the team showed resolve and improvement in almost every area. Are the Raiders a great team? I don’t think so, but they are better than many suggest. The Steelers did what they had to do to get the win, and, as Mike Tomlin said, they won’t apologize for a win. A good game for the black-and-gold.

Overall: B-


What grade do you give the Steelers after the win over the Raiders? 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 Houston Texans in Week 4 of the regular season.

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